CLUSTER – is a geographic concentration of economic entities (specialized suppliers, services providers, firms in related industries) and associated institutions (universities, research institutes, government agencies, professional training centers etc.) in some industries. The concept of cluster is introduced in the economic policy by Michael Porter and it is found in the Romanian legislation (GD 918/2006) which defines a cluster as a group of producers, users and/or beneficiaries, in order to implement best practices in the EU to increase the competitiveness of economic operators. Cluster, in specialized literature, is also known as “industrial district”, “industrial agglomeration”, “Business agglomeration”, “Competence center”.
Depending on the composition, there are two types of clusters:
Triple helix, when a number of companies work together – for example one provides raw material, another processes raw material, another gives a finished product form, another one distributes it, etc.- creating a cyclicality, a tradition of their cooperation. Alongside these interconnected companies, research institutes providing innovative solutions or universities that train specialists which can be used by the companies in the cluster are also found; regional, local public authorities are also involved, supporting their work.
Four clover (four-leaf clover), when a fourth actor is also included – catalyst organization (companies specialized in technological transfer and innovation, technological transfer centers, professional associations, chambers of commerce and industry and/or other types of promoters).