Cluster facilitation is not just cluster facilitation

Cluster facilitation is not just cluster facilitation

There's a big difference on how a cluster facilitator has to manage a potential cluster, an emerging cluster and a working cluster. A new article from PhD Scholar Mads Bruun Ingstrup and Prof. Torben Damgaard stresses this issue.

The article, entitled Cluster Facilitation from a Cluster Life Cycle Perspective, describes the way in which the role as a cluster facilitator develops concurrently with the life cycle of the cluster. The article is based on case studies of nine Danish clusters and shows that there is a major difference in the tasks that e.g. the facilitator of a potential cluster and the facilitator of a mature cluster must be able to carry out. The role as a facilitator requires different competencies and different personal skills depending on the stage of the cluster life cycle at which the facilitator has to act.


For example, in a potential cluster the role of the cluster facilitator is first and foremost to be able to build the framework for the cluster’s operations and to network between the members. Therefore, he or she especially needs good communication skills, the ability to arrange social events and to spread the cluster’s message. Furthermore, at the early cluster stage, the facilitator would benefit from having flair for politics.

In a mature cluster, the role as a cluster facilitator is more about business development, and the facilitator must be good at integrating the many actors of the cluster and be able to see their mutual business potential. In this event, especially knowledge of the trade and innovative skills are required. Furthermore, it’s an advantage if, at this stage, the facilitator is good at solving collaboration problems, the article states.

According to Mads Bruun Ingstrup, the article emphasises the importance of continuous matching of the cluster’s development stage with the cluster facilitator’s role and competencies.


Are you interested in reading the article? Please contact Mads Bruun Ingstrup