CLUSTERS

Overview

Portland's job growth efforts will focus on enhancing the competitiveness of businesses in four traded sector industry concentrations:

CLEAN TECH
ATHLETIC & OUTDOOR INDUSTRY
SOFTWARE
ADVANCED MANUFACTURING
RESEARCH & COMMERCIALIZATION
 

A cluster strategy is the logical organizing principle for growing traded sector industries because disparate efforts at retention, expansion, innovation, international trade, land assembly and workforce development can be coordinated in a manner that makes more efficient use of resources and captures synergies in otherwise unrelated activities (e.g.; coordinated training and research at local universities). In addition, in-depth knowledge of particular sectors fuels catalytic initiatives that move business development efforts beyond traditional assistance. A cluster strategy is especially critical for a market like Portland, where limited resources require selective investments in the groups of firms that demonstrate the most promise of growth.



Implementation

PDC has researched best practices of supporting successful clusters, and has adopted the following framework as a guide to implementing the cluster plans of the Economic Development Strategy.

CLUSTER ORGANIZING FRAMEWORK
1. Investigate 2. Inventory 3. Convene
  • Establish criteria for selection
  • Analyze local and national trend data
  • Perform initial outreach to verify data conclusions
  • Select clusters that have the most potential for growth
  • Define cluster
  • Inventory firms, organizations and institutions
  • Identify leaders, innovators and trendsetters
  • Identify key policies and practices impacting cluster
  • Create informal map of cluster ecosystem
  • Identify incentive for convening.
  • Review & confirm cluster focus/scope, definition and participants
  • Identify cluster needs, opportunities and obstacles
  • Identify areas of strongest mutual interest
Goal of these steps: identify and engage the cluster. Through engagement, confirm cluster focus/scope.
 
4. Diagnose 5. Act 6. Evaluate
  • Synthesize findings into a market analysis
  • Select initial strategic interventions (e.g., workforce, trade, marketing, R&D)
  • Develop action plan with stakeholders
  • Establish clear expectations and accountability for partners, including shared resources and staffing.
  • Allow for cluster leadership to emerge
  • Implement identified interventions
  • Does the intervention support its intended goals?
  • Does the intervention support job growth?
  • Is the cluster self supporting?
  • Are higher level interventions possible?
Goals of these steps: develop an initiative with cluster participants that they can take the lead in implementing, create growth in the cluster and create the conditions to assist the cluster to find a way to sustain itself.

STATUS OF PDC'S PROGRESS
1. Investigate 2. Inventory 3. Convene
Step complete for all clusters
  • Software
  • Activewear
  • CTSI: Wind
  • CTSI: Solar Mfg
  • CTSI: Energy Efficiency
  • CTSI: EV
Goal of these steps: identify and engage the cluster. Through engagement, confirm cluster focus/scope.
 
4. Diagnose 5. Act 6. Evaluate
No clusters at this stage
  • CTSI: Green Development
  • Advanced Manufacturing
Goals of these steps: develop an initiative with cluster participants that they can take the lead in implementing, create growth in the cluster and create the conditions to assist the cluster to find a way to sustain itself.