"Strong Eagle Shows His Horse Stealing Powers", George Flett (Spokan), Colored pencil on ledger paper dated 1895
Businesses clusters and their synergies are exampled in the well known clusters of Silicon Valley, 128 Boston and the Research Triangle of North Carolina. In the 1990's, Professor Michael Porter of Harvard Business School examined the business cluster. His work confirms that the proximity of specialized companies leads to unusual competitive success. Professor Porter suggests that clusters encompass an array of linked industries and other entities important to competition, including suppliers of specialized inputs and providers of specialized infrastructure. Clusters also extend downstream to channels and customers and laterally to manufacturers of complementary products, and to companies in industries with common skills, technologies or inputs. Clusters often include governmental and other institutions, such as universities, standard-setting agencies, and think tanks, as well as providers of specialized training, education, information, research and technical support.
What happens inside firms is important, but the cluster effect indicates that the immediate business environment outside a company plays a vital role in its success as well. Clusters appear to effect competition in three broad ways. First, they increase the productivity of companies in the region. Second, they drive the direction and pace of innovation. Third, they stimulate and trigger the creation of new businesses within the cluster.
Clusters are now also being referred to as knowledge communities. They are recognized as a way of doing things that is more sustainable than the know-how of a single company. Clusters are more than just being located in the same area. They are more than a co-location of know-how, they are also co-location of know-how.
Critical to the cluster's competitive advantage is the information infrastructure connecting the "knowledge community". Knowledge communities as presented by Porter and others are not always co-located and must not be constrained by geographical limitations. Therefore, the Rose approach develops the necessary infrastructure that enables sharing and coordination of information, ideas and technology, the distribution of education (knowledge), as well as intangible intellectual properties and other similar benefits, in order to create the informational connectivity for companies to link together in value clusters, which may extend across regions and borders.
Specific to this critical infrastructure, we are competing a proposal to build a real time, interactive virtual classroom/video teleconferencing center and data base which will be the physical cornerstone of the infrastructure needed to create the global informational connectivity for the value clusters.