SME Networks and Clusters: An Approach for Their Performance Evaluation
By analyzing public data on more than 120 SME clusters from 11 different countries of Europe, the CODESNET project got some interesting information, sometime unexpected and sometime foreseeable. Among them, about 50% of the analyzed clusters show a clear division of labor among the partners but only one-third can afford a dedicated ICT support; another 50% show a high improvement potential and can be found in the middle success category; there can be found different categories of clusters: on the one hand a network can be agglomerated in a relatively narrow area (rural district, county); on the other hand a network can consist of firms with a dilatation over a whole nation or (but rarely) over Europe. These types of information revealed to be of real utility for managers of SME clusters and supply chains. So, in developing the project, it was necessary to introduce a standardized format for describing the main characters of the analyzed industrial bodies, by using public data. This chapter aims to give a description of that standard format for data collection and storage, and the conceptual model of SME cluster by which said format has been derived. Any data repository, indeed, cannot be really used for any evaluation if a clear model of the systems from which data are extracted, has clearly stated in advance.
KeywordsRenewable Energy Technology Network Governance Organization Arrangement Export Rate Industrial Network
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