Illustrating the Theory of Clusters using Harwell Space Cluster

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J. Hart (2020), JBIS, 73, pp.278-282

Refcode: 2020.73.278
Keywords: Cluster, Harwell, Commercialisation, Innovation, Collaboration

Clusters are an effective mechanism to drive innovation, enable collaboration and enhance commercialisation of research to deliver economic impact. There are many research papers and articles written on the theory of Clusters, including those written by Michael E. Porter, University Professor at Harvard. This paper illustrates how the theory operates in practice at the Harwell Space Cluster. The Harwell Space Cluster is situated at Harwell Science and Innovation Campus, in Oxfordshire and comprises 105 space organisations, which collectively employ over 1,100 people. UKRI, through STFC, provided the catalyst to coalesce the Harwell Space Cluster around the longstanding space instrumentation activities of STFC-RAL Space. The arrival of ESA in 2009, the launch of the Satellite Applications Catapult in 2013 and the actions of the UK Space Agency all contributed to establishing Harwell Space Cluster as the prime gateway to the UK space sector. Companies at the Cluster range from start-ups through early stage companies commercialising new technology and applications, to multinationals, such as Airbus and Lockheed Martin, keen to engage with the innovation taking place. For international visitors, the Cluster acts as a showcase to understand the latest developments in technology and applications across the UK space sector.

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