The Brookings Institution http://www.brookings.edu/ is a nonprofit public policy organization based in Washington, D.C. One of Washington’s oldest think tanks – founded in 1916 – Brookings conducts research and education in the social sciences, primarily in economics, metropolitan policy, governance, foreign policy, and global economy and development.
Its stated mission is to “provide innovative and practical recommendations that advance three broad goals: strengthen American democracy; foster the economic and social welfare, security and opportunity of all Americans; and secure a more open, safe, prosperous, and cooperative international system.” Brookings states that its scholars “represent diverse points of view” and describes itself as non-partisan. – Wiki
The Obama administration’s FY2011 budget request (February/2010) proposed several initiatives to support American regional industry/innovation clusters. The budget request document states, “We need to recognize that competitive, high-performing regional economies are essential to a strong national economy.”
An except from a United States Department of Commerce, February 1, 2010 News Release states, “Competitive, high-performing regional economies are the building blocks of national growth and can benefit from smarter policies. The budget supports growth strategies based on stronger regional clusters of economic activity through funding in the Commerce Department’s Economic Development Administration, the Small Business Administration (SBA), as well as the Department of Labor with other agencies in key support roles. As part of the administration’s place-based initiative, the 2011 budget provides $75 million in regional planning and matching grants within EDA to support the creation of Regional Innovation Clusters that leverage regions’ competitive strengths to boost job creation and economic growth.”
Mark Muro and Bruce Katz have produced an excellent policy paper on the economic value of regional clusters for the Brookings Institute. The Executive Summary is posted below. For the entire policy document please click here: http://www.brookings.edu/~/media/Files/rc/papers/2010/0921_clusters_muro_katz/0921_clusters_muro_katz.pdf
Twenty years after Harvard Business School professor Michael Porter introduced the concept to the policy community and 10 years after its wide state adoption, clusters—geographic concentrations of interconnected firms and supporting or coordinating organizations—have reemerged as a key tool and rubric in Washington and in the nation’s economic regions.