Southern Regional Assembly RSES LowRes

Clustering Clusters are a geographic or virtual concentration of interrelated companies, suppliers, and associated institutions. Fostering modern cluster policies is a strong feature of the Region’s economic strategy. This approach aims to put in place a favourable and connected regional business ecosystem in which new players emerge and support the development of new industrial value chains and emerging industries. For example, there is potential to strengthen collaboration and clustering activities between foreign and Irish owned enterprises, the Region’s higher education institutions (HEIs), and communities. A cluster does not require a specific geographic location and should be viewed in a global context when seeking FDI, as Ireland is a relatively small geographic area when compared to other jurisdictions.

Clustering Case Study: Cyber Ireland - Ireland’s Cyber Security Cluster Supported by IDA Ireland through the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Cyber Ireland is hosted by Cork Institute of Technology. Cyber Ireland provides a collective voice to represent the needs of the cyber security sector across the country and is addressing key challenges including: skills needs, research, internationalisation, and the development of a national community which connects industry, academia and government. Cyber Ireland is based on cluster-style initiatives operating across Europe and internationally that have proven extremely successful in enhancing innovation, growth and competitiveness of regions, and the companies that are part of these clusters.

Placemaking for enterprise development

• Provision of social infrastructure in health, housing, and education; • Provision of green spaces, creative spaces and cultural amenities; • Provision of third level infrastructure, lifelong learning and skills development opportunities. The Smart City concept (see Chapter 6) plays to our strengths in ICT. This concept, taken together with creating better places, will constitute an opportunity to develop a unique proposition, to attract mobile talent, entrepreneurship, FDI, and to stimulate innovation across all sectors. Internationally and nationally, skilled people and firms are increasingly gravitating to urban areas of scale and concentrations of economic activity and the growth of Cork, Limerick-Shannon andWaterford will bring such economic opportunities to the Region. This needs sustainable infrastructure development, connectivity (including high speed broadband), and the enhancement of human capital and skills development. Encouraging collaboration between higher education institutes, the Regional Skills Fora and the Educational and Training Boards of the Region presents the potential to develop skills and knowledge in areas most exposed to technological disruption. By supporting community and education providers, our Region can ensure that knowledge and skills are spread to all citizens to help address skills shortages and lifelong learning challenges. Multinational companies, export-oriented indigenous firms and the presence of a highly skilled local workforce can also spread knowledge and skills. By facilitating greater interaction between key economic participants and our higher education institutions, we can ensure greater enhancement of our Region’s human capital and skills development - keycomponents toregional economicgrowth.

The RSES places significant emphasis on placemaking, which involves ensuring that geographical locations are attractive places to live, learn and work. Historically, the majority of firms located to a region for reasons such as the availability of raw materials, distance to specific markets and cost competitiveness of location, with employees following to work in the area. However, with the rise in the knowledge economy this trend has shifted and employers are competing for qualified workers globally. Instead of expecting their workforce to come to them, employers are moving closer to where their workforce live or facilitate remote working. Skilled workers want to live in locations with a high quality of life and companies also tend to follow suit. Placemaking policy is instrumental to ensuring that the Region captures sufficient human capital and talent.

Examples of placemaking policies include:

• Continuous investment in public transport to ensure connectivity and accessibility; • Provision of high quality public services and community amenities; Knowledge Diffusion The policyof “knowledge diffusion” is the spreading of knowledge - the process of knowledge transfer to different segments of society to develop a region’s human capital. The OECD identifies “knowledge diffusion” as playing a critical role in growing regional economies, with growth rates highly sensitive to how easily knowledge is spread, across an area. Regions most exposed to the challenges of globalisation, automation and other technological changes are also the same areas with the lowest participation in knowledge intensive/ high-skilled sectors.

Southern Regional Assembly | RSES


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