— Council on Competitiveness

Council of Competitiveness


San Diego Cluster
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Table of Contents

  • Letter of Promulgation
  • Introduction
  • Acknowledgements
  • National and Regional Steering Committee Members
  • Highlights
  • Executive Summary
  • Regional Competitiveness and Innovative Capacity
  • Regional Study Methodology
  • Assessment of San Diego Regional Economy
  • Competitiveness of Selected Clusters
  • Sustaining Competitive Advantage: Lessons, Challenges and Opportunities
  • Appendix

“Clusters of Innovation Initiative: San Diego.”

Published May 2001

A cluster, as defined by Professor Michael E. Porter of Harvard University, is a geographic concentration of competing and cooperating companies, suppliers, service providers and associated institutions. Clusters of Innovation, an initiative of the Council from 1998 to 2001, developed a definitive framework to evaluate cluster development and innovative performance at the regional level. It also shared analytic tools, benchmarking results and lessons learned with key decision makers in every part of the country.

Under the leadership of Porter and F. Duane Ackerman, Chairman and CEO of BellSouth Corp., and guided by a steering committee of national leaders, the initiative focused on how clusters form, why they are critical to a region's economic future, and how regional stakeholders can help its clusters thrive. Five regions – Atlanta-Columbus, GA; Pittsburgh, PA; Research Triangle Area, NC; San Diego, CA; and Wichita, KS – were examined using Porter's cluster mapping data, selected input and output measures, and extensive survey and interview instruments in the following areas:

  • Economic performance
  • Composition and evolution of the regional economy
  • Business and innovation environment
  • Competitiveness of selected regional clusters
  • Implications for the regional agenda

This regional report examines the composition and performance of the San Diego regional economy, how industry clusters developed and innovation arose, how clusters affected the region’s economic future, and how the region can establish a strategy and action program to drive its economy and clusters forward. The framework employed and the lessons learned apply to many regions of the country.