Wisconsin Department of Commerce Newsletter
November 2003
Clusters Identified for Commerce Support

In an effort to foster Wisconsinís economic growth, the Department of Commerce will support the continued development of economic clusters. Clusters are geographical concentrations of competitive firms in related industries that do business with each other and that share needs for common talent, technology and infrastructure.

Commerce is committed to building a structure necessary to help organize Wisconsinís clusters and move them forward. By strengthening the partnership between the public and private sectors we can provide a forum for clusters to voice challenges and explore opportunities.

Commerce will focus on seven established and three emerging clusters that represent the strengths of our state economy. The established clusters are Dairy, Food Products and Processing, Paper, Plastics, Printing, Small Engine Manufacturing, and Tourism. The emerging clusters are Biotechnology, Information Technology, and Medical Devices.

Commerce will assign a cluster coordinator from the agency to work with each specific cluster. We will examine existing programs and resources for appropriate delegation to support these 10 recognized clusters. Our department will also explore federal funding opportunities that could be directed to state cluster efforts. Finally, we will partner with other agencies to identify possible funding initiatives for cluster activities.

Clusters can help produce higher-wage jobs, increase the number of entrepreneurs and spin-off companies, conduct research, and attract and retain college graduates. All of these activities are consistent with Gov. Doyleís Grow Wisconsin initiative.

For more information, visit the Commerce Web site at http://commerce.wi.gov/MT/MT-IndustrialClusters-Home.html, view the document Fostering Cluster Development in Wisconsin, or contact Pam Christenson, 608-267-9384.

--Cory L. Nettles, Secretary

The newsletter is issued electronically every other month.

Please send comments or questions to Barbro McGinn, editor.

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