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The value of the cluster

It’s time for July’s blog from our Head of Cyber, Ciara, where she reflects on the significance of clusters in driving industry growth, and how the ScotlandIS Cyber cluster achieves this.

Last February as part of Cyber Scotland Week, we ran a panel titled ‘Why the focus on cyber clusters?’ and as we start to think about and plan for Cyber Scotland Week 2022 (yes, already!), it made me think back to that session and the key topic points covered in it.

I have previously stated that clusters are a powerful source for economic recovery and growth, but what is my reasoning behind this? What do clusters actually do?

Research carried out in Europe has confirmed that productivity in European clusters is 25% more than average productivity, and that cluster SMEs create more jobs, are better paid, and bring more innovation to market. Globally, there are some 7,000 innovation clusters. In the EU alone, there are 3,000.

Here are some of the ways Scotland’s cyber cluster brings value to cyber and tech organisations, contributing to the sector’s landscape in Scotland.

Clusters primarily tend to focus on 3 main areas – ecosystem development, growth and innovation, and skills. Ecosystem development covers areas such as bringing the cyber community together, making connections and introductions across the cyber community, and cross-sector into other key organisations and sectors too. It also involves finding different ways to provide meaningful and impactful connections between cluster companies, such as the work on cyber specialisms which we are currently undertaking. The many events we run also help to provide networking opportunities, as well as insights, to ecosystem organisations and stakeholders in other sectors, for example through our market insight events.

Driving growth and innovation comes from signposting and promoting opportunities for innovations challenges, applications and grants, ensuring we provide easy access to relevant information to help grow your business. As above, we also focus on this through our events, providing insightful speakers from across DIT, DCMS Cyber Growth team, Innovate UK, Scottish Enterprise and many more on our cyber cluster community events. We have also run a number of innovation clinics for cyber start-ups and we are leading on driving the business case for a Scottish cyber innovation hub.

Lastly on the cyber skills side, we have been involved in a number of different projects such as delivery partners for a project focussed on supporting long-term unemployed to retrain into cyber security. We also run ePlacement Scotland within ScotlandIS, as well as a number of other initiatives, many of which will have a cyber focus within them due to the connection to the cyber cluster.

And of course, throughout this we spend time getting to know the wonderful organisations that make up the Scottish cyber cluster, so if we haven’t yet spoken we would love you to get in touch. Understanding your organisation and where and how the cluster can give support helps to ensure that we are focusing on the right challenges to support the cluster as a whole.

Please feel free to contact in relation to anything above.

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