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Clusters are regional concentrations of activities in groups of related industries. This research provides a comparative and in-depth examination of business specialisation and cluster linkages in the Highlands and Islands and identifies emerging and unexploited opportunities to boost value added in the regional economy. It was undertaken by Regional Economic and Innovation Dynamics (REID) Consulting SPRL.
The study involved an assessment of clusters in the Highlands and Islands compared to the European average and selected benchmark regions using the data, methodology and definitions of the European Cluster Observatory (ECO). This analysis was supplemented by an exploration of investment, research and development and innovation activity driving key sectors and clusters, as well as the international linkages characterising the regional economy. This was done through analysis of official statistics, open data on public funding, analysis of internal HIE management information and consultations with sectoral staff in HIE.