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How Clusters Work

Technology innovation clusters are geographic concentrations of interconnected companies, universities, and other organizations with a specific industry focus. These dense networks can go by a variety of names, but their goal is to leverage a region’s assets to create economic opportunity and catalyze innovation.

EPA believes that clusters focused on environmental technology have a key role to play in addressing the nation’s pressing environmental problems.

  • Clusters spur innovation. Clusters create an environment where companies and organizations can easily share ideas and solutions. 
  • Clusters accelerate the development of new technologies. Connections within clusters lead to partnerships between businesses and researchers, facilitating the transfer of new technologies to the market.
  • Clusters streamline the adoption of new technologies. Clusters provide companies with easier access to test beds and partners for pilot studies, and encourage communication between companies and regulators.

These functions make clusters valuable agents for bringing cost-effective new solutions to bear on environmental problems.

Clusters are often led by cluster organizations that connect stakeholders and facilitate collaboration within the cluster. Our page on cluster creation offers information on how to start a cluster organization and get stakeholders involved.

For more information about clusters, visit our resources page.