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Advantage West Midlands Cluster Plans 2005 - 2008

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The Region's business clusters aim to grow the competitive advantage and reputation of the Region in key markets and industries, and to increase its long-term wealth creation capability. Delivering Advantage, the West Midlands Economic Strategy gives clusters a significant role in transforming the regional economy.

Each cluster has developed a three-year Business Plan for 2005-2008. In these plans the clusters advance a vision and a clear strategy, together with a programme and a set of specific and realistic actions to implement it.

These action plans have focus and clarity, and build on existing regional strengths. Each plan identifies a small number of long-term changes which are necessary for growth. Each plan encourages businesses to collaborate ("cluster") to exploit strategic opportunities; it sets out projects and initiatives which will begin to deliver the necessary changes; it also aims to influence other regional organisations to direct resources to the same areas.

The cluster plans are driven by the private sector and are demand - led. Over 120 private sector business people serving on the Cluster Opportunity Groups (COGs) have collectively devoted well over 1,000 hours to setting the direction and priorities for these plans, which the cluster executive teams have drawn up. The plans are realistic, they meet the needs of business, and have a team of people committed to take them forward.

Overview of Cluster Plans

The plans build on the manufacturing, technology, cultural diversity and other competitive strengths of the Region. A number of shared themes run through the plans: increasing value added, design, embedding innovation into companies and supply chains, exploiting the opportunities and by public procurement.

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