Cluster Resources Page


SBA’s work in supporting cluster initiatives across the United States is complemented by a host of Federal Agencies and other organizations. Below are some of the ongoing initiatives working to promote Regional Innovation Clusters in the U.S.

U.S. Cluster Mapping Website – Supported by Harvard Business School and the U.S. Economic Development Administration, U.S. Cluster Mapping is a national initiative that provides open data on regional clusters and economies to support U.S. business, innovation and policy. The website includes data and interactive tools to help understand and better support cluster initiatives across the U.S.

SSTI – SSTI is a national nonprofit organization dedicated to improving initiatives that support prosperity through science, technology, innovation and entrepreneurship. SSTI conducts research on common performance standards, identifies best practices, analyzes trends in and policies affecting tech-based economic development, and fosters greater cooperation among and between public, private and nonprofit organizations.

The Regional Innovation Strategies Program – As part of its commitment to develop regional innovation strategies, including regional innovation clusters, the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) has launched the Regional Innovation Strategies Program. Regions across the country will compete for funds by demonstrating their ability to support startups through cluster activities.

The Partnerships for Opportunity and Workforce and Economic Revitalization (POWER) Initiative – Launched by the White House as part of the POWER+ Plan, the POWER Initiative consists of a range of programs and resources aligned with one another in order to assist communities negatively impacted by changes in the coal industry and power sector. SBA’s Wood Products Cluster, a recently awarded Regional Innovation Cluster located in the Appalachian Ohio region, will support the POWER initiative by promoting alternatives to the coal industry in this region. 

Promise Zones - The Promise Zone Initiative is part of the President’s plan to create a better bargain for the middle-class by partnering with local communities and businesses to create jobs, increase economic security, expand educational opportunities, increase access to quality, affordable housing and improve public safety. Two of SBA’s new Regional Innovation Clusters are aligned with existing Promise Zones.

Environmental Technology Innovation Clusters - EPA's Environmental Technology Innovation Clusters Program supports the development of clusters focused on technologies for clean water and clean air. The Clusters Program advises cluster organizations, encourages collaboration between clusters, tracks U.S. environmental technology clusters, and connects EPA programs to cluster needs.

Jobs and Innovation Accelerator Challenge – Launched in September 2011, the Jobs and Innovation Accelerator Challenge (JIAC) is a first-of-its-kind inter-agency initiative to accelerate job creation and economic prosperity through public-private partnerships.  The Accelerator Challenge offered a combination of $37 million in funding from three agencies -- the Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Agency, the Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration, and the SBA -- and technical support resources from 13 additional agencies and bureaus, to support 20 competitively-selected industry clusters in urban and rural regions across the nation

Rural Jobs and Innovation Accelerator Challenge – The Rural Jobs and Innovation Accelerator Challenge was a second round of the JIAC challenge launched in 2012. It leverages existing financial and technical assistance resources from 13 federal agencies and bureaus to spur economic growth in rural areas in approximately 20 regions to be selected through a competitive inter-agency grant process. 

Advanced Manufacturing Jobs and Innovation Accelerator Challenge – The Advanced Manufacturing Jobs and Innovation Accelerator Challenge (AMJIAC) was a third round of the JIAC program designed specifically to support advanced manufacturing capabilities in key industries. Through AMJIAC, $20 million was disbursed across 10 projects selected through a competitive multi-agency grant process to support the development of advanced manufacturing in high-growth industry clusters.

Federal Partners

SBA’s work on clusters is supported by collaboration with many other Federal Agencies which are also working to promote regional economic development across the United States.

Media Coverage of SBA’s Cluster Initiative