V-LINC informs and develops policy recommendations through mapping, visualising and analysing the strength of key relationships within Cluster Ecosystems.
PROBLEM ADDRESSED: The V-LINC method proposes a systematic approach for identifying clusters at cross-sectorial and industrial levels, informing value chain creation and creating partnerships at regional, national and interregional levels.

RESULTS: The V-LINC expert research group is located within the School of Business at the Cork Institute of Technology. Using specially designed software they map, analyse and evaluate current and potential links and relationships between different actors within economic ecosystems & value chains.

This unique system of analysis can be applied to any sector and can provide a critical evidence base for both businesses and policy makers seeking to promote growth, create & harness opportunity and support economic development.

V-LINC has analysed a diverse range of sectors from agri-food and tourism to ICT. Collaborating with over 200 firms, 40 RTD centres and 20 Universities across Europe, USA, Africa and South America via European and National projects.

VLINC specialise in developing tools to facilitate and support the creation of cross-sectoral transnational consortia in order to support trade, create new business and research opportunities. Examples are: http://bewiserconnect.cit.ie & https://in40connect.cit.ie/

V-LINC have experience of running development and management events including, Cluster Seminar Series, Business Development Missions & Innovation Benchmarking Visits.

STAKEHOLDERS INVOLVED: CIT, IDA Ireland.

Resources needed

METHOD DEVELOPMENT: The development of the V-LINC software and methodology have been delivered by the School of Business, CIT through a considerable amount of staff time investment approximately €250,000.

SOURCES OF FUNDING: CIT

UPDATING AND IMPROVEMENT: Annual staff time investment €20,000.

Evidence of success

Concrete outcomes include:
• Collaborated with over 200 firms, 40 RTD centres and 20 Universities across Europe, USA, Africa and South America.
• Involved in 18 European and National projects with a total value of €14.5 million with €2.3 million for CIT’s inputs - since 2013.
• Developed capacity for bottom up analysis of cluster ecosystems – and applying policy interventions.
• V-LINC Cluster ecosystem reports facilitated [email protected] Cluster manager funding.
•3 CIT PhD Students graduated

Difficulties encountered

The difficulties encountered relate to the time consuming and face to face nature of the data collection for the V-LINC analysis. However, this is needed to build trust with respondents to record and access this type of linkage data.

Potential for learning or transfer

As clusters come in all different shapes and sizes it is important that industry players, business support organisations and policy makers understand how their ecosystem operates at a regional level along with the external relationships forged beyond the region. So that collaboratively, they can deliver growth and employment through supportive policy.

The strength of the V-LINC analysis is its ability to assess and articulate the importance of inter-firm linkages within a cluster and thus to allow policy makers develop targeted strategies to leverage a region’s strengths. This unique system of analysis can be applied to any sector and can provide a critical evidence base for both businesses and policy makers seeking to promote growth, create & harness opportunity and support economic development.

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Project
Main institution
Cork institute of Technology
Location
Southern and Eastern, Ireland (Éire)
Start Date
January 2013
End Date
Ongoing

Contact

John Hobbs Please login to contact the author.