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Key National Clusters
Key National Clusters

Key National Cluster Concept

The idea of appointing key clusters results from the strategy of economic specialization to dedicate national and regional resources to strong and innovative entities (prioritization). This is consistent with the EU strategy Europe 2020 and smart specialization concept proposed by the European Commission. According to this concept every country and region should concentrate its efforts and resources on a small number of specific priorities or economic specializations in which it has real competences and resources to innovate and achieve competitive edge in a global marketplace.

In this context, clusters as agglomerations of economic entities representing one specialization or complementary business sectors, can play a very important role. Strong clusters which are naturally based on enterprises, R&D sector, universities and business support organisations active in the region, should form a framework for defining smart specialisations.

Nomination of key clusters on national and regional levels has been proposed by the Polish Cluster Policy Group.  The major objective of the cluster policy recommended by the Group is to increase innovation capacity and competitive edge of Polish economy through intensified cooperation, interactions and flow of knowledge within clusters as well as support for development of strategic economic specializations, i.e. key clusters.

Under the broad- brush approach to implementing cluster policy, one should speak of cluster-based development policy that includes many strategies and instruments to support particular agglomerations of companies in a coordinated way.

The narrow approach to cluster policy assumes integration of available public support around selected clusters with highest economic potential and compliance with smart specialisations, both on regional and national levels.   

Key National Clusters are characterized by their significance to Polish economy and international competitiveness. To obtain the status, a cluster has to fulfil certain criteria related to critical mass, development potential, innovation capacity, internal and external cooperation and cluster coordinator’s  experience and achievements. 

Key National Cluster Competition

In order to achieve the goals of cluster policy outlined by the Polish Cluster Policy Group, in 2014 the Polish Agency for Enterprise Development (PARP), in collaboration with the Ministry of Economy and external experts, developed a set of criteria and drafted procedures for appointing Key National Clusters. The methodology was based on the desk research of available national and international sources to propose criteria and validation requirements which eventually underwent consultation with ministries, institutions and the general public.

The profile of a Key National Cluster resulted from combination of expectations towards the best clusters in different states, especially European, and the actual performance of Polish clusters.

Criteria address the following aspects:

1)      Cluster size and structure (number of participants, especially SME and large companies)

2)      Employment

3)      Joint activities of cluster participants and internal collaboration

4)      Geographical concentration of cluster participants

5)      Cluster specialization

6)      R&D

7)      Innovation performance

8)      Resources (physical, human, financial, etc.)

9)      Presence of the cluster and its companies in foreign markets

10)   National and international visibility of the cluster

11)   Cluster coordination services and management

The process of appointing Key National Clusters is organised by the Ministry of Economic Development in collaboration with PARP. PARP is responsible for running a Secretariat of the Evaluation Committee to properly handle every stage of the validation process.

Terms and conditions for Evaluation Committee and assessment process have been stipulated in the Key National Cluster Rules.

 List of Key National Clusters

The clusters listed below currently have a Key National Cluster status: 


Cluster name


Name of the cluster organisation (coordinator)

Location of the cluster coordinator

Status valid until


 Aviation Valley


Stowarzyszenie Grupy Przedsiębiorców Przemysłu Lotniczego "Dolina Lotnicza"


September 30, 2018


 Polish Aluminium Cluster


metal casting

City Consulting Institute Sp. z O.O.


September 30, 2018


 Mazovia ICT Cluster



Stowarzyszenie Rozwoju Społeczno-Gospodarczego "Wiedza"


September 30, 2018





 Fundacja Interizon


September 30, 2018


Eastern Construction Cluster



Polskie Stowarzyszenie Doradcze i Konsultingowe


September 30, 2018


Metal Processing Cluster


manufacturing of machines, devices and tools for industrial use

Centrum Promocji Innowacji i Rozwoju


September 30, 2018


Green Chemistry West Pomeranian Chemical Cluster

chemical industry

Stowarzyszenie Zachodniopomorski Klaster Chemiczny "Zielona Chemia"


September 30, 2018

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