|Japanese Cluster Programmes
1. METI "Industrial Cluster" Programme
The Industrial Cluster Programme of the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) intends to promote regions and companies. Sustainable networks between industry, government and science are to be established and innovative regions shall be supported. The initiative aims at setting up 40,000 new business projects until 2011. In this period three phases have supported or will support the targets:
Phase 1 (2001-2005), Start Phase: In this phase 19 cluster projects were selected as receivers of funding.
Phase 2 (2006-2010), Development Phase: The previous 19 clusters were merged into 17 involving more than 30 single projects which can apply for METI funding following evaluation procedures (budget in FY 2006: 56.7 billion Yen). This phase includes the explicit intention to promote cooperation between domestic and overseas clusters.
Phase 3 (2011-2020), Independent Growth Phase: From 2011 the networks are supposed to rely on their own (funding, general activities).
The Industrial Cluster Programme covers 5 thematic fields: energy, life sciences, ICT, healthcare and environment. The 17 METI clusters are in all regions in Japan: Hokkaido (1), Tohoku (1), Kanto (3), Chubu (3), Kinki [Kansai] (3), Chugoku (2), Shikoku (1), Kyushu (2), Okinawa (1).
For more information, please see METI brochure:
2. MEXT "Knowledge Cluster" Initiative
The Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science & technology (MEXT) knowledge clusters are set up around knowledge intensive organisations (universities, public research institutes, private research institutions). Until the end of FY 2006 (1st stage) 18 clusters were supported by MEXT (10 billion Yen in FY 2006). The supported thematic fields were IT, life sciences, environment, nanotechnology and material sciences.
MEXT expects to reduce the number of supported clusters from 18 in the first stage to about 10 or 11 in the second stage.
For more information, please see MEXT brochure: