Cluster Salud
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What is a cluster?
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The first person who introduced the term “cluster” was Michael Porter in 1991, describing it as “a geographically proximate group of companies and associated institutions in a particular field, linked by commodities and complementary characteristics. They include final products manufacturers, service providers, financial institutions and industry-related products companies.”

Later on, Jeffrey Sachs y Felipe Larrain (1994) emphasized that “industrial production is developed in big companies that can take advantage of economies of scale in production. These industrial companies find advantages in their relatively close location with the aim to share a common infrastructure network – communications, transport services, energy supply and others. On the other hand, it is normally profitable for final consumer goods manufacturers to be close to their markets main consumer centers. The reduction of costs due to the proximity to other companies is known as economies of agglomeration."

According to Joseph Ramos (1998), clusters are industrial and/or geographical groups of companies that develop the same activity or close related activities, with important and cumulative external economies, economies of agglomeration and specialization (since there are manufacturers, providers, specialized professionals, and industry-related services providers), and with the chance to carry out an action jointly to achieve collective efficiency.

According to Mario Polèse (1998) “to fix the geographical groups for this kind of related establishments, industrial complexes are sometimes considered, where the products of one company are often inputs for another. The economies of scale in this case are not just based on sharing the fixed costs, but also on reducing the spatial interaction costs and increasing the exchange possibilities. Put it in another way, geographical agglomeration helps maximize the benefits of specialization resulting from the comparative advantages. It is understood that concepts such as comparative advantages, economies of scale, work division and localization economies often come up together.”

® Cluster de la Salud - 2010 - T/F 927 005 017