The study provides a comprehensive understanding of the dynamics, the drivers, characteristics and success factors that have led to the creation of the existing Internet of Things innovation clusters in the European Union. It also provides guidance to read the key information about these clusters.

The study delivers a comprehensive mapping overview of the geographical areas of these Internet of Things (IOT) innovation clusters operating within the European Union, as well as their main specialisation in what kind of IoT areas.

The study targets the key IoT operating areas, i.e.: Smart living environment; Smart farming and food security; Wearables; Smart cities and smart communities; Smart mobility; Smart environment and water management; Smart manufacturing.

The study identifies four fundamental classes of clusters:

  • Institutionalised clusters: associations of actors who work towards a common goal within an agreed formal or informal governance structure. A formal governance structure is a pre-requisite for any policy intervention concerning the cluster.
  • Geographic clusters: clusters in the traditional Marshallian and Porterian conception, where sets of companies that act in a certain geographical area and possibly with a clear reference to IoT, or IoT start-ups in a certain city. They may have a structure and governance, or not.
  • Virtual clusters: where different actors, which can be part of different thematic areas, collaborate in an action and towards a common goal without being co-located.
  • Thematic clusters: clusters that independently from their location, deliver products, technologies or services related to ICT or the Internet of Things. The aggregation factor may be a specific technology, technological platforms, application and/or (open source) software projects.