The Northwest North Carolina Advanced Materials Cluster is a public/private partnership dedicated to cluster-based economic development in Ashe, Alleghany and Wilkes counties. Our rural economic development partnerships encourage and enhance the region’s research, education, and economic infrastructure.
Cluster-based economic development stimulates economic growth by encouraging involvement by all economic sectors in the region. The cluster includes manufacturers and suppliers, wholesalers and distributors, researchers, educational and financial institutions, workforce training, and other support services. Rather than traditional economic development strategies such as recruiting through incentives, economic clusters focus on creating a business environment that encourages innovation, accumulation and growth. Small businesses form the foundation of the region's economy, and the cluster concept coordinates collaboration among this diverse group of businesses.
Through our rural economic development partnerships in NC, local county governments work together to make and execute strategic decisions to support industries that are working together to develop the region and more competitively market its goods and services to compete in the global marketplace.
The Northwest North Carolina Advanced Materials Cluster Initiative is unique in that it is focused on a small rural area and is built upon a single strategy involving high-technology engineered materials and systems known as advanced materials.
By helping area businesses incorporate an emerging technology such as advanced materials into their product lines, The Northwest North Carolina Advanced Materials Cluster Initiative hopes to give the region a competitive advantage in the worldwide economy. By sharing resources, the Northwest North Carolina Advanced Materials Cluster aspires to become an attractive venture for more companies and to lead the economic development of the entire region.