The paper determines the importance of the cluster problem in the conditions where the competitiveness of the region is achieved through the efforts of many economic agents, interacting and competing with each other to form an innovative business environment that opens up new opportunities for their growth and development. At the same time, the emphasis is on the specificity of the region's resources and the limited forms of contractual relations for their use. The currently existing hierarchical type of resource and raw material region, characterized by a single-industry economy and dependence on large extractive and energy companies, does not ensure the synchronization of the flows of new knowledge, technologies and specialists. The transition to cluster development, however, requires significant changes not so much at the macro-level as at the meso-level and form a more active regional industrial and innovation policy to identify the region’s potential. A methodology for the analysis and quantification of the basic prerequisites and conditions for the formation of cluster systems of the resource-focused region, including their most important factor parameters, is proposed. The peculiarities of reflecting the localization effects, indicators of economic dynamics characterizing the cluster structure of the economy of the resource-focused region, its institutional and innovative activity are revealed. Different approaches to the identification of clusters are considered, and their comparative evaluation is given. It is established that obtaining the synergetic effect for all economic entities, simultaneously reducing the obstacles to business development, innovation and economic growth, should be the focus in determining the potential of clusters. The emphasis is on publication activity in favor of selective diagnostics, which does not correspond to the degree of complexity of the research object. The approach of mapping the potential clusters based on a combination of localization methods and structural shifts is used, taking into account the basic prerequisites and conditions for the development of the economy of the industries and territories of the region. This allows to assess the clusters in the regional space in further studies and to identify the specific regional policy mechanisms aimed at institutional transformation and improving the infrastructure of the economy.