More than 150 participants from 17 countries, representing the European Commission, national and regional authorities, policy makers and cluster practitioners attended the ‘Clusters in Europe IV – How can we draw from the lessons of past to secure future success?’ international cluster conference between 30th November to 1st December in Budapest, organized by the Hungarian Ministry for National Economy for the fourth time.
The goal the conference was to give an overall picture about the European cluster scheme from the beginning to the present, focusing on the triggers and driving forces in different countries, regions that initiated a new network based approach in Europe. On the other hand, the event aimed at identifying the “future treasures of networks” based on previous experience and to find the role of the human factor behind successful networks. The conference was opened by the welcoming words of Mr Balázs Rákossy, State Secretary of the Hungarian Ministry for National Economy of, Ms Eszter Vitályos, State Secretary of the Prime Minister’s Office of Hungary and Mr Thomas Bender, Head of Unit, European Commission, DG REGIO. They highlighted the importance of cooperation and the role of clusters in the economic system and in different strategies; summarized the last 20 years’ history and the present state of clusters and main goals and the factors of success for the future both in national and European level.
The first day of the conference was divided into 4 blocks. In the first two blocks the participants gave an overview on the evolution of the first national and European cluster policies from the very first steps in the early 1990s to 2017.
One of the keynote speakers, Mr Christian Ketels, President of TCI Network gave an overview on the evolution of European clusters. Following him, Mr Reinhard Büscher, former Head of Unit, European Commission, DG GROW gave a comprehensive and informative presentation of current European regulation. In the second block different countries from Spain, France, Denmark and Austria, as pioneers in cluster policies, presented the last decades of growing cluster networks and the main tasks of developing the policies to make the leading clusters more and more better and to develop the political and legal background for starting new ones.
In the afternoon blocks the treasures of future networks revealed. More presenters highlighted on the importance of multi sectoral complex clusters which are based on the regional diversity and specializations but thanks to the connections the members get an access to non-local resources and a very wide range of capabilities as well. In the last block the speakers highlighted the importance of human factor as one of the most important elements to bring a cluster to success. As the conclusion of the first day after a deep knowledge on the beginning there were inspiring presentations and discussions on developing the cluster policies.
In the second day of the conference the audience parted into four parallel panel discussion.
At the Cluster and SME perspective after 2020 especially in V4 countries panel, the panelists discussed the main tasks for the following programming period and framed the needs in support from the European Commission.
The Cross Clustering–From Cluster to Cluster through Business to Business / from Human to Human to Money to Money panel tricks were shared to keep the productivity of the cluster members alive and some success and failure stories to learn from.
The clusters can help to support supply of the professional employee for SMEs which is a crucial problem in the Eastern and Central European counties and more urgent in the present environment, determined at the Industry 4.0 and Smart Specialization Strategies panel.
At the fourth panel, the diversity based on the special characteristics of the regions revealed as the main area for more effective improvement of clusters. And of course as the title promised the co-speakers mentioned as an advantage to have the „SHE” factor in a cluster management, because diversification can be interpret under the male-female scope as well.
Our latest cluster meeting in Budapest, on November 28, 2017, was in the spirit of the importance of digitalization.
We have discussed many advantages and disadvantages of digitalization.
Some quick gains organizations are discovering as the result of digitalizing:
•Improve accessibility and facilitate better information exchange worldwide
•Increase response time and customer service anywhere in the world
•Improve the efficiency of business processes, consistency, and quality worldwide.
So then we can say that if an organization adopts today’s digital technologies, it will enable decision makers to have access to all the information they need all the time, from anywhere, and from any device they choose.
The question is: With all these advantages, why are we not seeing all organizations moving to a fully digital environment?
Adopting today’s technologies is no longer optional, the businesses with the best technologies will win because they will have agility and cost efficiencies that others can not have.
If you are a decision maker in an organization, it is important that you understand that digitization offers an opportunity to integrate business records in digital form accessible by anyone you need.
Our latest cluster meeting in Budapest, on November 15, 2017, was in the spirit of the development of personalized nutrition for people over the age of 50. More than 60 people attended the event, which was a great opportunity for them to become part of the INCluSilver project and to obtain new European partnerships.
As personalised nutrition continues to grow in Europe, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) can now apply online to receive up to €60,000 in financial aid to develop ‘innovative ideas, products and technology’ within the field of personal nutrition for the elderly. Supported by the EU Horizon 2020 program, a total of €2.8 million has been allocated for the project, and should kick start personalised nutrition for the senior category.
The INCluSilver project supports collaboration between actors in different sectors to bring innovative ideas that have great potential to reach the market to the field of personalised nutrition for the silver population.
1st Joint training in TRACE-KEI, was held on 28-29 of June in Bari, Italy where more than 14 cluster managers were involved in the training. The training aimed at giving the TRACE-KEI cluster managers a deeper knowledge on Industry analysis, Market Segmentation and Value chain analysis. The training provided an overview of the theoretical basis of these topics and the application on the most common tools.
On Monday , 21th of November 2016 INNOSKART ICT Cluster and its partners: University of Dąbrowa Górnicza, You too in IT and DEX Innovation Centre, with the support of International Visegrad Fund organized an international conference called „Society – ICT – Economy - Industry 4.0” which got a perspective on digitalisation and its effect on the economy and society.
On the 3rd of September the members of our cluster had an opportunity to spend some great time with nature kayaking on the Danube River. Together we went to visit many interesting places on the riverside with peace and quiet, enjoy the beautiful weather and just have some fun.
The European Commission’s Directorate General for the Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs is pleased to announce that the European Cluster Conference 2016 will be held in Brussels on the 30th of November – 2nd of December 2016. The conference will take place on December 1-2nd, 2016 at the Crowne Plaza Rogier Hotel with a European cluster matchmaking pre-event on the 30th of November 2016.
The fifth edition of the European Cluster Conference will be an inspiring event not to be missed by policy-makers from national and regional authorities involved or interested in cluster policies and cluster practitioners. The last edition of the European Cluster Conference in 2014 gathered over 340 cluster stakeholders from across Europe. As the 2016 edition is limited to 250 participants, early registration is advised – once possible; the registration platform is expected to be open in September.
Natureef project wishes to better understand its target third country ecosystems with focus on the applicability of four Natural Resources Efficiency priorities. This knowledge will enable participating clusters to promote natural resources efficiency business in South America, Asia and ASEAN Countries for enterprises based in Natureef cluster consortium countries.
The first study visit went to Latin America, Colombia. The main objectives were to have a general overview of 1.) natural resources in Colombia and 2.) the agricultural sector in Colombia with focus on flowers and plant industry (fruits, vegetables etc.)