WindEurope Bilbao hosts the first international meeting of energy sector cluster associations under the coordination of ELBE Alliance

Submitted by Ander González on 15 November 2022

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The first Energy Cluster Summit, which was attended by the Basque Government and the European Commission, served as a meeting point for more than 20 clusters from Europe, America and Asia. This event took place in the framework of WindEurope Bilbao exhibition the last 6th of April, 2022.

The session was opened by Mikel Amundarain, Deputy Minister for Industry of the Basque Government, and Ulla Engelmann, Head of the Industrial Forum, Alliances and Clusters Unit of DG GROW of the European Commission, the key people responsible for cluster policies in the Basque Country and in the European Union respectively, highlighting the importance of the event both in terms of the strategic position of the energy sector today and the growing recognition of clusters as the backbone and support elements in the economic and technological development of industrial sectors.

The main part of the day featured three presentations aimed at showcasing examples and best practices of successful inter-cluster collaborations in the field of offshore wind energy. José Ignacio Hormaeche (Managing Director of ACE) started by describing the Basque cluster’s different experiences in the field of international collaboration, highlighting the role of the ELBE alliance in which it has collaborated with seven other European associations to promote offshore renewable energies. The next speaker was Liz Burdock, CEO and President of the US Business Network for Offshore Wind, an entity with which ELBE signed a collaboration agreement last year. She explained the impressive potential of the offshore wind market in the USA in the upcoming decades. The last presentation was given by Karolina Lipinska, Executive Director of the Office of the Marshall of Pomerania, who outlined the case of the recently created offshore wind platform in the Polish region, which already has more than 100 members in just over a year.

The session ended with pitch presentations by 12 other energy sector clusters, which were:

  • Andalusian Clusters Marine Energy Working Group (Andalucía/España)
  • Blue Cluster (Flandes/Bélgica)
  • Clean Energy Cluster (Turquía)
  • Enercluster (Navarra/España)
  • Energy Cluster Denmark (Dinamarca)
  • Foro Marítimo Vasco (Euskadi/España)
  • GCE NODE (Noruega)
  • MetaIndustry4 (Asturias/España)
  • Norwegian Offshore Wind Cluster (Noruega)
  • Pôle Mer Méditerranée (Francia)
  • OffshoreVäst (Suecia)
  • Supercluster Atlantic Wind (España)

The presentations provided an introduction to their profile and main experiences, as a first point of contact for identifying opportunities for future collaboration.

Besides, this event was part of the incoming mission from US companies organized by ELBE Alliance. ELBE organized with the US Business Network for Offshore Wind an incoming mission to the WindEurope Bilbao event, where more than 20 US entities had the chance to have meetings with more than 9,000 European participants at this event. These meetings were focused on the regions of ELBE Alliance partners and its members. ELBE Alliance also organized visits to key installations of companies in the Basque Country working on offshore wind.

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