On the 8 – 9 November, the Clusters Meet Regions workshop and Matchmaking event took place in the regional capital of North Rhine-Westphalia, Düsseldorf, on the premises of the Business Club Düsseldorf/Wirtschaftsclub Düsseldorf (Blumenstraße 14, 40212 Düsseldorf). The North Rhine-Westphalian Clusters meet Regions event encompassed different types of sessions to facilitate discussions and an active exchange of knowledge on the role of cluster organisations in supporting twin transition processes, which was the focus of this event. In this context, the event included a site visit to ThyssenKrupp Steel Europe, which is currently working on the decarbonisation of steel production through the use of hydrogen, on the 9th of November. The "Steel in Transition" tour included a drive past the blast furnaces and port area as well as a visit to the steelworks and hot strip mill units. The focus of the tour was on the transformative activities.
Learn more about the role of clusters in North Rhine-Westphalia in the development towards a climate-neutral and digital industrial region in the Input Paper.
CONTEXT AND OBJECTIVES
15 regional workshops are being organised in those EU regions that expressed an interest in hosting such a workshop in the period 2022-23 as part of the “Clusters meet Regions” cycle. These events bring together clusters and policymakers of the EU at the national, regional, and local levels to learn from each other how to better use clusters to strengthen industrial ecosystems, serve national/regional economic development and liaise with other regions facing similar transition challenges. The overall objective of the Clusters Meet Regions in Düsseldorf is to elaborate on how clusters alongside with regional authorities & other ecosystem partners can lead the twin transition in North Rhine-Westphalia. In addition, the event had the overall objective of presenting the potential of North Rhine-Westphalia for the transition (from a market and technology perspective), outlining how interregional cooperation within the EU can contribute to this, and inviting future cooperation opportunities between cluster organisations.
To provide insights into the cluster landscape of North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW), the event also featured a keynote presentation and a high-level panel discussion on ongoing transformation processes and the role of clusters and networks to set the scene for the event. The Ministry for Economy, Industry, Climate Protection and Energy of North Rhine-Westphalia, participated in a high-level panel discussion along with other panel guests involved in the concerned transformation processes, such as representatives from the European Commission and German Federal Ministries.
In addition to presentations and high-level discussions, this event offered different opportunities to learn more about the NRW cluster landscape through pitching sessions for NRW clusters and networks to present themselves. To increase the chances of meeting the right cooperation partner during the event, a matchmaking session was also part of the event.
The event brought together more than 70 representatives of cluster organisations (from North Rhine-Westphalia and beyond), policy makers (from state, EU and federal level), business support organisations and other relevant stakeholders such as researchers and innovation agencies.
For more details about the programme, download the Agenda.