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What is the role of clusters in the green and digital transition of Europe’s regions? And how do they collaborate with regional governments to strengthen the regional economy and build resilience? These are key questions for our EU Clusters Talk at the European Week of Regions and Cities. The Talk took place in Brussels on 12 October 2023, 11:30 – 13:00 CET.

Together with our panellists and attendees, we explored the potential of clusters for regional policies, exchanged good practices on how policy makers can involve clusters and via them gather and engage key local stakeholders, and discussed approaches for regional and interregional collaboration.

Both clusters and policymakers have different tools for policies and activities at their hands, which provide the background for the debate. The smart specialisation strategies build on the assets and resources available to regions. They can help prioritise economic activities where regions have a competitive advantage to bring about the economic transformation needed to tackle the major and most urgent challenges for the society and the natural and built environment. The Interregional Innovation Investments Instrument aims at supporting interregional innovation projects in their commercialisation and scale-up phases. Policies dedicated to cluster organisations can place these stakeholders at strategic points for economic activity. The “Clusters meet Regions” events organised by the European Cluster Collaboration Platform (see upcoming and past events) bring together policymakers and clusters to seek new partnerships and learn how to make use of clusters to strengthen the industrial ecosystems.

Our panellists reflected on the role of clusters for regional development and the twin transition, and shared outcomes and lessons learned from the ECCP “Clusters meet Regions” events. They also discussed with the audience the best forms of involving clusters in regional policy.

Speakers included:

  • Marek Przeor, Team Leader – Cluster Policy, DG GROW, European Commission;
  • Kristina Šermukšnytė-Alešiūnienė, Managing Director, AgriFood Lithuania, European Cluster Manager of the Year 2022;
  • Riikka Tanskanen, Project Manager, Regional Council of Lapland;
  • Wolfgang Münch, Deputy Head of Unit, DG REGIO, European Commission.

As this EU Clusters Talk is part of the EU Week of Regions and Cities, it will exceptionally be an in-person event at the SQUARE Brussels Meeting Centre, Hall 100.

The EU Clusters Talks are bi-weekly online meetings brought to the cluster community by the European Cluster Collaboration Platform. They offer up-to-date insights into the latest industrial policies and clusters’ involvement, projects, and best practices, the latest ECCP news, and funding opportunities. The EU Clusters Talks are a space to exchange knowledge and discuss cluster-relevant topics.


Registration was open until 30 September via the website of the European Week of Regions and Cities. You can also find the complete programme of the 21st European Week of Regions and Cities, as well as background information.

Check out the images of the event in the Flickr album and read the event summary.

See the slides here.

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