European Alliance Against Coronavirus session on the Irish Cluster Landscape
On 27 April, the European Alliance Against Coronavirus looked at the cluster landscape in Ireland, how cluster organisations are developing in the country, and in which sectors and ecosystems they are active.
Eleanor Doyle from the University College Cork provided insights into how clusters are embedded in the industry and policymaking in the Republic of Ireland.
According to 2020 Eurobarometer survey, 28% of enterprises in Ireland are organised in clusters, which is higher than the EU average of 14%. However, the concept of clusters has little tradition in policymaking. There is still room to improve the presence of clusters in Irish industrial policies. The National SME and Entrepreneurship Growth Plan foresees different strategic activities for clusters. Immediate plans include the creation of a central communications platform. In the medium term, the plan seeks to establish a government programme, professionalise the cluster and network management, and fund a “national climate cluster” of Irish SMEs.
Eoin Magennis from the University of Ulster presented the cluster development in Northern Ireland. University consultations have shown that the concept of clusters is often not clear and that there are barriers of lack of trust, reaching a critical mass, the absence of strategic vision, resource requirements and failure to see the benefits that lead to a limited collaboration between companies. However, in emerging industries, there is more scope for collaboration. To support clustering activities, there will be competitive calls for clusters, support for CMOs, and policy alignment in Northern Ireland.
Clodagh Barry, the Cluster Centre, told the story of growing relationships between the existing clusters in Ireland, and showed examples of the different clusters and their activities. Within a short time frame, new clusters have been evolving on the island, and the European Cluster Collaboration Platform has become a recognised all-island network for clusters and clustering.
The morning sessions are open to everyone.
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The recording from the session can be found here: