The Czech Ministry for Industry and Trade under the Czech Presidency of the Council of the EU and the European Commission organized the 8th edition of the European Cluster Conference on 26 and 27 September 2022 in Prague, Czech Republic with the support of the European Cluster Collaboration Platform (ECCP). This event is a unique opportunity as it brings together cluster policymakers, cluster managers, practitioners and other stakeholders.
After a fully virtual edition in 2020, the 2022 edition was the opportunity for the cluster community to meet again physically in Prague.
This event was following the cycle of European Cluster Conferences that have taken place every two years since 2008, every time with a different theme enabling participants to focus on different priorities.
This event was centred on cluster policies and initiatives allowing for the concrete implementation of the green and digital transitions in Europe’s value chains as well as strengthening their resilience. It was also the occasion to discuss and advocate how clusters can contribute to rolling out Transitions Pathways in various industrial ecosystems. Hence making clusters core actors of change, in line with the updated EU Industrial Strategy.
Experience the atmosphere of the 2022 European Cluster Conference by watching the highlights video and reading the news article.
Objectives of the Conference were:
- to discuss the latest trends in cluster policies and stimulate a high-level policy discussion on challenges and needs to be addressed in a post-pandemic context, making better use of clusters, in particular in the roll-out of Transitions Pathways;
- to express views on how to efficiently address supply chain disruptions consecutively to the Russian invasion of Ukraine;
- to showcase the results of EU cluster initiatives and actions such as Euroclusters, Cluster Excellence, Internationalisation, supporting SME Innovation, Industrial Modernisation and Smart Specialisation;
- to encourage synergies, exchange and interaction between policy-makers, practitioners and experts at the European level; and
- to elect the European Cluster Manager of the Year and award the prize for European Cluster Partnership of the Year.
The exhibition displayed during the Conference consisted of 30 e-booths, including European Commission and its initiatives on clusters, European Cluster Associations and Partnerships, multiple prominent clusters, and national cluster associations. To see the full list of exhibitors, please head to the agenda.
Among the speakers presenting at the event were:
- Marian Piecha – Deputy Minister, EU Funds and Digital Economy Section.
- Jozef Síkela - Minister of Industry and Trade, Czech Republic
- Jakub Boratyński - Director for Networks and Governance, DG GROW
- Tor-Arne Bellika - CEO, Innovation Performance AS
- Irene Burroni - Manager, dID – Technological Cluster for Interiors and Design
- Mateja Dermastia - CEO of Anteja
- Bianca Dragomir - CEO, Valencian Cleantech Cluster AVAESEN
- Ulla Engelmann - Head of Unit for Industrial Forum, Alliances and Clusters, DG GROW
- Virginie Fermaud - Coordinator, EU-Japan Regional & Cluster Cooperation Helpdesk
- Christopher Frieling - Director Advocacy and Public Policy, SEMI Europe
- Barbara Gibbon - Director-General, Global Innovation Clusters programme
- Simone Hagenauer - Project Manager Clusters, ecoplus
- José Ignacio Hormaeche Azumendi - General Manager, Basque Energy Cluster (Asociación Cluster de Energía, ACE)
- Donato Iacobucci - Professor of Applied Economics, Università Politecnica delle Marche
- Dimitri Ionescu - Founder, of LightMirror
- Mervi Karikorpi - Head of EU Innovation and Industrial Policies, Technology Industries of Finland
- Anaïs Le Corvec - Network manager, Council of European Bioregion
- Ségolène Leloutre - International Partnership Director, Cosmetic Valley
- Mattia Marino - Project Officer, Eurochambres
- Solène Meissonnier - Project Director for European Policies, Directorate-General for Enterprise
- Merete D Nielsen - Director, Cluster Excellence Denmark, President TCI Network
- Antonio Novo - Managing Director, Cluster IDiA
- Anders Olsson - Manager, Smart Specialisation, Region Värmland
- Marc Pattinson - Interreg Europe Policy Learning Platform, Senior Research and Innovation Expert
- Bram Pauwels - Manager of Strategic Partnerships, EBN
- Tero Piispanen - Senior Executive, HealthTurku
- Marek Przeor - Team Leader – Cluster Policy, DG GROW
- Ingrid Rigler - Deputy Head of Unit Innovation and EIT, European Commission
- Thomas Röhr - Secretary General, European Automotive Cluster Network
- Lucia Seel - International cluster expert
- Lars Visbech Sørensen - CEO, Food & Bio Cluster Denmark
- Kristina Šermukšnytė-Alešiūnienė - AgriFood Lithuania Cluster Manager
- Sandra Sundbäck - CEO, Paper Province
- Olga Trofymova - Cluster Manager, Ukrainian Automotive and Mobility Cluster Director of Internationalisation, Ukrainian Cluster Alliance
- Doubravská Vendula - Manager, Zlín Creative Cluster
- Mantas Vilys - Coordinator, Enterprise Europe Network and European Digital Innovation Hub
- Birgit Weidel - Head of Department “Innovation Ecosystems, SMP/Entrepreneurship and Consumers”, European Innovation Council and SMEs Executive Agency (EISMEA), European Commission
For a creative and engaging recap of the speeches given at the Conference, please find a compilation of artworks by Drawnalism in the attachments.
EU Matchmaking event in Prague
Just before the European Cluster Conference 2022, a Matchmaking event was held in a physical format on 26 September 2022 (morning). This event gathered cluster organisations - to explore trade, investment and partnering opportunities and to develop connections between Europe’s value chains and ecosystems.
To find out how did the Matchmaking event go, please visit the designated webpage.
Participants of the conference were offered the possibility to meet some clusters from the Czech Republic on their own premises, including Mechatronics Cluster, Nanoprogress, Clutex, Czech Optical Cluster, HiLASE (Hi-tech laser research center), ELI Beamlines, Czech Implant Cluster and CIIRC CTU - Czech Institute of Informatics, Robotics and Cybernetics.
During the European Cluster Conference 2022, the “European Cluster Manager of the Year" and “European Cluster Partnership of the Year” Awards were held.
The awards are organised by the European Commission with the support of the European Cluster Collaboration Platform (ECCP), as a unique opportunity to celebrate the achievements of cluster managers and cluster partnerships, highlighting specifically their efforts and commitment to cluster development as well as to promote and reckon the role of clusters as agents of change, steering and effectively impacting their industrial ecosystem.
The ECCP would like to once again congratulate this year's winners:
- Kristina Sermuksnyte-Alesiuniene (AgriFood Lithuania) - European Cluster Manager of the Year 2022.
- S3FOOD - European Cluster Partnership of the Year 2022.
The ECCP team is honoured to have been a part of the European Cluster Conference 2022, in particular, because it was an excellent opportunity to highlight the important input of clusters and cluster organizations into the transformation of Europe’s economy. With such initiatives, we aim to continue on drawing attention to the active role of clusters in developing Europe’s value chains in three main directions: building resilience and driving green and digital transitions.