The HempCluB Clusters Meet Regions ClusterXChange

Submitted by Sara Daniotti on 28 November 2023


Author: Maria Elena Saija - Lombardy Green Chemistry Association

On November 21-23, 2023, one of the ClusterXChange implemented by the HempCluB project took place in Iasi (Romania) in the context of the Clusters Meet Regions event organized by the European Cluster Collaboration Platform (ECCP).

During the first day visitors participated in the Cluster services for the Dual Transition session in the context of the Clusters Meet Regions event and later have received an introduction to the HempCluB project, the ClusterXChange mobility scheme and they met with the local actors.

On the second day they followed the Clusters Meet Regions Conference. The focus was on how clusters can be trusted partners in designing, implementing, and monitoring regional development policies and programmes, emphasizing smart specialization, industrial transition skills, and entrepreneurship. The session was concluded with the ECCP Matchmaking, allowing participants to cultivate connections and find new partnerships.

During the last day the exchanges participated in the Bioeconomy Session – hosted by the RuralBioUp project with the participation of HempCluB, but also other projects in the bioeconomy sectors, such as BioRural, MainstreemBio, Scale Up, Cee2Act, and Biotransform. The HempCluB project contributed to the discussion by talking about how clusters can unfold the potential of European bio-based value chains with a focus on hemp. During the session some important questions were addressed: What are the challenges of the circular bioeconomy common to rural and urban environments? Is bioeconomy sustainable? What is the clusters’ role in transition to circular bioeconomy? What are the future needs of the new value chains in bioeconomy? The involvement of the representatives of the above-mentioned projects and the cooperation of the public were essential to get to the bottom of these issues and exchange different points of view and best practices.

This event was a great opportunity to create a collaborative network to improve research and support commercial growth between clusters to boost bioeconomy. Moreover, visitors have acquired a thorough understanding of the present situation of bioeconomy market, including important stakeholders, active innovation research initiatives, and funded projects. Finally, it was a change to identify new sustainable business lines to boost cluster activities and individuate potential collaboration and commercial opportunities in the bioeconomy.

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