How cluster managers can further professionalise their cluster organisations through skills

Submitted by Imogen Allan on 29 October 2021

On 27 October, the ECCP organised its 8th Capacity-Building Webinar on Skills. 

The key focus of the webinar was developing strong cluster organisations and improving internal management processes, which are key to increased resilience and fostering the green and digital transition.  

Participants gained insights on relevant skills for building strong clusters and heard practical examples from the community. They also learnt about how the right skillset can help cluster organisations to be successful. Speakers shared their experiences as cluster managers and practitioners from both the public and the private sectors across European countries. 

Firstly, Marek Przeor from the European Commission’s DG GROW reflected that the Covid-19 pandemic has accelerated the digital and green transitions in Europe. Cluster managers need to be ready to engage in change management and must develop their soft skills such as interpersonal skills and the capacity to integrate a group of members of clusters. 

Adding to this, Joan Martí, Director of the Business Strategy Unit at ACCIÓ, the Catalan Agency for Competitiveness, stated that an excellent cluster manager is one of the key success factors for a cluster. There are common skills that all cluster managers need, such as strategic vision, but also specific skills based on the particular challenges of the cluster members.  

Veronica Elena BocciDITECFER cluster, focussed on how DITECFER offers distinctive services to upskill its cluster members, such as capacity building. She also explained that joining forces at EU level through European projects made the DITECFER cluster organisation more professional.  

Following this, Betina Simonsen, Lifestyle & Design Cluster Denmark discussed the topic of ‘Advanced Cluster Skills for the Digital and Green Transitions’, focussing specifically on how the cluster chose digitalisation and circular economy as two of their key strategic areas to focus on. To reduce pressure on the cluster manager who does not have full expertise of all areas, delegation and distribution of roles is key. 

Finally, Lucía Fraga from CETMAR Foundation provided an overview of the MATES blueprint project, which aims to bridge the skills gaps in maritime technologies. She focused on how clusters can interact and align their activities with the blueprint projects and showcased some of the MATES results addressing maritime technologies managers’ skills needs.  

The webinar was attended by around 100 participants including cluster managers and cluster staff from EU and COSME countries. It was the final session of the 2020-2021 capacity-building series of the ECCP based on the learning priorities of the cluster community.  

Find out more about this webinar here. 

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ECCP's 8th capacity building webinar on skills
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