Second Cluster Booster Academy: Elevating the European Cluster Landscape towards the Future
We are happy to announce that the Second Cluster Booster Academy, successfully held on 21-22 September 2023, marked another significant milestone in the journey toward enhancing European clusters' potential by gathering 21 cluster managers from 13 different countries. We discussed the various challenges they are facing, such as ‘how to engage their members more?’ or ‘how to develop innovative services to meet member and industry needs?’. Collectively we generated ideas, worked on solutions and created action plans moving forward. Furthermore, this group served as the pilot for collaboratively assessing trends in different ecosystems using the new Trend Universe.
This event was made possible thanks to the MESAP Innovation Cluster and Environmental Park Torino. The latter proved to be an ideal setting for this Academy, showing how to harness the power of environmental sustainability as a driving force for competitiveness.
Our Approach: Developing Effective Cluster Managers
Our focus was clear - to provide enduring support to cluster managers. Over the course of four intensive days, we addressed their unique challenges and objectives, guiding them toward the creation of tailored strategic action plans.
Days 1 & 2 - online part (06-07 June, 2023)
Our journey commenced with two dynamic virtual training days dedicated to strategy development and cluster business models, featuring keynote speakers Kristoffer Jansson (EnergyVaasa, Finland) and Bianca Dragomir (AVAESEN, Spain), as well as best practice presentations by Carmen Mihai (IMAGO-MOL, Romania) and Johan Halvarsson (SuperEcosystem, Finland). These sessions not only provided valuable knowledge but also facilitated collaboration within breakout groups, fostering connections and a sense of collective purpose among our diverse participants. Additionally, a captivating scavenger hunt added an element of fun and engagement as participants received hints guiding them to best practice exemplary clusters, sparking lively discussions and insightful presentations of their guesses.
As the virtual sessions drew to a close, participants departed not only with a wealth of knowledge but also with the initial blueprints of actionable plans poised to drive progress within their cluster organisations.
Between June and September: Continuous Progress
Even through the summer season, our involvement continued. We scheduled at least one coaching session for each participant in June, July and August. These sessions featured individualised feedback and thought-provoking discussions that aided participants in refining their action plans. This exchange, feedback, and novel ideas played a crucial role in our preparations for the in-person sessions.
Days 3 & 4 - In-Person part (21-22 September, 2023)
During 2 days in Turin, cluster managers engaged in vibrant discussions, refining their individual action plans, tackling challenges, and envisioning the future of their clusters. These conversations ranged from intimate group talks to lively plenary sessions, supported by sticky notes and visuals to track their progress.
During our visit, Mr. Davide Damosso, Chief Operating Officer of Environmental Park, shed light on the connections between clusters and laboratories. We also had the privilege of witnessing innovation in action with a laboratory site visit, where we explored fascinating realms like Plasma Nanotech, hydrogen, and more. Additionally, Mr. Paolo Dondo, Cluster Manager of MESAP Innovation Cluster, introduced us to the Sistema Poli Innovazione meta-cluster approach and its promising future.
The experience culminated in a convivial social dinner set in a traditional, historic location, where cluster managers mingled with regional clusters from the Piemonte region. This informal gathering provided an opportunity to strengthen collaboration and network in a relaxed setting, deepening the connections forged during their intensive sessions.
Cluster Booster Academy: A Glimpse Back, A Look Ahead
This second edition of the CBA was indeed a remarkable experience. The diverse mix of participants representing various countries, industries, ecosystems, and stages of development created a vibrant platform for insightful exchanges. It became evident that, regardless of the successes achieved, there's always room for improvement, and this shared realization bound us together.
It was truly heartening to witness the open, supportive, and engaged atmosphere that pervaded our time together. The Cluster Booster Academy has laid the foundation for a burgeoning community of European cluster managers, each possessing a unique blend of experiences and insights.
We are pleased to announce that a new open call the 3rd Cluster Booster Academy is forthcoming. Stay tuned for more details, as we embark on this exciting path of growth and innovation together.
If you are curious to see the training material we worked with, feel free to download the documents below: