The first fully virtual European Cluster Conference was organised on 10 and 11 November 2020 by the European Commission's Directorate-General for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs together with the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy under the German Presidency of the Council of the EU.
The conference - executed by the European Cluster Collaboration Platform – brought together stakeholders, policymakers, cluster managers, researchers, entrepreneurs and the public to discuss and share current and future priorities for cluster policies and developments to support sustainable industry development and interregional cooperation, and to build connections between Europe’s value chains, clusters and ecosystems.
The event was all about collaboration: bringing together individuals and experts from all areas to build connections and ignite new ideas for investments in green and digital transitions and a more resilient Europe.
Registration for this event closed on Friday 23 October 18:00 CEST.
This event follows the cycle of European Cluster Conferences that have taken place almost every two years since 2008, every time with a different theme enabling participants to focus on different priorities. The specific 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 the next programming period for making better use of clusters in the green and digital transitions and a more resilient Europe;
- showcase the results of EU cluster initiatives and actions such as Cluster Excellence, Internationalisation, supporting SME Innovation, Industrial Modernisation and Smart Specialisation; and
- encourage synergies, matchmaking and interaction between policymakers, practitioners and experts at European level.
Directly after the European Cluster Conference, the Intra-European Cluster Matchmaking Event was held online in two sessions on 11 and 12 November 2020. This digital event gathered contacts between cluster organisations - to open new markets, to collaborate on cross-sectorial level and to provide relevant first interactions for the benefit of their members.