In 2020, the environment in which clusters operated changed fundamentally. In February 2020, the Economic Outlook of the European Union predicted a slow, yet steady economic growth driven by demand. However, COVID-19 and the consequent health crisis presented unparalleled societal and economic challenges for European clusters, causing new service needs of cluster members as well as a drastic acceleration of pre-existing trends such as digitalisation.

A report has been produced by the European Cluster Collaboration Platform (ECCP) to provide a topical overview of the capacity-building needs of European clusters and cluster managers, considering their key challenges and priorities for 2021.

The report presents the evidence basis to design tailored capacity-building actions of the ECCP. It builds on experiences and evidence collected on capacity-building activities in 2020, a dedicated Needs Survey among European cluster staff and additional supporting materials.


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