Home > News > 9th TCI Latin American Cluster Conference “Competitiveness, clusters and smart specialization” Temuco, Chile, 14-17 June 2016

9th TCI Latin American Cluster Conference “Competitiveness, clusters and smart specialization” Temuco, Chile, 14-17 June 2016

This year's TCI Latin American Cluster Conference gathered 200 cluster and competitiveness professionals from 14 countries in Latin America, Europe and North America. Under the main theme of  “Competitiveness Policies, Clusters and Smart Specialization”, participants shared their knowledge and engaged in discussions over many different aspects related to this theme.

For the first time, a TCI conference could be followed en streaming, which contributed to the outreach of the event, in line with TCI's pursuit to disseminate knowledge about clusters and competitiveness to the widest audience possible around the world.

Following a first day of business networking meetings and a second day of cluster tours, the conference then focused on keynote speakers and thematic sessions. Highlights of the day were the intervention of renowned panellists and Chilean and international guest speakers, such as Vicente Fox, former President of Mexico, Luis Felipe Céspedes, Minister of Economy of Chile and Eduardo Bitran, Vice-President of CORFO, Chile.

Vicente Fox emphasized that there is one important step missing in fostering economic development: democratize economic life, access to credit and financing as well as education, so that every young person can access university. According to Vicente Fox, it is this democratization process that will give Latin America the enormous potential the region has.

He also mentioned the importance of recognizing the rights and culture of indigenous people. Every country and region has to find ways to fully integrate indigenous people, develop and consolidate this integration, so that everyone living in a territory can contribute to its economic development and also receive the benefits of it.

Minister Céspedes stated that diversifying productivity, democratizing the entrepreneurship and innovation and strengthening the competitiveness of the markets are key to resolve Chile's economic challenges. He also emphasized that collaboration the way it is practiced within clusters is crucial for economic development.

Eduardo Bitran explained that Chile's challenge for its regions lies in the decentralization of its economy. The country has to foster economic development strategies from the regions, which at the same time allow to be linked to global value chains with high specialization.

In this context, the cluster concept linked to the regional and national innovation system is an ideal system to generate the needed social capital to face Chile's economic challenges.

Another panellist, Luciana Pagani, Harvard MOC Affiliate Network, Universidad de San Andrés, Argentina, gave an overview about the challenges Latin America is facing to ensure economic growth before highlightening the specific case of Argentina. The challenge that lies ahead for Latin American countries is to capitalize on a decade of strong performance to build a sustainable path towards development. According to her, domestic markets do not guarantee development; greater integration into the global economy as suppliers of goods and services with increasing added value is needed.

During the conference, more speakers from Chile, Colombia, Spain, Canada and Mexicoshared their views on "Competitiveness and industrial policies in Latin America", "New focuses of competitiveness and territorial development", as well as "Smart specialization and competitiveness".

The European experience on competitiveness and regional development was shared with panellist from Spain, The Netherlands and Italy.

More facets of the conference theme were elaborated by the speakers of the thematic sessions, which included themes such as international cluster experiences, models and studies of competitiveness and clusters and competitiveness and innovation, among others.


You can consult and download all presentations here.


In parallel to the onsite conference, there was a lively debate and exchange of impressions on social media allowing anyone to join the conversation through #9clacTCI, which widened the international impact of the event.

cultural evening and a conference dinner rounded up a successful conference and allowed participants to make new contacts and deepen existing friendships among the TCI cluster community.


All conference presentations, photos and online discussions are available on the TCI social media channels:

·        9 CLAC conference program with links to each presentation

·        Official conference pictures on Flickr

·        Storify with posts from social media


The 10th TCI Latin American Conference will be held in Tijuana, Mexico on 13-15 June 2017. Stay tuned through our communication channels or directly at the conference's websitewww.10clacbc.com