Submitted by Lucia Seel on 21 March 2017

In January 2017, the European Cluster Collaboration Platform invited the profiled cluster organisations to a survey to learn about the users‘ satisfaction and enable the ECCP to provide better services to its members. 42% of the invited cluster organisations participated in the survey and more than 70% of the respondents are cluster organisations with over 5 years of experience.

It is noteworthy that the main interest of the registered cluster organisations lies in obtaining information on cluster-related calls, closely followed by obtaining information about cluster-related news, about match-making opportunities and on cluster-related events.

36% use the platform at least once a week or more often, 28% respondents use it 2-3 times in a month and 33% of them visit it once a month or once in a while. 46% of participants make use of the possibility to upload news/events/documents on their cluster organisation profile.

When invited to assess the usefulness of the ECCP services, the answers showed that all services were considered in majority as relevant/useful to very relevant/useful (all two responses always constitute around or above 70% of responses). The services questioned are related to the provision of news, events, open calls, mapping tool, matchmaking events, international cooperation guidance, partner search facility, promotion of own activities of the cluster organisation, information about EU cluster initiatives, achievements, cluster networks.

In general, the quality of all services tested by the respondents was considered as ranging from good to very good to excellent (around or above 70% of responses are in these 3 categories). 92% of the participants are satisfied/very satisfied with the services provided by the ECCP team.

The expectations of cluster organisations concerning funding opportunities (calls, financing instruments, links to investors/investment initiatives, but also training on how to succeed in European proposals) are high. In the future stronger efforts should be made by the ECCP to cover/introduce a wider range of such opportunities. The use of alerts can be introduced in relation to new published calls according to the user’s pre-defined needs.

Respondents suggest that the next development of the ECCP can go in the direction of a social network model with chats and possibilities of

  • direct connecting through the platform,
  • sharing cluster management best practices,
  • having a forum to talk more openly about challenges, evolving role of clusters in the new markets, how to help SMEs in a more focused way, how to go beyond the basicsto helping SMEs to grow
  • integration of e-learning tools.
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