Connecting Nordic clusters

Submitted by Alina Danieles… on 14 November 2018

40 Nordic clusters met in Copenhagen to discuss smart mobility and connectivity, collaborations and learn from each other.

On November 1st, 2018 40 clusters from all the Nordic countries had taken the trip to sunny Copenhagen to participate in the Nordic Cluster Meet UP 2018 hosted by Nordic Innovation, Cluster Excellence Denmark and Enterprise Europe Network.

The main theme of the Meet Up was smart mobility and connectivity, which served as a basis for matchmaking exercises and workshops for the clusters for discussing possible collaboration and to learn from each other.

“It has become critical to connect with other clusters. To successfully compete on the world stage, you should hunt as a Nordic pack”.

Ifor Ffowcs-Williams, CEO of Cluster Navigators Ltd

Financing opportunity for clusters

The Meet Up also gave the clusters an opportunity to learn more about Nordic Innovation’s call for project outlines on Clusters as Drivers of Nordic Smart Mobility and Connectivity. The call is one of the activities in our newly launched Nordic Smart Mobility and Connectivity programme running until 2021. 

Read more about the call and apply by 20 November 15:00 CET at the latest.

The participating clusters also learned about current cluster trends in the Nordics, as well as inspiring talks on cluster linking and co-specialisation and co-creation.

"Hunt as a Nordic pack"

Among the speakers were Ifor Ffowcs-Williams, CEO of Cluster Navigators Ltd from New Zealand. Ffowcs-Williams is recognised as one the most influential cluster practitioners in the world and was in Copenhagen to talk about cluster linking and co-specialisation.

He sees a trend towards cluster specialisation in order to increase productivity, and that it has become critical to connect with other clusters in order to create critical mass if you are to compete on the global market.

The cluster guru underlines that having a common culture makes cluster collaboration much easier, and that clusters in the Nordic countries have a great basis for collaboration.

“To successfully compete on the world stage, you should hunt as a Nordic pack”, says Ffowcs-Williams, who sees Nordic clusters as being in the forefront and an inspiration for learning.

The presentations from the Meet Up event:

Nordic Innovation – strategies and priorities Niina Aagaard, Chief Operating Officer, Nordic Innovation

Introduction to the day + Nordic cluster trends: Similarities and differences Merete D. Nielsen, Director, Cluster Excellence Denmark

Nordic Money: Call for project outlines on clusters as drivers of Nordic smart mobility and connectivity Arvid Løken and Nina Egeli, Senior Innovation Advisers, Nordic Innovation

Cluster linking & co-specialisation – complementary frameworks for growth Ifor Ffowcs-Williams, CEO, Cluster Navigators Ltd (NZ)

Nordic Buzz and cluster co-specialisation Betina Simonsen and Heidi Svane, Lifestyle & Design Cluster

Nordic cluster co-creation through co-specialisation on smart mobility and connectivity

During Nordic Cluster Meet Up 2018, a new tool to foster cluster co-specialisation was presented. The idea behind this co-specialisation model is that clusters represent a stronghold or a specialisation in a given sector. Between clusters there is a big potential for further collaboration building on these strengths – while exploring new areas, new emerging industries and specific ideas.

At the Meet Up the new co-specialisation model was tested and used by 40 Nordic clusters exploring potential collaborations within smart mobility and connectivity. 

This resulted in (at least) four concrete new cross-sectorial cluster-driven projects within smart mobility and connectivity:

Shared Transport - Smart and resilient transport of goods in rural areas

Flow Management of Cities - The optimal flow of people, goods & services 

Smart Transport within city centres 

Infrastructure & Drones

If you want to know more about the developed project ideas and the Nordic Cluster Co-specialisation Model, please contact Kaspar Nielsen, Chief Project Manager, Cluster Excellence Denmark on kan [at]

Published on 12/11/2018 on Nordic Innovation website and on 13-11-18 on Cluster Excellence Denmark website Photo: Cluster Excellence Denmark

Share this Article