ECCP capacity-building webinar on cluster digitalisation
Summary of the Digitalisation of Cluster Services and Activities webinar on 28 October 2020. As part of a series of capacity-building webinars, the event focused on how the COVID-19 pandemic has driven digitalisation in 2020 and how clusters have adapted. While digitalisation has brought risks, it has enabled clusters to connect with a wider audience, discover new digital tools and become less vulnerable to challenging circumstances such as the pandemic. Marek Przeor, Team Leader for Cluster Policy at DG GROW, stated that digitalisation is crucial for clusters and while webinars were once an exciting innovation, they are now business as usual. He noted that digitalisation means more than virtual events – COVID-19 has resulted in a variety of different restrictions which has meant that cluster services need to be re-thought and adjusted. Charlotte Lysgaard, Communications and Project Manager at Cluster Excellence Denmark, and Kaspar Nielsen, Head of Innovation at Cluster Excellence Denmark, presented their findings on clusters services in the COVID-19 pandemic, compiled in a recently published eBook. They noted that over the last six months, all core services in Danish clusters have turned digital. This includes access to finance, dissemination of knowledge, matchmaking with investors, internationalisation, innovation projects, support of entrepreneurship and competence development. Ásta Kristín Sigurjónsdóttir, CEO at Iceland Tourism Cluster, spoke about how the tourism industry in Iceland has changed as it was forced to go digital due to the COVID-19 pandemic.. The Iceland Tourism Cluster held all events and meetings online and tried moving its projects to a digital format. It focused on smart marketing (Dream about Iceland) to keep people thinking about visiting in the future. In its action plan, Restart Tourism, it promotes sustainable methods and innovation as tools for the future.