ECCP Webinar - The Covid-19 industrial cluster response: the role of European clusters in recovery strategies

Submitted by Lee Gibson on 24 July 2020

On 23 July 2020 the European Cluster Collaboration Platform (ECCP) hosted a webinar which examined the role that clusters can play in strategies to help recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The webinar was run by the European Commission with contributions from the European Clusters Alliance (ECA) and was attended by about 100 participants, including cluster managers representing specialised SME intermediaries from different sectors, policymakers, and other actors from industrial ecosystems.

Marek Przeor, team leader responsible for cluster policy at the European Commission's Directorate General for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs (DG GROW), introduced a range of expert speakers and representatives of clusters and public bodies, including Teodora Jilkova of the ECA and Dr Ulla Engelmann,  Head of Unit for Social Economy within DG GROW.

They shared examples of how some sectors and clusters have been adversely affected by the coronavirus and how clusters have been supporting their members during the crisis and how public administrations and clusters reacted during the first months of the pandemic, demonstrating the importance of leadership and communication between private and public actors.

The speakers agreed that clusters have the knowhow and networks to play a vital role in recovery strategies and could be trusted to do so. There was consensus that clusters should, therefore, intensify their collaboration with national authorities during the drafting of recovery plans.

The presentations and discussions also underlined the importance of green policy, digitalisation, and resilience, which are part of the European Commission’s strategy, in the recovery and how fostering the further development and collaboration of clusters was key to this.

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