EU-Japan region & cluster cooperation - MINERVA Report

Submitted by Alina Danieles… on 07 May 2020

The report EU-Japan region & cluster cooperation authored by Réka Lóczi, a result of a research conducted under the Minerva Fellowship scheme at the EU-Japan Centre for Industrial Cooperation, aims at providing an analysis of the practices, successes and challenges of existing EU-Japan region & cluster cooperation (region-to-region, cluster-to-cluster and region-to-cluster cooperation), investigating benefits for SMEs participating in EU-Japan region & cluster cooperation schemes, with a focus on cooperation in regional innovation and business networks while offering the EU-Japan Centre practical advice on improving this type of cooperation as well.

The research examined the current state of region & cluster cooperation as resulting from the survey and interviews conducted with EU and Japanese stakeholders from a variety of industries.  The main findings are the following:

- EU-Japan region & cluster cooperation involving SMEs most ofthen come in the form of region-to-region, cluster-to-cluster and region-to-cluster cooperation;

- all case studies are positive about their cooperation schemes with their EU or Japanese counterpart;

- challenges most commonly mentioned by both Japanese and EU respondents and interviewees are a lack of funding, cultural differences and a language barrier;

- benefits for SMEs as mentioned most commonly by Japanese and EU interviewees are their development and their increased opportunities for internationalisation.

General recommendations for the EU-Japan Centre to improve these types of region & cluster cooperation would be to focus on creation of partnering opportunities by organizing events, an online platform, etc. while enhancing the supply of logistical support and market information for especially Japanese stakeholders and providing training programs to better understand the Japanese counterparts to a broader range of participants from EU stakeholders.

Please get access to the full report on the following link:

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