Launch of the Swedish S3 Cluster Pilot – A National Platform of Clusters prioritized in Regional Smart Specialization Strategies

Submitted by Lucia Seel on 19 September 2018

22 cluster organizations in the S3 Cluster  Pilot gathered in Stockholm at the end of August for the  kick-off of the Swedish platform. What is it all about? The overall purpose of the Swedish  S3 Cluster Platform Pilot is to strengthen the clusters prioritized within the smart specialization strategies of their regions as well as their work addressing innovation and development in the private sector.  Tillväxtverket considers the clusters as one important tool – among others - for SMEs’ renewal and growth. This is important to the organisation, as SMEs are the central mission of the National Agency for Economic and Regional Growth (Tillväxtverket) and - through this Pilot -  in alignment with the regional smart specialization. The  S3 Cluster Pilot Platform will run from autumn 2018 until at least the beginning of 2021.

 Regional clusters that are prioritized by the regions in their Smart Specialization Strategies (or Regional Innovation Strategies) were asked to apply to the S3 Cluster Pilot. 

The applying  clusters had to have a recommendation from their region, be part of the S3 and:

  • Be well established and known in the regional innovation system
  • Show how they work with SMEs (understanding their interests, engagement and needs)
  • Have eligible objectives and a strategy for raising their international visibility
  • Show how the cluster is structured and operate in a Triple Helix context
  • Have a clear idea and strategy for sustainable development (Agenda 2030)
  • Have activities focusing  on “low hanging fruits” towards SMEs
S3 Cluster Pilot Platform Launch in Sweden

The launch of the S3 Cluster Pilot brought together the 22 selected cluster organisations enabled and triggered a lot of discussions and sharing of information about the upcoming activities during this autumn. One of the activities that are currently starting is the ESCA Labelling (that will be done as an aggregated analysis based on the bronze labelling of all involved clusters), another activity is the possibility for those 22 cluster organizations to apply for funding (directed towards the needs expressed by their SMEs). And internationalization was also high on the agenda: Lucia Seel from the European Cluster Collaboration Platform gave all clusters a good insight into the platform's services and activities.

How do we work with the ESCA Labelling? We use it as tool within the S3 Cluster Pilot to identify strengths and challenges. The reason is that one of the objectives within this program is to professionalize Cluster Management. The forthcoming workshops and seminars will therefore be arranged and conducted based on joint findings coming out from this important analysis.

Expected outcome by 2021:

  • Cluster-level:
    • Increased networking and coooperation
    • Better use of the established innovation support
  • Company-level              
    • Value-added
  • Regional-level  
    • SME engagement in smart specialization

For more information please contact Ewa Andersson (Ewa.Andersson [at] or Cecilia Johansson (Cecilia.Johansson [at]

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