Output papers from 2020 European Cluster Conference published

Submitted by Lee Gibson on 15 December 2020

The 7th edition of the European Cluster Conference took place for the first time in an entirely virtual set-up on 10 and 11 November 2020.

The programme was organised by the Directorate-General for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs in partnership with the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy, under the German Presidency of the Council of the European Union and delivered by the European Cluster Collaboration Platform.

The Conference focused on the recent and future priorities for clusters highlighting ideas and proposals for the recovery plans, bridging the clusters’ perspective with the Europe’s priorities, and building connections between Europe’s value chains, clusters and ecosystems.

The varied programme included discussions on the four main challenges of Europe (green, digitalisation, resilience and skills), on the role of clusters in industrial ecosystems, on financing opportunities, and many more aspects of the daily work of clusters and their perspectives for the future.

The interactive set-up, based on discussions in small groups, 1-to-1 networking, a virtual exhibition and a constant contact with participants, allowed for rich and fruitful interventions, whose main takeaways are listed in the output document.

Highlight of the Conference, the election of IOT4Industry as Cluster Partnership of the Year and of Uwe Pfeil as Cluster Manager of the Year, with a special award for EU Cluster Mobilisation assigned to Antonio Novo Guerrero.

The Side Events for European Cluster Partnerships and the Cluster Associations and Networks carried on the excellent interactions from the Conference.

Their aim was to provide a platform to discuss - in more detail - and transfer knowledge about the activities of their members, the challenges they face and possibilities to collaborate and develop joint actions.

The results were successful – highlighting the role that these organisations play in European economic development before focusing on a series of essential aspects.

These ranged from funding challenges, measuring impact and women in clusters, to discussions on more vertical aspects – including digitalization and the Green Deal.

The Side Events are designed as a step along the way to implementing the full forums for the European Cluster Partnerships and the Cluster Associations and Networks – which will allow the members to interact in a dynamic and self-generating way on the new ECCP website and through a series of upcoming webinars.

European Cluster Conference 2020
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