Silicon Europe at the EU Industry Days
Silicon Europe organised a session on sustainable cluster networking during the EU Industry Days. The conference which is is the flagship EU event on industrial policy was organised by the European Commission and key stakeholders on the 5th and 6th of February in Brussels.
Around 120 people listened to the panelists coming from different Silicon Europe clusters as well as one panelist representing EACP (European Aerospace Cluster Partnership). Moderated by Marc Pattinson (Managing Director of inno TSD), the cluster representatives shared their knowledge on cross-cluster networking and its benefits for cross-regional cooperation, internationalisation and digitisation. Moreover, the role of meta-clusters as well as the role of clusters in Digital Innovation Hubs was discussed.
Benefits of meta-clusters
Meta-clusters are instrumental in cross-regional business development. They have a clear added value compared to a regional cluster in global business development. As clusters are well connected to their regional authorities, they are well aligned with regional smart specialisation strategies. Moreover, regional clusters have a certain intimacy with their SMEs and, therefore, meta-clusters provide the outreach to a larger network of potential business partners, even on a global scale.
Required funding adjustments
As the digital economy faces much shorter development and life cycles, funding schemes with a shorter application process and duration are needed. Cascade funding already goes in that direction, providing an efficient and flexible funding scheme to reach SMEs. However, the voucher amount of 60,000 € should be increased.
The panelists claimed more funding options for cross-regional sustainable cluster collaboration in order to realise longer term support program for SMEs on EU scale. In general, the sustainability of funded projects is strongly dependend on the value/strength of the ecosystem built during the project and the added value shown to the SMEs. In order to build a sustainable meta-cluster, the founding clusters themselves should be sustainable.