Cluster and Network Cooperation for Business Succe.. (CNCB)
Cluster and Network Cooperation for Business Success in Central Europe
Start date: Sep 30, 2009,
End date: Sep 29, 2013
Clusters are one of the most important instruments for economic development and innovation policy. They play an active role in reinforcing the competitiveness of the regions by contributing to the creation of an attractive regional profile and encouraging application-oriented research and supporting SMEs.The project CNCB focuses on the development of cluster initiatives. Its aim is to target specific challenges of the participating regions related to the cluster management qualification and working on elaboration of a standardized transferable module that is not available so far. Achievements: The CNCB project (Cluster and Network Cooperation for Business Success in Central Europe) aims to support clusters in enhancing their competitiveness and innovation capacities by providing a 'tool-kit' for successful cluster management valid throughout Central Europe. In this respect, the major success factors for cluster management are dealt with. CNCB’s research on cluster management focuses on three pillars: cluster manager’s training, cluster optimization and cluster internationalization, which is consistently followed in all activities carried out in the course of the project. The CNCB team has conducted a two-tiered survey to analyse the status quo of cluster management today, which encompasses both a quantitative as well as a qualitative perspective. The quantitative online survey provided a basic data base (97 respondents), which was followed by face-to-face interviews (32 interviews) with cluster managers across Europe. In a selection process according to their maturity and suitability, six cluster organisations outside the partnership were selected to participate in the project as cooperation partners. Three of them employed measures for optimisation, guided by project partners and external experts, in the pre-defined areas of optimisation (i.e. Organisation & Structure, Products & Services, Strategy & Planning, HR & Skills / Qualification and Finance & Funding) to identify gaps and potentials for improvement. The other three clusters were selected as suitable cooperation partners who dispose of the necessary maturity level, organizational structure and general cluster strategy (among other factors) to be "internationalized", i.e. supported to develop an international market approach, in the areas of Strategy, Framework Conditions, Barriers, Potentials, Needs/Interests and Solutions in order to define the feasibility and the “fit” of a going-international strategy for clusters. The third pillar “Cluster Manager Qualification”, i.e. what characterizes a successful cluster manager, included the development of specific training modules for cluster managers. A transnational training manual defines the “must-haves” for cluster managers in terms of background and experience. The direct sustainable result of the project are the pilot clusters that were "optimized' and "internationalized" as well as the modular training course to be included into a Cluster Academy's programme. In a nutshell: 275 clusters were mapped in the survey, with 97 respondents and 32 interviews, 15 European regions to be affected by project results, 6 permanent co-operation were established with 6 pilot clusters, who comprise of a network of 194 member companies benefitting from the improved service and consulting given by the project team.
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