Clusters Linked Over Europe
Start date: Jun 30, 2004,
End date: Mar 30, 2008
Clusters are networks of compatible or competitive inter-related companies working together to strengthen an industry in a particular area. They make it easier for companies to gather good practice and exchange information in a given region and within a specific industry. However, little information is exchanged between clusters, and cluster managers often struggle to get a concise overview of what works well and how good results are achieved within clusters developed in other industries. Clusters also lack visibility, as they often lack the critical mass needed to advertise their existence and their ideas to other regions in and outside Europe. CLOE’s main aim is to create a European network of clusters. In the process, it is meeting three key objectives: learning from what has been developed by other clusters in other industries and regions; fostering the exchange of knowledge and expertise between cluster SMEs operating within the same industry; and increasing cluster visibility within the partner regions, in other European regions and in countries like China and the USA. Achievements: Achievements so far 'CLOE-Clusters linked over Europe' allows its partners to execute an ambitious programme: The operation has permanently and successfully developed further and has since Kick-Off Dec.04 reached broad publicity among Europe's cluster scene in its 45 months. Steps carried out in 04-06 (i.e. broad exchange of knowledge, three Steering Group Meetings, several Good Practice WS, etc.) have paved the way to work on good and common grounds during the meetings e.g. Wermland, Karlsruhe, Linz and Lyon to fulfil the objectives set. Speaking of these objectives, several milestones could be reached: Having developed a good and informative website (clusterforum.org), the platform has moved from a 'pure' information source to an interactive forum with search engine on 480 cluster contacts of CLOE's database. For all purposes information on the operation gets permanently updated to create transparency. Altogether, hits are developing well with meanwhile >52.000 since Aug.05. Another key milestone was the creation of the Cluster Management Guide (CMG) in '06, a reference book for setting-up/managing clusters.During its elaboration, CMG coordinating partner Linz got in contact with all CLOE partners for 'evaluation' - like that every region learned a lot about its' own/others' roles and experience in the field of cluster policy. Also, Industry Specific Workshops such as Nano/Jan.06 in Linz (~80 participants, truly dedicated to CLOE regions' companies and interested cluster managers from all over Europe) and Automotive/Oct.06 in Lyon (cluster experts from 60+ countries and up to 800 participants) have been successful events. Both were held once again - as before during INTERPART fair Karlsruhe/Oct.05 (~80) - in the 'surroundings' of an interesting industrial/cluster event (Linz: UpperAustrian PlasticsCluster Meeting, Lyon: TCI's 9th Global Congress) as this concept has been proven to be of good means for cooperation, contact-making and cluster linkage. _Finally, awakening EC's interest in '07 as 'Regions for economic change' pilot testing transfer of good practices into mainstream programmes until 03/08 proved excellent work in terms of outputs as well as marketing & dissemination. After Tartu's conference (04/07, ~270 part.) four thematic workshops have taken place within 'CLOE experimentation' in Linz (~140), Brussels, Nottingham (45~) and Karlsruhe. Especially the Launch Event in Brussels (~100) with Commissioner Hübner and signing of MoUs between regions and their MA as well as Karlsruhe's Closing Conference (~200) including Commissioner Ahner has helped to position CLOE as 'good practice' example of interregional cooperation. Also, 21 staff exchanges, development of 13 cluster action plans, distribution of several thousand CLOE brochures, participations in innovation/cluster events (~100 total) and contact-making with new markets (China,India) has lead to transparency and visibility of the 'rewarded' operation.
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