IMPLEMENTING WORLD-CLASS CLUSTERS IN CENTRAL EUROP.. (C-PLUS)
IMPLEMENTING WORLD-CLASS CLUSTERS IN CENTRAL EUROPE
Start date: Feb 28, 2010,
End date: Feb 27, 2012
The setting up of a common European research and innovation space can be succesful only with precisely defined innovation and supportive policies and programmes, as well as interventions that tackle among others also the SME support and cluster cooperation support. In parallel, a step must be done that enables the implementation of tools, the application of policies and the introduction of innovation in the clusters systems.The project C-PLUS looks for solutions on how to improve the specific performances of clusters participating in the project – “how to become world-class clusters”. The project will start with a deep mapping of the peculiarities of several Central European clusters. This exercise will lead to the benchmarking, focusing on peculiarities of the various local production systems as well as the composition of the clusters and their linkages with different stakeholders at local and international level.During the implementation of the project, a bottom-up approach guaranteeing the involvement of all the subjects of the territory, both from the side of the clusters and the decision makers will be used. The joint action will include the set up of a Cluster Management Lab focusing on the linkages within the clusters and with different kind of actors. Achievements: The CENTRAL EUROPE project C-PLUS aims at developing world class clusters, since nowadays clusters have to face the challenges of the international market and improve the level of innovation. The results will be an increased set of cluster with an unlock level of innovation and the definition of innovative tools, policies and programmes supporting clusters. The project started to analyse the clusters and the SMEs inside them, during meetings, events and targeted analysis based on the benchmarking methodology . A set of analysis instruments has been defined and the common process of benchmarking, alongside communication actions, started with the definition of the questionnaire and indicators. The project followed also the big task to involve the companies in the project activities . All the cluster have been identified by the partners in order to finalise the mapping action: CNA Emilia Romagna and the Emilia Romagna Region identified packaging and shoes, IMU from Brandeburg metal and optics, the Regional Development Agency of Bielsko Biala in Poland construction/passive building and wood, Pannon Business Network textile and thermal, Campus 02 from Austria Mechatronics and IT and CVVI from Czech Republic Network Security Monitoring Cluster and furniture. The Partners worked for the finalisation of the mapping, based on the Guidelines provided by IMU Institute and listed the actors operating inside the clusters. Beside the list, the partners have a precise target: the companies. Innovation must be improved starting from the companies and then enlarging towards the other actors of the cluster, supporting the networking action. The partners decide to follow a set of paths for improving their knowledge on the clusters structure: first of all a set of local mapping meetings, implemented in order to have a first overview on the clusters members and start the connection with them. Secondly the partners submitted to 25 SMEs per cluster a questionnaire in order to analyse their level of innovation, identify the innovation leaders. Then the European Awareness Workshops have been implemented by the partners. The workshops are based on future visions, negative and positive expectations identification and elaboration of alternative actions, demands and measures and alternative actions identification. During a plenary session the stakeholders identify common set of objectives and actions for the preparation of a Local Action Plan. In the different countries the participants were four groups from SMEs, local decision makers, business representative organisation and research an university sector. After the Local Action Plan setting up the partners identified 3 objectives for the implementation of the pilot actions at local level and each partner realised the pilot actions. Dissemination action of C-PLUS have been characterised by international conference held in Graz, in Berlin, in Sopron and the final conference in Bologna in April 2013.
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