A 3-day European Cluster Conference has been organised on 18-20 April in Vienna with great success. It was attended by more than 400 participants including policy makers, international experts and cluster practitioners coming from 50 different countries.
More than 55 speakers, panellists and moderators have presented their views on how excellent clusters can create more resilient industrial structures in Europe, promote innovation in a more sustainable way, and facilitate SME access to international markets. Striving for cluster excellence at all levels was a transversal issue and a number of prominent instruments have been presented with the aim to help cluster organisations becoming more professional and European clusters performing better.
A Vienna cluster manifesto has been prepared and voted at the end of the Conference to summarise the key messages and make the wider cluster community aware of the key results that have been achieved by the EU initiatives over the last three years in the area of cluster excellence and SME internationalisation. Moreover, the manifesto includes a number of concrete recommendations addressed to cluster stakeholders at all levels on taking up and integrating these results into their policy agenda. In his closing speech, the Deputy Director General of DG Enterprise and Industry Mr Antti Peltomäki has welcomed the intentions of these EU initiatives to pursue their work in the future in a more sustainable and inclusive way for the benefit of all clusters in Europe towards more excellence and international cooperation.