European Commission - Growth

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European Cluster Conference Published on: 02/09/2014, Last update: 16/06/2015

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Event date: 20/10 > 21/10/2014
Location: Brussels - (Belgium)
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This conference will address the role of clusters in support of SME growth, industrial renewal and regional structural change and competitiveness. It will gather 300 stakeholders consisting of key policy-makers from the European, national and regional authorities, practitioners and high-level speakers from academia and industry to discuss latest trends and challenges for modern cluster policies and to identify priority areas for a new European Cluster Strategy for Growth.

The prosperity of the European Union relies on its ability to provide SMEs and industry with a favourable business environment and customised support to unlock growth opportunities. Stimulating cross-sectoral cooperation and innovation as well as helping SMEs to access finance, new industrial value chains and to go international are seen as key drivers. The potential of clusters and cluster organisations, notably in emerging industries, need to be better exploited to achieve this objective. The question of how to do this and how to team up with others will be at the core of this conference.

During the conference, the latest analytical findings and trends will be presented to support evidence-based policy–making. This will help to illustrate where opportunities exist, notably for cross-sectoral and internationalisation activities, and how they can be harnessed to help new winners to emerge. New policy approaches, tools and initiatives will be discussed to provide input on how to design modern cluster programmes that create favourable framework conditions for growth and jobs. Cluster managers and regional development experts will share their practices on how to better help SMEs in adding value and better capitalising upon new technologies, service innovation and eco-innovation.

This European Cluster Conference represents the fourth edition that follows from previous events in Stockholm, Brussels and Vienna that took place in 2008, 2010 and 2012 respectively. The 2014 edition will address in particular the following questions:

  • What cluster policies, measures and tools are needed to effectively boost SME growth and drive regional industrial change, in particular in emerging industries?
  • What trends and challenges need to be considered to put in place a favourable cluster environment that helps SMEs to unlock new growth opportunities?
  • What actions are needed for a new European cluster strategy to help regions and Member States to implement excellent cluster policies and tools?

This conference is free of charge for participants and is organised by the European Cluster Observatory, set up by the European Commission’s Enterprise and Industry Directorate-General. A pre-conference matchmaking event will bring together cluster managers interested in cluster collaboration