InTra-Net kickstarts business cluster development across Danish-German border

The ERDF-funded InTra-Net project provided business cluster support for cooperation on innovation and internationalisation, with the goal of turning the Danish-German border region into a specialised growth area capable of competing globally. The project focused on health and welfare technology, energy and the experience economy, as well as related areas of interest.

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" Sometimes we forget our nearest neighbour. Why do companies always have to start their international activities in China, when we have a huge market just south of the border with plenty of potential for new cooperation partners and new business opportunities? "

Michael Nedergaard, Director, AluCluster

InTra-Net created an information platform on the clusters involved in the project and their specialist technology characteristics at the project website. Individual profiles were created for each cluster, containing a description and contact information, and a project logo was developed to create a common identity for the clusters.

Desk studies and interviews were carried out in order to identify good practices for the promotion of cooperation and internationalisation of clusters in border regions. Two cases were chosen as examples for a report, which also presented a list of recommendations.

Creation of cross-border initiatives

Financing models of cluster organisations were analysed as regards strengths and weaknesses and described in a presentation. Three workshops and two networking events were held and covered open innovation, joint business development, business models for cluster organisations, and network and relationship management. This resulted in the creation of seven cross-border initiatives.

A report documenting developments in the region, including new collaborations and increased awareness, is available in Danish and German at the project website. The results are also documented in a film, in which participants talk about how the InTra-Net project has benefited them and share their opinions on challenges in cross-border cluster collaboration and what regional policy makers can do to foster collaboration.

The concluding conference, which sought to inspire participants to continue cross-border cluster cooperation, was attended by 171 participants. The initiatives launched under InTra-Net are still in their start-up phase, but with its focus on the business potential of the initiatives it has supported, the project should make a strong contribution to employment, innovation and growth in the region.

Total investment and EU funding

Total investment for the project “InTraNet” is EUR 295 578, of which the EU’s European Regional Development Fund is contributing EUR 192 126 from the Operational Programme “Syddanmark - Schleswig-K.E.R.N.” for the 2007 to 2013 programming period.

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