We have already discussed various aspects of forming a cluster in several posts. Now I’d like to share my experiences gained on a transnational seminar on logistic clusters in Venice, last year. There we had an interesting discussion about the legal status of clusters.
In Hungary almost all of our clusters have a dedicated management organisation in different legal forms. Most of these organisations face financial problems after the initial public funding ends, as I pointed out in a previous post.
In Venice it was interesting to meet the Venetian Logistic Cluster. They have impressive figures: 263 companies with more than 30,000 employees, €1.3 billion of turnover, 11 million square metres of fully equipped warehousing space and 85 million tons of freight moved each year.
This is a real working cluster without a dedicated management organisation and without a legal form. Certainly there are common activities, but these are coordinated by the members itself.
Do you think, that a management organisation in a legal form is indispensable for a cluster?
I guess sometimes we tend to forget the ambitious goal the CITT project is aiming at. We are trying to find models and possibilities to provide a framework, which enables SMEs, universities and public bodies to cooperate within four neighbouring countries.
But even within one relatively homogeneous country like Austria, networks between clusters have to deal with various issues such as varying institutional settings in the participating states, different approaches of the respective managements, differing regional economic structures and differing policies of federal countries. Also, even though network projects are often viewed positively by all parties, financial resources are limited.
Despite all these obstacles, the Austrian initiative I would like to introduce to you has had a successful start. This example demonstrates on a smaller, national scale what relevance and remarkability the CITT project has being kind of a pioneer project on the international level.
Continue reading ‘Introducing Digital Network Austria’
A couple of weeks ago I met Charles Ward in London, who works at the IT network Intellect. Intellect offers similar services to Vienna IT Enterprises (VITE). However, Intellect is a privately run enterprise thus the member fees are a lot higher.
One of the most striking differences between the Austrian and the British market is their access to the Eastern European market. It is a well known fact that Eastern European business partners play an important role for the Austrian and especially Viennese IT sector. Furthermore, various international companies coordinate their CEE activities via Vienna. This is why Vienna is known as the third largest IT location in Europe, after London and Munich.
But the Eastern European IT market is not that important to enterprises in the UK, aside from some big players. Charles Ward could not explain why and found it rather astonishing. My advice would be to locate British enterprises in Vienna to benefit from their experience and strategies, especially from those of the CENTROPE region, and then expand to Eastern European countries. Charles Ward strongly supported my suggestion. If this is really going to be implemented cannot be foreseen. However it could be a new starting point for further and stronger cooperation between Austria and the United Kingdom.
This is the second part of the SWOT analysis performed for the CITT project. (Part one is here.) This post examines the external factors: opportunities and threats.
Continue reading ‘Does Centrope have the potential for an ICT cluster? (part two)’