As Vit Skala and Guenther Krumpak have pointed out, a cluster is not just a heap of companies, but rather a strong cooperation among companies coordinated by a facilitator or cluster manager. However financing cluster management is not a simple issue.
As my fellow contributors have pointed out, clusters do not generally work by themselves. Professional coordination and management are crucial to ensure success.
Continue reading ‘The dilemma of cluster followup financing’
Over the last weeks I have been discussing with Vlastimil our experience with building clusters and trying to identify the key points that spell success or failure. Here are a few of thoughts I’d like to share. I would be pleased to see the NowEurope contributors add their experience.
Continue reading ‘What does (and doesn’t) work in building clusters’
This post refers to more recent ones on clusters. I didn’t follow the usual comment path as this text is simply too long. Not only “Brussels” is speaking a lot about clusters, most European governments do as well without looking into the specifics of what “cluster” means for individual industries and what is to be expected by their creation.
A cluster is definitely not just a heap of companies piled upon each other in one spot under the motto “collaborate!”
Clusters are complex networks with different points of departure and different operative practices, depending on sector and target.
Continue reading ‘Cluster Discussion & Speak Brusselese: Details Outwit Strategies’
Clusters are a very popular topic in the EU at the moment. The Commission statement “Towards world-class clusters in the European Union“ was released on 17th October and this communication will be further discussed at the EU Council of Competition in December this year. Here’s a brief overview of concrete applications of EU cluster policy.
The EU envisions clusters as regional, industry-specific consortia, mainly comprised of SMEs with the perceived potential to compete with big global companies. The EU supports cluster development, as does the Czech Republic.
Continue reading ‘Cluster development has mixed results in the Czech Republic’
Given, in some countries, difficulties faced by SMEs to their participation in European projects, the question whether European mechanisms are adapted or not to SMEs is more and more frequent.
One answer consists of saying that FP regulations are too complicated or that EC procedures are too lengthy and bureaucratic. Besides, SMEs often had bad experiences from previous projects given EC requirements. On SMEs’ activities’ side, it is often said that companies are too active in areas, which are not covered by FP projects or that companies do not have the capacity to prepare project proposals.
Another type of answer can be given, based on companies’ competitiveness and on a better understanding of FP projects’ objectives.
Continue reading ‘Are current European mechanisms adapted to SMEs?’