ClusterFY aims to improve regional and national policy instruments seeking to intensify KETs-related clusterization processes, as well as fostering interregional cooperation between and among clusters and business networks and encourage their integration into innovative value chains. These developments advance the implementation of regional innovation strategies.
Clusters, Innovation and Smart Specialization
Although SMEs are generally open to innovation, it proves to be difficult for SMEs to actually develop their innovative ideas. This can be due to risk-avoiding behavior, as well as a lack of knowledge, time and resources. Clusters, a concentration of interrelated businesses, stimulate and facilitate these SMEs in forming long-term strategic, cross-sectoral and cross-regional partnerships that can help boost their innovative ideas. In cooperation with the right partners, SMEs are able to develop competitive products and services and integrate into regional and interregional value chains.
Clusters can create an experimental environment that allows for the development of innovative solutions with societal impact. Therefore, clusters are crucial in the creation and promotion of innovation and can be seen as a catalyst for structural change. To support this development, governments can make use of regional or national policy instruments in order to facilitate clusterization processes and to improve cluster policies. Together with knowledge institutes, businesses and civil society, clusters contribute to the development of new ideas or new specializations, which can grow out to become innovations and, in the end even, new economic strengths. As such, clusters can play a key role in the implementation of regional innovation strategies.
The ClusterFY Project
Interreg Europe’s ClusterFY underlines the importance and potential of clusterization processes – and especially in KET-related sectors. Key Enabling Technologies (KETs) are central to strengthening Europe's capacity for industrial renewal and innovation. A consortium consisting of eight partner regions will investigate how EU programming of structural funding might be optimally linked to EU programming on clusterization.
In close cooperation with regional stakeholders from the quadruple helix (Q4), the partners of ClusterFY aim to develop recommendations on the improvement of regional and national policy instruments (such as ERDF) that address the intensification of clusterization policies in KET-related sectors. Furthermore, ClusterFY intends to foster interregional cooperation among and between clusters and business networks, as well as encourage their integration into innovative (interregional) value chains.
ClusterFY and Europe
Strong clusters are key in the implementation of regional innovation strategies and in furthering entrepreneurial discovery processes. Cooperation between regional Q4-stakeholders adds to the development of solutions for the societal problems of Europe at large, thereby contributing to EU2020’s goal of smart, sustainable and inclusive growth.
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