The role of clusters in the European Recovery Plans

Summary of the European Alliance Against Coronavirus Daily Webinar on 31 July 2020.

In the last session of the first cycle of the EAAC daily webinars, the group looked at the Smart Specialization Strategies (S3s) and their role for the recovery with contributions from Italy and Romania and a final summary by Ulla Engelmann from DG GROW.

Federica Bertamino gave an overview on national coordination of Smart Specialization Strategies (S3s) in Italy and the clusters’ role within the process. She highlighted how the 21 Italian regions that develop Smart Specialization programs have very different characteristics, different issues in approval of programs and different regulations. The challenge at government level is to have a national vision of what is happening at local level with national coordination.

To do this, the National Agency for Territorial Choesion and the State General Account Department launched an activity with the regions: identifying S3s projects in the National Monitoring System (NMS). Thus, they harmonize proposals in the 12 areas chosen for the National Research Plan 2015-2020 and created a National Laboratory for the Research and Innovation Policies to support the implementation of these projects.

For their activities, the clusters define a three-year plan of activity, with a special focus on less developed regions. They can help administrations in reaching firms for more inclusive entrepreneurial discovery process, and they can support regions by mapping opportunities for international collaboration with research and innovation actors, promoting measures to engage regional stakeholders, participating in S3 platforms, and developing EU or international value chains

Gabriela Macoveiu from the Regional Development North East of Romania that clusters play a fundamental role in changing the strategy of S3 projects and move from an old way of developing design to a new way of consolidating the capacity of clusters to give support, stimulate international cooperation and encourage digital transformation.

Thus, clusters become a backbone for change strategy for smart specialisation, by contributing to RIS3 NORTH-EAST, engaging in the entrepreneur discovery process, and promoting leadership and collaboration. The main instrument 2021-2027 ROP North-East will include investments in clusters, including investments in start-ups and SMEs to develop competitiveness in specific areas, R&I projects, internationalisation, and networking.

The session was closed by Ulla Engelmann from DG GROW, who gave a summary of the actions carried out during the European Cluster Alliance against Coronavirus. She pointed out that regions are the base for the Smart Specialisation Strategies, which in return is the basis for discussions on recovery. The colleague on national and regional levels need to know about the capacities of clusters.

A recording of the session is available here.

These are the complete minutes of the meeting:

20200731 ECA dailyminutes_v2.pdf

This the presentation from the meeting:

Ulla EngelmannEAAC 31-7final.pdf

Find information on the previous meetings here; information on the upcoming agenda here.