Antonio Novo is re-elected as president of the European Clusters Alliance

Kristina Sermuksnyte-Alesiuniene (AgriFood Lithuania) becomes new Vice-President and Montse Daban (Council of European BioRegions – CEBR) joins the Board of Directors.

Antonio Novo, president of the Spanish Federation of Clusters and managing director of the Aragonese cluster IDiA, renews his leadership by being re-elected president of the European Clusters Alliance (ECA), strengthening the connections and bonds between more than 900 European clusters and promoting their presence and essential role in the European innovative ecosystem. The election took place at ECA´s general assembly on 4th October 2023. The term of the renewed presidency is for the next four years.

Two women have joined the Board of Directors: new Vice-President Kristina Sermuksnyte-Alesiuniene (AgriFood Lithuania), who is the European Cluster Manager of the Year 2022, and Montse Daban (Council of European BioRegions – CEBR), who will be the ECA representative in the “Friends of the EEN” group to strengthen the relation between the European Clusters Alliance and the Enterprise Europe Network (EEN).

Hervé Floch (AFPC, France) was renewed as Vice-President, and Daniel Cosnita (CLUSTERO, Romania) as Secretary. Both have been greatly involvement in the development of the European Clusters Alliance since its foundation. Krzysztof Krystowski (Polish Cluster Association) stepped down as Vice-President after several years of dedication to the association, due to a new job position.

Joining strengths, creating synergies

Representing 22 national cluster networks and ambassadors from across Europe, the European Clusters Alliance brings together more than 900 clusters, encompassing 150,000 of the continent’s leading companies, universities, research centres and public institutions. These clusters, strategically aligned through the European Clusters Alliance, seek to reinforce competitiveness and innovation in every corner of Europe. ECA’s activities are led by the vision to position industrial clusters as key agent in the European innovative ecosystem for the development and growth of our economy and competitiveness.

Clustering creates impact

A 2021 report published by the European Commission underlines the correlation between the presence of cluster organisations and high economic and technological performance. In fact, companies integrated in European clusters pay, on average, 13.5% higher wages compared to those that are not part of clusters. In addition, the COVID-19 pandemic demonstrated the clusters’ capacities of resilience and quick adaptation to new realities.

A voice in key fora

ECA demonstrates a strong presence across vital European forums, actively shaping industrial and regional policy. Our participation in the EU Industrial Forum underscores this, where we co-curate two task forces: TF2, which supports the development of industrial Transition Pathways, and TF4, which advocates for cross-border and cross-ecosystem investments. Furthermore, ECA has specialists appointed to each of the forum’s five Task Forces, highlighting our comprehensive involvement.

Our engagement extends to several expert groups, including those focused on Interregional Innovation Investments (I3) and Smart Specialisation Strategies (S3), where our voice contributes to steering regional innovation and intelligent specialization.

In addition, the Council for European BioRegions (CEBR) represents ECA in the Health Emergency Preparedness and Response Authority (HERA), emphasizing our commitment to contributing to health emergency preparedness on a European scale.

Concluding, ECA is also represented in the European Economic and Social Committee, where we contribute on economic, social, and related policy areas, ensuring that our industrial perspective is woven into the fabric of European policymaking.

Promoting the role of clusters in Europe

From this influential position, ECA tirelessly defends the role and relevance of cluster networks at European level, influencing industrial policies and demonstrating how clusters enhance the competitiveness of European companies with a particular focus on catalysing European funds towards business innovation projects and, above all, European SMEs.