Successful virtual cluster meeting of the BMWi programme

On 8 October 2020, almost 70 cluster managers and cluster experts took part in the virtual cluster meeting of the “go-cluster” programme. This personal, programme-internal exchange of information and experience took place for the first time in virtual space and with different digital formats.

Thomas Jarzombek, the Commissioner for the Digital Economy and Start-ups of the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi), passed on greetings from Federal Minister Peter Altmaier: Altmaier was following with great interest what the cluster management organisations were doing – especially in view of the pandemic.

Jarzombek thanked the cluster management organisations (CMO) for their work: they supported their members with important information, for example on short-time work, hygiene measures, etc. Some CMOs had also helped with the production of everyday masks and other products for personal protective equipment. Cluster managements are “flexible, efficient, well networked and very important for us,” said Jarzombek.

Prof. Dr. Martina Fromhold-Eisebith provided illuminating insights on the topic “Cluster promotion in times of crisis – impulses for the departure to new shores? Prof. Fromhold-Eisebith holds the Chair of Economic Geography at RWTH Aachen University and is a member of the German Advisory Council on Global Change.

Among the concrete consequences for clusters, Fromhold-Eisebith named volatility in business development and cluster dynamics, increasing competitive and cost pressure, the need for creative renewal in the cluster structure and the (re-)regionalisation of value chains.

Fromhold-Eisebith’s conclusion: cluster management is more in demand than ever to support companies in coping with the consequences of the crisis.

Three breakout sessions addressed overarching themes of cluster practice: public relations in CMOs, the role of clusters in economic recovery and human resource management in CMOs. The sessions provided a good opportunity for all participants to exchange information and experiences.

After the formal part, the participants had the opportunity to casually exchange ideas in five virtual networking bars and, if desired, over an after-work drink.

Follow-up report on the virtual cluster meeting of “go-cluster”:

Further information about the programme “go-cluster”: