Our project is organising its first interregional meeting in 2018. The show stops this time in Hungary, where the project partners wrap up the first stage of research and collection of good practices, and kick off the second one, dealing with the focused development of solutions and policy-enhancing action plans. The CLX20 partnership identified 6 key cooperation areas, in which smaller interested workgroups will be working intensively together on comprehensive and adaptable initiatives.

The workgroup themes are the following: 

  •  INNOVATION SERVICES FOR SMEs (Business Model Innovation, Strategic Use of Design, Competence Mapping)  - Globalization and digitalisation cause rapidly changing value chains and business models. Policy makers need to be aware about such models in order to be able to provide fast and flexible support for emerging industries in order to keep a region competitive at global scale. Clusters and other regional innovation ecosystems can play a crucial role in supporting business model innovation of SMEs. 
  • DIGITALISATION is high on the agenda of smart specialisation strategies in the partner regions. Regions launch specific calls for companies, support training and qualification, establish digital innovation hubs, etc. The partners will share their experience and lessons learnt. 
  • 3D PRINTING - Additive manufacturing does not only imply technological challenges, but most of all, new thinking of people both in the engineer and business worlds. Clusters can help the successful implementation by enabling cross-sectorial innovation. 
  • CLUSTER MONITORING AND EVALUATION are key in assessing achievements but also in evidence based steering of cluster programmes. Thus, the topic is essential and it is very important that the monitoring and evaluation processes and indicators are tailored to the particular „effect logic“ of each cluster programme. 
  • PUBLIC-PRIVATE INNOVATION - innovative solutions have to be found if public authorities and institutions wish to deliver services at the same level as before but with limited budgets. Public-Private Innovation is a prioritised area in many regions as it is seen as an emerging field for innovation in the public sector, using products, services and solutions from companies. Public-Private Innovation calls for improvement and rules for collaboration between companies and public organisation and clusters can provide the network for public and private partners and organise the involvement of companies in public initiatives for innovation. 
  • SERVICES FOR CLUSTER MANAGEMENT ORGANISATIONS Professionalization of the cluster management is a key factor recognized at European level (see the Cluster Excellence initiative) with a major impact on the performance of the cluster organisation and its own impact in the industrial ecosystem. However, the services for the cluster organisations go beyond just training and there is a real potential to explore cooperation in provided services by making an inventory and discussing what goes well and what does not. 

The partnership will have an opportunity to meet INNOSKART ICT Cluster, one of the largest and most active clusters in Hungary, heavily invested in Industry 4.0 and international innovation cooperations. They are also the first cluster to have performed successfully a merger in the country, which is set to be an important trend in the medium term, if the clusters of the macroregion are to achieve European competitiveness. 

Another interesting point of visit is the INNONET innovation centre and incubation hub operating in the Györ Industrial Park, an example of regional support for start-up and spin-off development. Working together with the city, Széchenyi István University, and key enterprises they are in an excellent position to provide services to high-potential SMEs. 

Finally, MOBILIS Interactive Exhibition Centre is a science centre geared specifically towards the science of movement, engineering and the automotive industry. An important tool in orienting children toward STEM education and a major hub of education, Mobilis has become a success and a major attraction for all ages, for education and recreation alike. 

Follow us on Twitter @clusterix20 to stay updated with key messages from the interesting and challenging discussions!