The project partners and their participating stakeholders had on 20-21 November an inward-looking approach, discussing among them various policy good practices, while on 22-23 the 6th Romanian National Cluster Conference, co-organized by CLUSTERIX 2.0 brought the opportunity to share and discuss these with more than 250 participants from the Romanian, European and Balkan cluster communities as well as representatives of the European Commission, national governments, agencies for regional development and other cluster stakeholders. The conference theme was „Smart Clusters. Value Chains. Business Driven Innovation“.

The exchange of experience around the good practices between the CLUSTERIX 2.0 partners and their stakeholders took place in an efficient format: following short presentations generating interest the participants discussed in detail in two groups - including representation from each partner region - enabling to go in more depth. A rapporteur from each group made sure the knowledge is shared at the end of each discussion session.

The next step is the deepening of the dialogue between the partners interested in taking over elements of good practices shared and include them in the development of the regional action plan that is to be implemented in 2019-2020.

Such a concrete and detailed policy dialogue will take place around 6 themes that came out of the clustering process of all good practices analysed and are related to:

a. Monitoring & evaluation of cluster programmes:

Topic: How to evaluate how clusters work and which impact they have on the economy

b. Services for Cluster Management Organisations  

Topic: How can programme owners or cluster associations support cluster managers to internationalize, how to increase cluster manager excellence

c. Innovation Services for SMEs / Business Model Innovation + Strategic Use of Design

Topic: How to develop support instruments such as innovation management tools for companies, innovation audits, strategic use of design, competence mapping, etc.

d. Public Private Innovation Pool

Topic: bridging the “death valley” between existing prototypes and market entry with the help of public “test users”/ public entities as consumers

e. 3D Printing

Topic: connect experts/researchers/companies in METAL Additive Manufacturing in CLUSTERIX 2.0 regions, use synergies with Vanguard Initiative and create the framework to organize matchmakings at a later stage.

f. Support for Digitalization

Topic: how to address digitalization from a policy maker perspective: e.g. digitalisation strategies, digital innovation hubs, specific calls to foster digitalisation, creation of synergies between different policies (economy/education/research/agriculture/…), etc.

Some of these topics were also addressed by the CLUSTERIX 2.0 partners during the Romanian National Cluster Conference on 22-23 November, through many presentations and active participation as panellists.

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