OCI is an instrument for sharing strategic information on industry trends and economic outlook through the Cluster management organisations (CMOs)
Cluster-based economic development requires a fine tuning and interaction between regional governments and cluster associations, and the same goes for embedding RIS3 strategies across sectors and competences, since clusters are a key strategy building and implementing partner and a fundamental policy delivery tool for broader industrial transformation.
In order to enhance these collaborative dynamics, OCI (Observatorio de Coyuntura Industrial) creates a space for sharing, in a systematic way, strategic information on the main sectors in the Basque economy, global trends, macroeconomic and market prospects, engaging all parties in a focused discussion.
OCI is an instrument that collects and enriches the relevant data and its interpretation; It contributes to public-private dialogue and provides the Basque Government with feedback to align strategies, policies and plans with the challenges of industrial modernisation.
Once or twice a year, OCI brings together, under the form of a round table, around 30 people including all 17 cluster associations’ managers, SPRI agency cluster programme coordination team and cluster liaison officers and Basque Government’s vice-ministers, directors and programme managers of all directorates related to competitiveness (Dept. of Economic Development & Infrastructures). Other stakeholders include members of Academia (Basque Institute of Competitiveness) and other senior and high rank officers in the department of Planning and Economy.
Just staff costs (a facilitator team of 2-3 people) and, eventually, venue location. An Information collection form is used in order to collect data and insights in an homogeneous format.
Evidence of success
Managing directors of all cluster associations in the Basque Country together have taken part in all editions. In 2017, Satisfaction Survey result showed 4% Low Satisfaction; 5% Medium Satisfaction level and 91% High and Very High Satisfaction level.
This cluster to cluster dialogue, allows for discussion of interrelations in sectoral trends and economic transactions between different interrelated value chains together with international market trends and country specific information.
Initially, the challenge was to convince participants to share quantitative data on their cluster performance and evolution; then to gather information in a homogeneous comparable format. As for qualitative information, it is note easy to collect it on expectations.
Potential for learning or transfer
The transferability of this initiative is quite high into other European contexts and this kind of interaction is a very cost and time effective way of:
Actually capturing first hand relevant data from all clusters and sectors involved.
Providing the Cluster Associations with a common space for face to face meeting, dialogue and joint reflection, strengthening their sense of belonging, as a baseline for further engagement in cross-cluster collaboration and mutual learning.
Facilitating and moving public- private dialogue forward.
Furthermore, engaging different cluster associations, that represent clusters related in value chains and interlinked in their economic transactions and customer-supplier relationships, allows for a better exploration of data and better forecasting sectoral trends and economic cycles.
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