C3-Saxony combined two clusters Silicon Saxony (microelectronics) and biosaxony (Life sciences) for enhancing the development of interdisciplinary technology.
Together with partners located in science, economy and politics, the consortium of C3-Saxony supported incubation projects and hence SMEs in R&D projects. C3-Saxony focused on supporting innovation activities and creating completely new value chains at the borderline of microelectronics and life sciences, especially in the areas of medical technology and personalized medicine. Therefore, this cross cluster cooperation contributed to the sustainability of the Saxon High Tech region.
C3-Saxony sought to identify and support cooperation projects. With the collaboration of the Junior Professorship for Knowledge Architecture (TU Dresden) project owners compiled and developed promising project ideas that got into contact with potential project partners. For achieving higher technology readiness levels, individually defined services supported the project ideas afterwards. Silicon Saxony, biosaxony as well as Agil GmbH Leipzig – coordinator of the Enterprise Europe Network Saxony – promoted the participating project ideas. Participating in European matchmaking events and innovation fora offered possibilities for the project owners to communicate their ideas in a European environment and identify European partners for cooperation.
The project benefited from strong network structures of the partners involved and strengthened Saxony as a business and science location.
The project was funded by the European Union within the Competitiveness and Innovation Framework Programme (CIP) in the activity "Clusters and entrepreneurship in support of emerging industries“, staff expenses required sum up to 50 TEUR per year plus external expenses of 125 TEUR for vouchers.
Evidence of success
By the end of 2014, 44 cross-thematic project ideas were received and among these the best 25 projects were awarded with an innovation voucher worth 5.000€ for purchasing project-related external services in order to bring the project closer to realization. After a thorough evaluation, the Saxon State Ministry for Economic Affairs, Labour and Transport awarded the Special Prize Emerging Industries 2015 to the three most promising project ideas: Lipotype, ZellMechanik Dresden, VivoSensMedical.
As with all cross-cluster approaches, sustainability is a major issue. Both cluster organisations derive their budget from membership fees. As there is as of yet no structural funding for cross-cluster collaboration, individual initiative and organic growth are the only contributing factors.
Potential for learning or transfer
The implementation of this cross-innovation approach widens the base for technology applications and enables synergies by initiating and supporting innovation activities at the interface of microelectronics and life sciences, especially in the areas of personalized medicine and mobile services.
Cross cluster collaboration serves as a main instrument in transporting innovation from industry clusters into demand clusters like healthcare. Especially in less organized cluster areas, an officially supported cross cluster approach will definitely foster local and regional economy as well as the local startup scene. Key factor of success is a sound political commitment, e.g. from the ministries of economy, social affairs etc., responsible for the included industries or demand sectors.
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