Lower Austrian Cluster program strengthens the economy and improves the innovation readiness of companies. A network for increasing business cooperations
The main objective of Lower Austrian Cluster is to strengthen the Lower Austrian economy and to improve the innovation readiness of companies. Clusters make it possible for small and medium-sized businesses (SMB) to work together both with each other and with large companies along the value chain. Cooperation with institutions of research and education is also stimulated. For operating a cluster it is important to have an organisation which is well trained, have an excellent knowhow of the branch and the specified technologies. One of the main topics of Cluster Lower Austria is to enlarge the know-how of the network to ensure the competitiveness of companies. The Cluster program is addressed to specified technology topics. Every Cluster has a specified focus in four key sectors / technology areas in the region: Green Building, Food, Plastics and Mechatronics. In addition the Lower Austrian E-mobility Initiative has been set-up
Since the year 2008 the Cluster program is controlled by an BSC (Balenced Score Card) reporting. The Program costumer, The Lower Austrian government and the Cluster-Manger had identified measurement criteria (BSC-Facts- and Figures).
For operating a cluster it is important to have an organisation which is well trained, have an excellent knowhow of the branch and the specified technologies. One of the main topics of Cluster Lower Austria is to enlarge the know-how of the network to ensure the competitiveness of companies.
Evidence of success
Most of the Lower Austrian economic success is mad by SME. In order to ensure the competitiveness of these smaller enterprises, it is very important to implement innovation programs. With the Cluster program, it was possible for smaller companies to access projects with R&D companies and Universities. Experience and more than 550 collaborative projects so far proved the success and efficiency of R&D, innovation and qualification in collaboration as well as the creation of added value.
For operating a cluster, it is important to have an organisation, which has an excellent knowhow of the branch and technologies. That means the member of Cluster team should be experts. The willingness of companies to participate in innovation processes and to be part of a network is essential.
Potential for learning or transfer
For implementation of a new Cluster an evaluation is essential. At this part of strategic planning a consulting company, have to raise an economic demand and the amount of interested companies of the region.
This evaluation process is very important, because the acceptance for cooperation in industry project is an essential part for the success of a Cluster. Following different requirements must be taken into account:
- the structure of existing companies for cooperation (SME, larger Industry)
- the R&D know-how of these companies
- an already existing network will be a significant advantage for creating a new Cluster
- the willingness for cooperation
For setting up a Cluster in a specific technology the Cluster manager has to be experts with best education in the certain technology field and an excellent company-net work. The Cluster program is addressed to specified technology topics. For implementation a Cluster in an existing industry network it would take about an year.
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