First virtual European Cluster Conference 2020 discussing priorities for cluster policies and developments
The first fully virtual European Cluster Conference has started today, 10 November 2020 and it will continue on 11 November 2020. The conference is organized by the European Commission's Directorate-General for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs together with the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy under the German Presidency of the Council of the EU.
The conference - executed by the European Cluster Collaboration Platform – brings together more than 900 stakeholders, policymakers, cluster managers, researchers, entrepreneurs and the public to discuss and share current and future priorities for cluster policies and developments to support sustainable industry development and interregional cooperation, and to build connections between Europe’s value chains, clusters and ecosystems.
Opening speeches were made by Mr Thierry Breton, European Commissioner for Internal Market and Mr Peter Altmaier, German Federal Minister of Economic Affairs and Energy.
Then there was a High Level Policy Roundtable: High level panellists from public organisations and business & clusters debated on their role in the COVID-19 in a green, digital, resilient EU economy. Among them were Stefan Schnorr - Head of the Digital and Innovation Policy Department, German Ministry of Economy at German Presidency, Ulla Engelmann - Head of Unit at European Commission, Antonio Novo Guerrero - President at European Clusters Alliance, Veronique Willems - Secretary General at SMEunited, Cosmina MIU - Secretary of State at Ministry of Economy, Energy and Business Environment of Romania, Jekaterina Rojaka - Vice Minister at Lithuanian Ministry of Economy, Slawomir Tokarski - Director for Industrial Policy and Innovation at the European Commission's Directorate-General for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs at European Commission, DG GROW, Thérèse de Liedekerke - Deputy Director General at BusinessEurope.
Master of ceremony of the conference is Teodora Jilkova from Bulgaria - Member of European Clusters Alliance and Founding member of Veritas Cluster.
The event is all about collaboration: bringing together individuals and experts from all areas to build connections and ignite new ideas for investments in green and digital transitions and a more resilient Europe.
This event follows the cycle of European Cluster Conferences that have taken place almost every year since 2008, every time with a different theme enabling participants to focus on different priorities. The specific objectives of the conference are to:
- discuss the latest trends in cluster policies and stimulate a high-level policy discussion on challenges and needs to be addressed in the next programming period for making better use of clusters in the green and digital transitions and a more resilient Europe;
- showcase the results of EU cluster initiatives and actions such as Cluster Excellence, Internationalisation, supporting SME Innovation, Industrial Modernisation and Smart Specialisation; and
- encourage synergies, matchmaking and interaction between policymakers, practitioners and experts at European level.
Directly after the European Cluster Conference, the Intra-European Cluster Matchmaking Event will be held online in two sessions on 11 and 12 November 2020. This digital event will gather contacts between cluster organisations - to open new markets, to collaborate on cross-sectorial level and to provide relevant first interactions for the benefit of their members.
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