More specifically, the role of innovation clusters was explored in the following contexts:
• rebuilding economic strengths in the EU by capitalising on emerging sectors such as the knowledge-intensive services sector;
• supporting regional 'ecosystems' by attracting the best people and capitalising on regional strengths;
• exploiting the potential of creative industries and related services in the EU by clustering creative activities in a region and improving their knowledge base.
The workshop was organised as part of the preparation for the first meeting of the European Cluster Policy Group that is mandated to provide policy recommendations on these and other issues.
The workshop improved the understanding of the cluster patterns of services, for which some initial results were presented by the European Cluster Observatory. From the discussions, Nikos Pantalos of the Directorate-General (DG) for Enterprise and Industry concluded that 'overall, it seems that the services sector is less cluster oriented than manufacturing. More work is needed to better understand which specific framework conditions are necessary for services clusters and how to influence them.'
There was broad consensus among all participants on the high potential of creative industries in Europe for future competitiveness, building upon the cultural diversity and richness in Europe. Such services sectors are, however, rather different from other industries and need their own 'ecosystem', as confirmed by many experts. 'Whereas in traditional industrial and services sectors people are following the firms, knowledge intensive services – particularly in the sector of creative industries – are located where the best people are to be found', said Charlotta Mellander, Member of the European Cluster Policy Group. Better identification and further analysis of existing clusters and cluster initiatives in this area is still a challenge to be addressed by the European Cluster Observatory.
To download the workshop presentations, please click here.