Meeting Highlights

On Thursday, the 10th of September I attended an important initiative put together by The West Region Development Agency, which generated the benefit of a consultancy scheme session presented by a group of experts from the European Cluster Observatory, during a workshop in which they presented a current analysis of the development of clusters in the Western Region of Romania, but also provided recommendations for integrated cluster policy drafting.

This analysis of the current situation in the Western Region of Romania has been reinforced by a series of examples/case studies – which reflect the chronological course that a cluster (in various fields) has to cover, from creation to operation, to regional, national and ultimately international expansion.

As it has arisen from the examples given by the experts, one cannot state that there is a standard recipe for developing a cluster type conglomerate – they vary according to the dominating sphere of economical activities within a region, the governmental nature of the region, the existing policies for clusters on a national or regional level, and so on. In any case, a thorough local / regional study showing the relevance of building a cluster is essential. In this regard, Petros Beya from Catalonia mentions a useful tool – “Cluster Mapping”, through which one can identify the areas that exhibit increased economic activity, which contain small and medium companies, and also the nature of the fields of their activity – so that a future cluster can be dedicated to a particular operating segment. Going forward, Mr. Nikos Vogiatzis from the CORRALIA Cluster in Greece argues that it is also very important to study examples of international best practices related to a specific field, in which there is desire to form a cluster, so that when local stakeholders will be approached, the clusters founders can address them from a position of strength, proving their points with strong precedents – viable examples of success.