Following an Open Call for the Expression of Interest, the Unit for SMEs: Clusters and Emerging Industries at the European Commission’s Enterprise and Industry Directorate-General has selected, out of 44 applications, 6 model demonstrator regions which shall demonstrate "new or better ways of designing and implementing modern cluster policies".
These regions will receive free-of-charge advisory support from the European Cluster Observatory in designing and implementing regional cluster policies that take "maximum advantage of the transformative power of innovation towards shaping new value chains, sectors and emerging industries." The advisory support services are scheduled to take place in 2015.
The six model demonstrator regions to receive advisory support from the European Cluster Observatory in alphabetical order are:
Centro (Portugal) aims at maximising "the impact of clustering on the region's economy" by setting up a living lab in order to tackle societal key challenges such as active and healthy ageing and efficient use of resources.
Hamburg (Germany) wants to foster cross-sectoral cooperation and the development of emerging industries by putting a strong focus on new formats to build cluster bridges in order to facilitate new business opportunities and "match knowledge and competences for new approaches".
Lapland (Finland) intends to establish wider cluster organisation structures throughout the region and make best use of cross-sectoral cooperation based on resource-efficiency, sustainability and its vast natural resources.
Nord-Pas de Calais (France) is committed to restructuring the manufacturing sector and implementing "a cluster policy oriented towards the Factories of the future" by making best use of transversal drivers in a result-oriented approach.
Stockholm (Sweden) has set as its objective "to become an international centre for the development of digital health solutions" through a strong involvement of regional partners and stakeholders and the construction of a life-science city district.
West region (Romania) is interested in integrating the objectives of individual clusters into a regional cluster strategy based on the transformative power of innovation with a strong focus on ICT related matters.
The advisory support of the European Cluster Observatory is intended to provide the selected model demonstrator regions with the necessary tools, know-how and recommendations on how to design and implement better smart specialisation strategies in order to develop new, globally competitive advantages in emerging industries through the use of an efficient cluster policy. The advisory support will consist of an assessment report, a regional survey and benchmarking, a peer review and a final policy briefing.
More information here.