The Institute for Business Competitiveness of Castilla y León (ICE) organised in coordination with GKZ Freiberg and in collaboration with the Santa Bárbara Foundation the Castilla y León – EU Cluster Matchmaking Event within the framework of the REMIX project and as part of the European Commission´s EU Cluster Week initiative. The focus of the event was on how to strategically partner clusters and specialised eco-systems across Europe and show the best practices in such collaborations for stimulating new partnerships.
The event was proudly part of the first series of the EU Cluster Weeks 2018-2019, which help to promote national, regional and local cluster events, and to support SMEs’ growth, industrial transformation and regional economic development. The collaboration with the European Commission is a successful example of the EU´s efforts to build strong interregional collaboration to help strengthen business environments for business owners across Europe.
The Castilla y León – EU Cluster Matchmaking Event took place in April and was a great success with a good turnout of people. The importance and value of analysing the eco-systems and networking potential of EU industrial clusters, in order to foster their industrial members’ competitiveness in exploiting their innovation and demonstrating their growth potential in key presentations according to a systemised structure was one of the objectives of the event. Many key players such as the European Commission, the OECD, the EIT RM HUB CENTRUM KOŠICE, the Polish Stonemason's Cluster, and several other entities presented their way of practicing sustainable interregional cooperation in the field of raw materials. The event was an opportunity for attendees to meet peers from the same cluster topic and to broaden their knowledge, skills and business connections on an international, national, regional and local level.
The Castilla y León – EU Cluster Matchmaking Event was an opportunity to team up EU countries and their regions, to encourage European partnerships, to raise awareness of the role of clusters and their achieved results, and to collect feedback on common challenges and the ways they can be addressed in future initiatives. These EU, national and regional partnerships demonstrate the importance and success of such collaborative endeavours in supporting SMEs in their expansion and growth efforts.
The event ended with a visit to the facilities of the Santa Bárbara Foundation. The participants had the opportunity to visit the Foundation's unique facilities, such as the experimental tunnels, the open pit mine, the underground mine or the geothermal plant, among others. In addition, they learned about the entity's activities in terms of professional and specialised training and research and development.
If you are interested in the presentations from the Castilla y León – EU Cluster Matchmaking Event sessions, they can be viewed here.
This article was written by Melania V. Istrate, The Institute for Business Competitiveness of Castilla y León.