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The European Cluster Conference 2024 took place on 7 and 8 May in Brussels and highlighted the role of clusters in promoting the EU's industrial priorities. The conference brought together almost 700 participants, including representatives of cluster organisations, policy makers, researchers and entrepreneurs, and a total of 56 speakers.

Clusters are associations of companies and other economic players that are active in a region in order to bundle specialised expertise, services, resources, suppliers and skills. They are therefore an important driver of (sustainable) innovation and the further development of European regions.

European Cluster Ecosystems United

The conference focussed on two key topics:

  • the role of clusters in building EU competitiveness and pan-European value chains and
  • their ability to attract and maximise investment.

In a series of interactive parallel sessions, the conference also focussed on the green transition, the digital transformation and building resilience, with in-depth discussions on key factors such as skills, funding and technology.

The conference raised awareness of the role clusters can play in boosting the European economy, the support provided by the European Cluster Cooperation Platform (ECCP) and stimulated debates on possible cluster action to shape the future of the EU single market.

Cluster cooperation boosts the economy

Dr Jan-Philipp Kramer presented some key findings from the new European Cluster Panorama Report 2024, which is being compiled by Prognos as part of the ECCP. These are the key findings:

Why is the conversation important?

For the first time on record, China has overtaken the EU in private investment in research and development (R&D) in 2022, while US companies invest 2.5 times more in R&D compared to Europe.

Why do Clusters matter?

Our analysis clearly underlines that the presence of clusters is positively correlated with key dimensions of competitiveness such as human capital in technology, patents, R&D investments. Moreover, the results show that a strong presence of clusters is positively correlated with the digital readiness and partly with the green readiness of the economy.

What can we build on?

The EU has developed a unique cluster ecosystem over the last 20 years, with over 1,200 cluster organisations representing 170,000 companies in all EU Member States and regions. This is a unique advantage that can and should be utilised much more. 

What role has policy?

A committed cluster policy makes its contribution, from initiating cluster management and supporting cluster excellence to promoting cross-cluster cooperation - with start-up funding, basic or project funding and facilitating cluster business models.

Links and downloads

To the event report (ECCP website)

More information about the event (ECCP website)

To the event video

To the photo gallery

Do you have questions?

Your contact at Prognos

Dr Jan-Philipp Kramer

Partner, Head of EU Services

View profile

About us

Prognos – Providing Orientation.

Prognos is one of the oldest economic research centres in Europe. Founded at the University of Basel, Prognos experts have been conducting research for a wide range of clients from the public and private sectors since 1959 – politically independent, scientifically sound.

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