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Cluster Initiatives Follow-up


European Commission



The EU Cluster Initiatives were introduced to facilitate market entry and market penetration for SMEs. The objective is to enable clusters to work together across Europe supporting cross-sectoral value chains and improving cluster excellence.

The Evaluation Results

Regarding the functioning of the EU cluster funding initiatives, a complex picture emerges. The evaluation found that the cluster support measures are largely considered to be well structured and internally coherent. The set objectives, i.e. organised events, initiated partnerships and support for SMEs, are largely achieved. The use of cluster organisations as intermediaries in the support and transfer of financial resources to SMEs ("cascade funding") is regarded as efficient, since the administrative obstacles are comparatively low. Platforms have contributed to improving the work of cluster organisations, for example in key dimensions such as cooperation, matchmaking and advice to members of the clusters. Furthermore, the platforms have contributed to the collection and dissemination of information regarding the role of cluster organisations as well as their activities and achievements.

An ambivalent picture emerges regarding the longer-term effects of the EU cluster initiatives. It is difficult to measure the achievement of the objectives of the respective initiatives and the impact on SMEs, as these are only addressed indirectly. Cluster organisations particularly rate the transnational and cross-sectoral components of the initiatives as positive, which have helped them to expand their network and build capacity. Regarding the coherence of the initiatives, there is room for improvement with regard to a better integration and use of synergies of the EU cluster initiatives with other country and EU programmes.

"In addition to the proposals specific to the respective EU cluster initiatives, we recommend strengthening industrial ecosystems in the EU," says Dr Jan-Philipp Kramer, project manager of the study. This can be achieved by supporting cluster organisations on their way to glocalisation, promoting partnership projects by linking digital adaptation and sustainable value creation, and increasing investment in improving clusters' business models.

To Study (website EU)

Projektteam: Dr Jan-Philipp Kramer, Janis Neufeld, Marie-Kristin Komendzinski, Lennart Galdiga, Aneta Sadlik, Moritz Glettenberg, Vera Fuhs (all Prognos); Jan Smit, Mike Coyne, Ivan Bosch (all CSES); Dr Els Van de Velde, Dr Daniela Kretz (Idea Consult)

27.01.2022 | TCI Global Webinar: A look into European Cluster Policy

On 27 January, Dr Jan-Philipp Kramer was a guest at the "TCI Global Webinar: A look into European Cluster Policy" and presented the evaluation.

Do you have questions?

Your contact at Prognos

Dr Jan-Philipp Kramer

Vice-Director, Head of EU-Services

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Marie-Kristin Komendzinski


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Our work on this topic

Take a look at our latest projects and activities.

International Conference: Smart Specialisation

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Dr Jan-Philipp Kramer takes part in a panel discussion on Intelligent Specialisation Strategies.

European Cluster Conference 2022

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Dr Jan-Philipp Kramer and Lennart Galdiga inform in Prague about the competence centre "NRW.innovativ" and represent the European Cluster Collaboration Platform.

Triple Helix Conference

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Dr. Jan-Philipp Kramer presents the study "Prioritisation in Smart Specialisation Strategies in the EU" at the 20th Triple Helix Conference.

The importance of the German economy for the EU

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Evaluation Network Meeting of DG REGIO

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Dr Jan-Philipp Kramer presents first results of a study for DG Regio.

Just Transition Platform Meeting: Coal Regions in Transition

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Dr Jan-Philipp Kramer speaks at the fifth Just Transition Platform Meeting.

Evaluation of the EU Horizon 2020 and Horizon Europe programmes

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Through the Horizon 2020 and Horizon Europe programmes, the EU Commission promotes research and innovation in Europe. Prognos evaluates parts of the funding programs.

Cluster meets Regions workshop: Baltic region clusters

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The European Cluster Collaboration Platform is organising the second "Cluster meets Regions" workshop with a focus on Lithuania and the Baltic Sea Region.

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Clusters can support the implementation of the regional economic strategy. This is shown by an input paper from the European Cluster Collaboration Platform, taking Andalusia as an example.

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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