Baltic Cluster Christmas Forum 2020, traditionally organized by the Lithuanian Agency for Science, Innovation and Technology (MITA), is of particular importance this year. Whereas clusters used to be a gateway to growth and innovation, their role grew significantly in 2020. They are now perceived as one of the key elements of the European Recovery Plan. The event will be held virtually this year on 10th December.
“To achieve the smooth implementation of the National Economic Recovery and Resilience Plan, cooperation between policy implementers and clusters is indispensable. Only by allocating resources to a profitable direction we will ensure the resilience of the economy and promote sustainable growth,” states Gintas Kimtys, Head of the Agency for Science, Innovation and Technology (MITA).
The need for cooperation between clusters and policymakers at the European and national level was discussed at the European Cluster Forum a few weeks ago. It will be symbolically extended by The Baltic Christmas Cluster Forum 2020, annually organized by the Agency for Science, Innovation and Technology (MITA). This year, the implementation of the European Green Deal and digital transformation is the topic of a virtual event, dedicated for the Baltic cluster community and and all interested parties.
Ulla Engelmann, European Commission’s Directorate-General for the Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs, will deliver a presentation on “The role of clusters in economic recovery” and talk about promoting economic resilience.
“With the pandemic, clusters became more active, the digital transformation has gained new momentum, and moving to new business models has saved many companies. The Cluster Alliance has been constantly analyzing supply chain issues and seeking common solutions since the beginning of the crisis,” says the keynote speaker.
The situation in clusters depends on the ecosystem they represent. “For example, although digitalization has accelerated in the tourism ecosystem, it cannot offset the effects of the pandemic,” explains the keynote speaker of the forum Ulla Engelmann, adding that clusters not only cater to the needs of their members but also respond to calls for help. Back in the spring, they responded to the massive need for safety measures – they were actively produced and supplied to the lacking institutions.
Today’s challenge is to involve cluster representatives in drawing up national recovery and resilience plans. According to the expert, the situation varies between EU countries: “There is better communication and national plans better respond to the needs of clusters members better in countries with a clear cluster policy and mature clusters actively participating in EU programs and partnerships. In other countries, clusters need more effort to be heard by policy makers”.
“Lithuanian clusters proactively participate in the preparation of specific proposals on the use of cluster potential in the implementation of the National Adaptation Plan (NAP) for 2021-2030 strategic goals,” notices another guest speaker of the forum, Director of the Lithuanian Cluster Network Kristina Šermukšnytė-Alešiūnienė.
Assessing recent development, she points out that circumstances have led to the formation of a new cluster paradigm. The cluster is perceived as a facilitator of actions for a sustainable and digital economy in the long-term EU system transformation.
“The role of clusters is expanding: they are becoming a key tool for catalyzing the circular economy, strengthening European value chains, promoting internationalization, and opening up world markets, incubating growing business, raising skills and qualifications, promoting interregional innovations,” explains K. Šermukšnytė-Alešiūnienė.
She will present the synergy and cooperation that takes place through participation in the Lithuanian cluster network on the virtual Baltic Baltic Cluster Forum stage.
The forum is coming soon! Do not delay and register to hear the news and trends of cluster policy in Europeand Lithuania.
Baltic Cluster Christmas Forum 2020 is organized under the project Promotion and Development of Innovation Networking (InoLink) implemented by the Agency for Science, Innovation and Technology (MITA) in cooperation with the Lithuanian Innovation Center and funded by the European Fund for Regional Development. The project aims to promote the clustering of companies, to increase cluster maturity, to promote their growth and international collaboration.