The Basque Government is the only Spanish representative in Congress on clusters of the European Commission


The conference kicks off today in Vienna and will last until Friday, and it will reflect on a new model of cluster policies able to strengthen SMEs Inmaculada Freije, the Basque Government Department of Industry, Innovation, Trade and Tourism’s Planning and Strategy Director, will form part of a panel of experts The conference has aroused great interest in Europe and has a full house

Basque Government, 18/04/201

The Planning and Strategy Directorate of the Basque Government Department of Industry, Innovation, Trade and Tourism will form part of a panel of European experts reflecting on key instruments for generating wealth and developing new competitiveness programmes for European SMEs, within the framework of the European Cluster Conference 2012, organised by the European Commission and which will get underway today in Vienna and last until Friday.

The Conference aims to be a forum for reflection and a space for designing a new cluster concept – cluster excellence – as a prior requisite for creating new European development competitiveness poles that will lead to the generation of a new industrial value chain and international expansion for SMEs.

The Vienna event will provide cluster policy-makers and academics with a unique opportunity to increase their understanding of the new challenges facing European regional development, and to discuss the practical approaches for fostering competitiveness through new emerging sectors.

Planning and Strategy Director Inmaculada Freije will be presenting and explaining cluster policy development schemes in the Basque Country that have been deployed as part of the Competitiveness Plan, as a powerful innovation instrument for aiding and encouraging the competitiveness of companies, particularly SMEs.

The conference had a full house due to the great interest aroused in Europe by its particular approach: fostering SMEs’ competitiveness as the basis for their real economy and as a key factor for tackling the current economic crisis and its effects on employment.

The cluster-based business competitiveness model promoted by the European Commission helps catalyse the economy through SME value generation on increasingly competitive, globalised markets.

One of the conference speakers will be the Harvard Business School Professor Christian Kettels, currently the Chairman of the TCI (The Competitiveness Institute), whose 15th annual Congress is set to be held in the Basque Country from 16 – 19 October 2012. This annual meeting brings together the world’s top experts in clusters and innovation and it will be held simultaneously in Bilbao and San Sebastián with the attendance of some 500 representatives of regional clusters from all five continents.

TCI holds four conferences a year – in Europe, Asia, Latin America and Africa – and one global congress, which will take place in the Basque Country this year.


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