SPRI Basque Country Business Development Agency,
Department of Economic Development & Infrastructures (Basque Country Government).
Address: Alda.Urquijo, 36 - 4ª Planta Edificio Plaza Bizkaia. 48011 Bilbao (Basque Country), Spain.
SPRI Agency and its Role and Background as pioneer Development Agency
SPRI, the Basque Business Development Agency, was created by the Basque Government in 1981 with the mission to support, promote and contribute to the improvement of Basque companies' competitiveness, thereby generating wealth in the Basque Country sustainable economic development.
SPRI Group also gathers SPRILUR Industrial Land agency and Red de Parques Tecnológicos, and SGECR S.A. venture capital company. They provide together support programmes and services in the areas of Entrepreneurship, Technology, Business Innovation, ICT Society and Internationalisation. SPRI also runs Invest in the Basque Country service, delivering one-stop-shop assistance to foreign direct investors and also supports the Basque Government’s Department of Economic Development and Infrastructures (DEDI) in developing and implementing the Basque Country’s strategy for smart specialisation (RIS3).
Regarding Cluster Policy, SPRI is the implementing agency of the Basque Country Cluster Support Programme, on behalf of the Department of Economic Development & Infrastructures (DEDI), through the cluster coordination team and engaged cluster liaison officers from SPRI staff.
Basque Cluster Policy - Background
The Basque Country cluster policy is reportedly one of the oldest of its kind in the world, dating back to 1990, when Prof. Michael Porter’s team assisted the Basque Government in implementing his concepts on regional competitiveness based on clusters, with a cluster mapping exercise, followed by the launch of a policy cluster support programme based on cluster management organisations (CMO) in the form of non-profit cluster associations.
Along the years it has evolved with an adaptive approach, reorienting its implementation to cope with new realities and developments. A success factor is that Basque Government’s support and commitment to clusters policy has never been discontinued and its approach to cluster policy as a driver for Regional Economic Developmentand Transformation.
Basque Cluster Support Programme (Financial and Technical Assistance)
Together with financial support for the projects and activities carried out the programme provides the cluster management organisations with assistance for:
- Capacity building seminars & meetings for all Cluster Organisations’ management, on issues such as Evaluation or Technology Watch.
- Strong focus on all participant clusters sharing their own experiences together, exchanging ideas with managing authorities & with academics.
- Interaction with International Cluster Organisations and Cluster Managing Authorities.
- Networking Support and business visits to and from international customers and partners.
LIST OF BASQUE CLUSTERS AND CLUSTER MANAGEMENT ORGANISATIONS (Call 2017)
CLUSTERS3 Project, ”Leveraging Cluster Policies for successful implementation of RIS3”
This INTERREG EUROPE project (2016-2019) launched by SPRI in collaboration with Regional/National governments from Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Poland & UK, also involving in the partnership TECNALIA and the TCI-Network (“advisory partner”) is addressing some key challenges and will end in 2019 with the final implementation of the Action Plan designed to introduce in the policy the learnings of the project. For more information please visit www.interregeurope.eu/clusters3.
Basque Cluster Policy, Recent Developments&Current Challenges in Policy Improvement and Upgrading
In 2013 the implementation of Cluster Policy was entrusted by DEDI to SPRI that addressed a policy revision culminated in 2015 with the celebration of the 25th anniversary of the Basque Country cluster policy.
This revision aimed at further aligning the policy to the new context of RIS3 design and deployment and to the role of cluster associations as facilitators of this process, updating the cluster support programme.
Among the current and near future Challenges of Basque Cluster Policy, some key issues are:
- Optimal Policy Mix (Coordination ofCluster Policy, other Competitiveness related Policies and RIS3).
- Dynamic update and adaption of the Cluster Mapping and their Cluster Management Organisations (CMOs): Convergence, Integration…
- Strategic Cross-sectoral & Cross-borders, Cross-Cluster Collaboration (Emergent Industries, RIS3).
- Capacity Building: Improving Cluster Management Capabilities.
- Monitoring & Evaluation: Better data & indicators to assess impact, learn and improve.