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Analysis of the survey for profiled cluster organisations: Executive Summary, August 2019

In May 2019, the European Cluster Collaboration Platform (ECCP) invited the profiled cluster organisations to a survey related to their activities and interactions with the platform. The survey was launched on May 14th, 2019 and stayed open until July 1st, 2019. The main aim of this survey was to check the users’ satisfaction with the ECCP. This survey provides an overview of the opinion of the cluster organisations on the services provided by the ECCP and its activities to animate the cluster community.  The invitations to complete the survey were sent to 884 profiled cluster organisations from COSME countries. In total, 200 full responses were collected. Over 27% of the invited cluster organisations participated in the survey and more than 72% of the respondents are cluster organisations with over 5 years of experience.

As the European Cluster Collaboration Platform will be revamped in 2020, the users ‘feedback is essential to better evaluate their satisfaction on the current services offered by the ECCP, but also to better understand their needs. The full report can be accessed here.

 

  • ECCP services

The services offered by the ECCP Platform are seen by cluster organisations as relevant and useful, and their quality is assessed as good, very good or excellent by a majority of respondents. Over 86% finds the quality of the services provided by the ECCP platform very good or excellent. The events and news sections as well as the Weekly Digest provided by the ECCP Platform were particularly appreciated by the users of the platform. Largely, the quality of information provided by the platform is considered very good to excellent.

When users were invited to precise which ECCP services/offers have been most used during the last 6 months, the answers show that 67% of participants accessed the news posted by the ECCP, while 58% made use of the weekly digest and newsletters. Other services such as events, information about EU cluster initiatives, open calls and the mapping tool gathered over 35% of answers. Most respondents use the 2-3 times a month (64 respondents, 27%), followed by those who use it once a week (56 respondents, 23%) or once in a month (50 respondents, 21%).

 

Moreover, 95% of the respondents are satisfied or very satisfied with the overall services provided by the ECCP team. The expectations of cluster organisations on the services provided by the platform include a facilitated access to the information provided on the platform, the development of areas to facilitate the exchange of experience and the provision of services not only to cluster organisations but also to cluster members.

II. Internationalisation

The main targeted countries beyond Europe are: The United-States (targeted by 107 respondents), Canada (targeted by 89 respondents), and China (targeted by 76 respondents). 50% of respondents have already initiated cooperation with clusters from countries outside the EU.

The top 10 targeted countries by the cluster organisations are listed below. Furthermore, the strategic third countries for cluster cooperation identified by the European Commission are in bold.

 

 

 

The ongoing international cooperation activities presented by the respondents of the survey are highlighted in the map below. United-States and Canada were respectively mentioned 14 times by the participants.

 

 

 

International cooperation is supported through the EU Cluster Partnership community and dedicated networks/projects. Today, 25 Partnerships are supported by the European Commission via the European Strategic Cluster Partnerships for Going International (ESCP-4i), aiming at supporting internationalisation and better helping SMEs' access to third markets.

 

  • Recommendations for future developments of the platform  

The suggestions provided by the respondents on additional services that could be provided by the ECCP mostly refer to services already offered by the platform, thus calling for better communication on the ECCP features.

The growing number of the cluster organisations on the platform and the frequency of use of the ECCP is a part of their overall satisfaction. Indeed, most of the cluster organisations uses the ECCP at least once a month (83%) but most did not update its profile in the last 7 months (only 26% updated their profile in 2019).

More and better communication regarding the ECCP and its services seems needed. Special efforts to enhance the partner search services need further consideration to ensure they better meet the needs of the cluster organisations. Eventually, the ECCP should focus on improving the presentation of certain services and raising awareness on its activities on social media as there is still potential for improvement on the number of cluster organisations following the ECCP on Twitter and Linkedin.

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