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EU-Korea Cluster Matchmaking Event in Vienna: supporting networking and collaboration among European and Korean clusters!

The European Cluster Collaboration Platform organised a Cluster Matchmaking Event within the context of the European Utility Week on 7-8 November 2018 with a delegation from Korea to the EU, as well as opportunities for Intra-European matchmaking.

The event was supported by the European Commission, Directorate General for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs (DG GROW), the Korean Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy and the Korea Industrial Complex Cooperation. The aim was to allow cluster organisations to exchange information  and networking opportunities with counterparts from Korea and in parallel to present a platform for exchange among European cluster organisations on the domains of energy, cleantech, smart city, transport  and enabling technologies used to develop innovations in clean energy products, services and solutions..

The delegation was composed of 19 clusters covering 14 European and COSME countries (Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Spain, Finland, France, United Kingdom, Croatia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Serbia and Ukraine) and 14 organisations from Korea.

On the first day, the EU-Korea delegation took part in an interactive high-level cluster cooperation seminar and various bilateral matchmaking sessions. The event was opened by Slawomir Tokarski, Director of Innovation and Advanced Manufacturing, in DG GROW, who highlighted the importance of the relation between the European Union and Korea. He called for closer and more intensive cluster cooperation following the signature of the administrative arrangement signed between the two entities earlier this year. Dr. Stefan Buchinger, CSE, Head of Division Economic Policy and European Internal Market Federal Ministry for Digital and Economic Affairs in Austria, co-host of the event, presented an overview of the role of clusters in the national strategy and expressed his desire for more intensive internationalisation actions and greater cooperation, for example via European and national cluster platforms.  

Mr Eunhyung Cho, Assistant Director at the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy of Korea emphasised the great cooperation perspectives offered by the new administrative arrangement for both Korea and the European Union. Mr Seong-Gil Park, Team Manager/Policy Planning Team, at the Korea Industrial Complex Corporation who highlighted the importance of clusters in supporting Korean industrial policy and confirmed the wish to deepen their collaboration with European cluster counterparts.  The four speakers then participated in a panel discussion and answered questions from the audience on a range of topics including how to best enhance the impact of cluster matchmaking exchanges.

The next session focussed on EU-Korea business and research collaboration support mechanisms. The EU Gateway | Business Avenues presented its services facilitating business collaborations between SMEs in Korea and the European Union and the opportunities to joint future missions. Joon-Hyung Lee, Researcher at the Korea Institute for Advancement of Technology policy and Chan-Ho Jeon, Senior Researcher, Industrial technology complex and National Innovation clusterprovided a detailed overview of the national cluster policy and also the sector and regional specialisations in Korea, an approach similar to the Smart Specialisation Initiative in the EU.  Finally, Professor Kyung-soo Kim, from the Korea Polytechnic University provided insights on the cooperation network model of industry and university in Korea and invited European cluster to join his upcycling cluster initiative.

 

The session was followed by a presentation on the global value chains on smart energy trends and challenges as seen by the Korea Electric Power Corporation and the Austrian Cleantech-Cluster Energy/OÖ Energiesparverband. Two initiatives aimed at accelerating and supporting EU-Korea cluster cooperation were also presented: the European Cluster Collaboration Platform and  Korea's Industrial Cluster policy developed within the framework of the National Industrial Complexes presented by Jeonghee YUN, from the KICOX Industrial Support Services Department.

 

ELBE, a European Strategic Cluster Partnership for internationalisation funded by COSME, was represented by José Ignacio Hormaeche, who presented the partnerships preliminary market analysis and achievements with regards to the Korean market on blue energy business opportunities. The Lithuanian ICT cluster delegation also shared their experience regarding the establishment of a joint diploma with the support of a Korean University.

 

During the final morning session, all participants had the chance to pitch and briefly introduce themselves to the audience before the start of the cluster matchmaking sessions. The afternoon matchmaking sessions allowed for in-depth exchanges between the members of the EU-Korea delegation. Over 94 inter-cluster meetings were scheduled between the participants, out of which 39 meetings were conducted between European and Korean participants.

In parallel, Geyser Batteries, one of the SME members of the Finish cluster Oy Merinova Ab, pitched in front of investors at the EU Projects Zone, in a dynamic session organised by the European Commission, DG Research.

In the evening, the delegation gathered at the French Pavilion of the European Utility Week for a networking cocktail organised by Business France and allowed participants to pursue informal discussions, building on the earlier exchanges.

On the second day, Marc Pattinson, coordinator of the ECCP and Stefania Pantazi, Project Adviser at Executive Agency for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises, European Commission met the European participants for a debriefing session at  the EU Projects Zone located at the heart of the European Utility Week trade show. Feedback from the delegation highlighted methods and opportunities to enhance the EU-Korea cluster cooperation and the ways to continue the exchange of good practices regarding internationalisation support for SMEs.

The morning session continued with a presentation on international cooperation opportunities to the whole EU-Korean delegation by Eva Revilla, Policy Officer at DG GROW, who provided insights on current international cluster cooperation trends and presented the latest European initiatives supporting SMEs and cluster internationalisation. This presentation was followed by an illustration from the European Strategic Cluster Partnership for internationalisation COSMENERG-4i, on renewable energy and supporting internationalisation towards South-East Asia and the Middle-East. Finally, Mr Chan-Ho JEON of the Korea Institute for Advancement of Technology provided an introduction of the international business and research cooperation framework of Korea and invited the European delegates to put forward collaboration ideas and to contact the KIAT team based in Brussels.  He also indicated that KIAT will hold an EU-Korea networking event in Europe during the first part of 2019.

 

Delegates then took part in a guided tour of the European Utility Week stands including stops at the EU Projects Zone, the European Smart Energy Association and the Initiate! zone on start-ups. The final stop was at the Korean pavilion where several Korean companies were presented to the delegation. This tour was also the occasion for the European cluster managers from France, Belgium (Flanders) and Spain (Basque Country) to stop by company members and present them to the EU-Korea cluster delegation such as SenX from SYSTEMATIC PARIS REGION and SICAME from Alpha-Route des Lasers & des Hyperfréquences specialised in energy networks solutions.

The 2-day event ended with a visit to CES Clean Energy Solutions, an Austrian competence centre for energy efficiency, renewable energy and sustainable development that provided interesting insights on current business and technology trends notably in the fields of urban sustainability and renewable energy. This final visit highlighted the common energy and mobility challenges that Europe and Korea face and highlight the need for cluster led industry and research collaboration to find common solutions and support SMEs in their internationalisation efforts.

 

For more information about the event (presentations, list of participants, testimonials, pictures ...), please click here.

 

For further information, please contact:

contact@clustercollaboration.eu

 

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