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How to Build a Successful and Sustainable Bilateral Interclustering Cooperation?

This was THE question of the workshop organized by Cap Digital and gi-Cluster during Futur en Seine festival on the 9th of June in Paris, and which gathered cluster representatives from several European countries.

Julia Phoca, the manager of gi-cluster, the first Greek cluster for creative industries and a Gold labelled cluster, presented gi-cluster’s collaboration with Cap Digital, the first French business cluster for digital content and services. Though this partnership that has been established between the two clusters, the Ambassador Program was initiated by implementing an Ambassador of gi-cluster into Cap Digital’s premises in Paris. Maria Oikonomidi, the current ambassador at Cap Digital shared her experience as well as the advantages of the program. More specifically, she stressed out the fact that through the Ambassador program she was able to schedule business meetings with important stakeholders from the creative industries in France and help gi-Cluster members penetrate the French market. In addition, in partnership with the Business Development team of Cap Digital she designed a tailor made consultation service for Greek and French companies for market assessment purposes. Finally, gi-cluster and Cap Digital partnered for the creation of a European Alliance called “CreativE U” and joined their forces for a European call for proposal.

Elie Jaskarzee, Digital Health Manager at Medicen, a competitiveness cluster of the innovative technologies for health and new therapies located in Paris, shared his experience on cluster collaboration by presenting his partnership with Biowin, the health cluster of Wallonia (Belgium). He presented the various events that they organized together as well as recommendations for strengthening a cluster to cluster partnership. More specifically, he insisted on the importance of developing global collaborations to sustain strategic actions like European Alliances. He also pointed out that European funding is important but shouldn’t be a determining factor for creating cluster collaborations.

Mokhtar Tazi, General Manager of the Maroc Numeric Cluster presented the process of building a French-Moroccan label to foster the emergence of African Innovative projects. He mentioned that the main ambition of the Maroc Numeric Cluster is to anticipate the tendencies of digital transformation in order to cover the needs of Moroccan companies at Horizon 2020 and also to position the Maroc Numeric Cluster as an important actor on digital innovation in MEA.

Last but not least, Kathryn Geels, Engagement and Research Manager at Digital Catapult, highlighted the outcomes of a successful European Research collaboration and the benefits it brings to clusters, practitioners and the wider industry. More specifically, she outlined the importance of creating connections and maintaining face to face catch-ups in order to build relationships. She insisted on having an adequate planning period to consider all elements and risks and also on making sure that the research data and the recommendations remain tangible.