Last week was the EU Industry Days annual event on industry, which brought together a wide range of partners, industry leaders and policymakers to discuss key industrial challenges and co-develop opportunities and policy responses as part of an inclusive dialogue.
As part of the EU Industry Days, the ECCP launched a new European Cluster Collaboration Platform website.
Clusters and COVID-19 - key takeaways
Centring around the COVID-19 crisis, the week looked at the pandemic through the lens of the twin green and digital transition.
Kicking off the week on 23 February, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen stated that “The EU needs to harness the digital and green transition – this requires a significant public and private investment. With Next Generation EU, we need to invest in high-speed internet, help SMEs use tech to speed up production and cut costs. We need to think bigger than before.”
The key take-aways were that:
- the EU needs to harness the digital and green transition;
- the public and private sector must work together;
- clusters and SMEs must be part of the transitions if they are to become more resilient and sustainable.
The role of the green and digital transition in industry
Speaking more specifically on the green transition, European Commission Executive Vice President Frans Timmermans stated in an interview that “The pandemic did not diminish people’s sense of urgency as far as the climate crisis is concerned. There was a lack of balance between us and our environment. All the investments that are necessary will help us to achieve the green economy”.
On the digital transition, Margrethe Vestager, Executive Vice President of the European Commission for A Europe Fit for the Digital Age, explained that “If we get it right, greater digital efficiency will help us meet our environmental goals – they are twin challenges, they need to be nurtured together”.
The new ECCP website helps clusters to be more resilient
Following on from these speeches, the ECCP introduced their new website at the ‘Meet the Experts’ sessions on 26 February. The new site aims to boost the visibility and showcase the impact of European clusters in cutting-edge industries and expanding markets throughout the world.
Speaking of the role of clusters in industry, Eva Revilla, Policy Officer at the Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs department, highlighted that “Clusters’ role is particularly important to foster what we have been talking about in EU Industry Days – to foster the green and digital transitions”.
Talking specifically about the role of the new website, Valentino Izzo, Project Manager at the European Commission, stressed that “The ambition was to move away from the concept of a one stop shop of information and transform into a more dynamic hub that puts the cluster community at its core”.
Two users also shared their feedback:
- Uwe Pfeil, Cluster Manger from e-mobility (winner of Cluster Manager of the Year) – “The ECCP is, for us, visibility, information, and collaboration.”
- Josep Casamada Project Manager for AEi Textils – “The ECCP is the ‘start’ of the cluster collaboration journey, by finding, communicating, connecting and learning from other clusters.”