Minister Altmaier opens 7th European Cluster Conference.

© BMWi/Andreas Mertens

European Commissioner Thierry Breton, Directorate-General for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs, and Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy Peter Altmaier today welcomed participants in the 7th edition of the European Cluster Conference, which is being held on 10 and 11 November 2020, for the first time as a fully virtual event.

This year the European Cluster Conference, taking place within the framework of Germany’s Presidency of the Council of the EU, is focusing wholly on cooperation to help overcome and find a way out of the COVID-19 crisis.

Experts from all sectors of the economy and from politics will meet online to develop new ideas for investment in green technology, digitisation and a more resilient Europe, and to strengthen the role of cluster organisations in this context.

Federal Economic Affairs Minister Altmaier said: “Almost all the countries in Europe are currently facing rising infection rates and renewed restrictions in public life. These restrictions, which have also been introduced in Germany for the month of November, are hard, but unavoidable. Together we must act resolutely to break the momentum of the spread of infection again. For me, one thing is clear: we must keep doing everything possible to avoid having to close borders. The European internal market needs supply chains that continue to function even in pandemics. We have learnt lessons here from the first lockdown. We will only make it through the crisis if we have a strong Europe and a strong and innovative economy. Powerful cluster initiatives that create synergies and enhanced competitiveness through their high levels of connectivity can be serve as a role model and support us in this regard.”

At the European Cluster Conference, more than 900 stakeholders from cluster policy-making, cluster management, business, research, civil society, training organisations and other interested parties will be discussing current and future priorities for cluster policies and developments to support a climate-friendly digital economy, interregional cooperation and the development of connections between Europe’s value chains, clusters and ecosystems.

Among other things, participants in the conference can:

  • take part in panels and working groups,
  • have a say about cluster-related policy developments at European, national and regional level,
  • vote for the European Cluster Manager of the Year and find out more about the European Strategic Cluster Partnerships of the Year, and
  • exchange ideas both during the conference and at the EU matchmaking event taking place straight afterwards.

Further information can be found at www.clusterplattform.de (in German).