Clusters can play a critical role in the recovery of Finland
It is often referred that crisis can be seen as an opportunity to develop something new. Covid-19 epidemic showed clusters playing a crucial part in supporting businesses, creating social initiatives and pushing funding for SMEs. Clusters have shown to be agile and creative during crises and bringing about resilience to its members. In Finland, the regions should also take an initiative to invite clusters to take role in implementation of regional recovery plans.
A webinar held November 25, 2020 provided a forum for discussion on the role of clusters in recovery. A high-level panel concluded during the webinar that clusters are in ideal position to develop essential industrial and economic resilience as Europe recovers from the impact of Covid-19. Ulla Engelmann and Eva-Maria Revilla-Peñaranda from European Commission shared their thoughts on the role of clusters for a sustainable EU recovery. Antonio Novo Guerrero from European Cluster Alliance (ECA) shared practical examples on how cluster are speeding up the recovery and Mikko Härkönen from Finnish Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment gave an introduction to the ecosystems concept in Finland.
“Clusters ability to raise our capacities and our resilience is why clusters are critical for recovery plans”, stated Antonio Novo from ECA in his speech.
Currently, European regions are developing their recovery plans, complementing the national recovery and resilience facility. Each member states will submit national plans 1st of April 2021 latest. Regional authorities are in the key position to recognise the role of the clusters and invite them to support regional ecosystems in the recovery process.
It is important to understand the difference between clusters and ecosystems in order to see clear complementing roles. Ecosystems are independent networks between enterprises, researchers, public administration and third-sector operators. Clusters are more formalised form of collaboration and catalyst strengthening the operations in the ecosystems. Clusters should be seen as contributors facilitating innovation, channelling funding earmarked for recovery and resilience and finally, achieving the green and digital transition.
“We can see this crisis as an opportunity to build something new. Clusters have a role in planning how we can do things differently. To not only to survive but to create something new for the businesses”, concluded Mikko Härkönen from the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment.
Webinar: How can clusters accelerate regional ecosystems in the recovery of Finland? 25.11.2020
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