SPAIN: On September 25th and 26th representatives of 26 Norwegian clusters visited Barcelona to exchange experiences and explore cooperation opportunities with 24 clusters in Catalonia.
The conference was opened by Mr. Antoni Ma. Garu, Managing Director of the Department of Industry in Catalonia, and by the Norwegian Ambassador Mr. D. Johan Vibe, who highlighted the opportunities for cooperation and invited the participants to explore different paths for collaboration, this with the aim of fostering improved relations between clusters and the industry.
Mrs. Karin Gjerløw Høidahl from Innovation Norway explained the Norwegian cluster model while Alberto Pezzi and Joan Marti, from the Catalonian agency for economic development, ACC10, explained how the clusters in their region are organized and managed. The Director for Innovation Norway in Spain, Mr. Håkon Hauan and Mrs. Mónica Duran from ACC10 described different existing cooperation mechanisms and programs in Norway such as the IRD and in Europe such as the opportunities offered by the “European Enterprise Network”.
The visit confirmed the interest that has developed in Norway for the clusters models in the different regions of Spain, with an emphasis on those located in the Basque country, Madrid and Catalonia. The cluster model in Spain is mainly implemented at a regional level by the development of local policies executed by the regional governments and resulting in different innovative models worth to study.
During the visit, information about models of establishment, financing, management and innovation of the clusters were exchanged and bilateral meetings were held between the Norwegian and Catalan participants. At the end of the seminar technical visits to two of the Catalonian clusters were conducted: Railgrup, specialized in the sector of railroads, and INDESCAT, a cluster for the sports sector. The cross sectorial clusters model, groups of enterprises gathered around the interest of the final consumer groups, were found of particular interest: INDISCAT, related to the sport industry, KIDS CLUSTER, focused on children’s products, and the BARCELONA BEAUTY CLUSTER related to cosmetics and personal care. For more information on the Catalan Cluster Model visit: http://www.acc10.cat/ACC1O/cat/estrategia-empresarial/clusters/
This working visit to Barcelona has certainly served to enhance knowledge and competence sharing. This will contribute to strengthen the bilateral relations between Spain and Norway.
By: Rodrigo Ballesteros