REG X Newsletter - September 2010 #2

Welcome to the REG X newsletter

In our newsletter you will be able to follow what’s shaking in the area of clusters in both Denmark and Europe and of course, keep an eye out for coming events.

We hope that you will benefit from this newsletter and should you have any comments, good or bad, or suggestions to future subjects , you are more than welcome to contact Louise Fenger Lauridsen

REG X NEWS

Ready to launch the new REG X Training Programme for Cluster and Network Facilitators

[Translate to English:] By webmaster

We are proud to present the REG X Training Programme for Danish and international Cluster and Network Facilitators.

During the past year, we at REG X have developed a comprehensive, in-depth training programme. It focuses on the various competencies that you, as a cluster and network facilitator, should master, in order to work strategically and professionally as a facilitator in clusters, various networks and companies.

The training programme of six different modules is scheduled to take place within an 11 month period.

• The first module “From Networker to Business Integrator” took place 23-24 November 2010 in Copenhagen.

• Module two “Cluster Strategy and Value Chain Analysis” took place 11-12 January 2011 in the town of LEGO, Billund.

The next and third module “Innovation Toolbox” will take place 9-11 March 2011 in the city of Vejle in Denmark.

You can download the programme here.

Registration takes place on the REG X website www.cft.regx.dk.

During the training programme, the participants will be introduced to the following themes:     

  • How to design a strategy and a plan of action for a cluster initiative      
  • How to facilitate an innovation process between the cluster stakeholders, in order to create new business opportunities       
  • What is Open Innovation? And how can you boost Open Innovation between companies in a cluster? ´       
  • How to work strategically with communication and marketing within a cluster and externally, facing the surrounding environment  

A solid and strong team of Danish and international professors and instructors

Teaching professors and instructors on the training programme come from all over the world. They are hand-picked for each individual module and come with a number of different professional backgrounds. You will be introduced to cluster practitioners, company managers, academics, actors, journalists, and many other interesting and exiting people.  

The teaching philosophy of REG X

Our teaching philosophy is based on active participation. We combine practice and theory by using cases and by involving the participants in the training. We want the participants to be able to gain new knowledge and skills through practical exercises which they can take home and apply directly to their own reality in their work. Traditional lectures are not for REG X! We prefer to use new and more interactive methods of learning that can be implemented outside of the class room.  

There are no exams, but the course requires active and determined participants whom, in return, will be given an extensive set of tools to take home.
 

Course fees and number of participants

The price of a module varies from DKK 6.500 – 7.500 or EUR 875 – 1.000. We have 25 spaces on each module.    


Course requirements...

The spoken language during this course will be English.

We at REG X will look forward to seeing you in one or more of our modules!

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Next network meeting scheduled

By webmaster

To facilitate a cluster is about making different players collaborate and move towards shared goals – players with different agendas, collaboration motives and communication patterns. This is never an easy task and therefore, identifying and resolving conflicts are important and valuable skills for a cluster facilitator.

October 26th 2010 from 9.30 – 16.30 REG X will host Network Meeting #2 for Cluster Facilitators and conflict management in clusters will be the theme of the meeting.

During this meeting, a presentation will be given by Michael Johansen from Copenhagen Cleantech Cluster. Michael Johansen has written a thesis about conflicts in cluster initiatives and he will explain why conflicts arise in clusters and how you can turn them into a management tool.

Furthermore, a group of experienced actors and a management consultant will stage various scenarios of cluster conflicts based on input from the participants, and together with the participants act out different ways of resolving the conflicts.

It is free to participate in the network meeting. You only need to contribute with your CV (you will receive a template for the CV when you register to be filled in and returned to REG X – unless you have already supplied REG X with your CV in a previous network meeting) together with a written description of two conflicts that you have experienced in your work as a cluster facilitator.

The network meeting will take place in Aalborg Lounge at the Aab Stadium – so prepare for battle and sign up for the network meeting by sending an email to louise@noSpamregx.dk.

The deadline for registration is the 14th of October 2010.

You can download the invitation and the programme here.

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Master Class about Open Innovation

By webmaster

REG X will host a Master Class 2-3 times a year with the purpose to help companies see the synergies that are in play when working with clusters.

It is now time to kick-off the first Master Class for companies in clusters and the subject will be Open Innovation. The event will take place on November 10th 2010 from 16 – 18 in Spinderihallerne in Vejle.

We have invited innovation expert, Stefan Lindegaard, who is well known for his lectures and his blog (www.15inno.com) about Open Innovation. Stefan will speak about how companies can work successfully with Open Innovation – and avoid making the most common mistakes.

The event is open to all companies in clusters. It is free to participate (max. 2 persons per company), but since we can fit only 50 participants, we suggest that you register as soon as possible.

You can register by writing an e-mail to: susanne@noSpamregx.dk by November 8th 2010.

The invitation to the first Master Class can be downloaded here

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“We share the same challenges”

By webmaster

On May 5th, 2010, REG X kicked off the network for cluster facilitators at Custom House in Copenhagen. A total of 30 cluster facilitators signed up for the meeting. During the meeting, the participants were introduced to the network and to one another, and Mark Patterson from NetworkAcademy.com was invited to share his experiences with the network.

The theme for the meeting was the importance of network and especially, how cluster facilitators can strengthen one another by sharing their experiences and competences.

Lars Horsholt Jensen from the IKT cluster, BrainsBusiness, said the following about the meeting: “In my opinion, it was a good experience to get a visual of the people working with cluster facilitation in Denmark and to gain insight into the various competencies that are present in the network”. Concerning the output from the day, he said the following:
“Many excellent practical perspectives were given on how you build up a good network. Mark Patterson came across with many good observations on why is pays off to work within a network, and how you can use your network successfully, and I can definitely use this knowledge in my daily work with clusters.”

 

A network with potential

The overall objective with the new network is to bring together Danish cluster facilitators and ensure that knowledge is shared between clusters. As Bjarke Hassert Nielsen from RoboCluster points out: “It was very important for me to meet the other cluster facilitators and to generate new contacts because we share the same challenges. Through this network, we can exchange knowledge and practical experiences, which is quite important to me.”

The Network for Cluster Facilitators raises high expectations, and as Lars Horsholt Jensen says: “The network is a compilation of many years of experience and exciting competencies, and the challenge will be to bring all the players in the network into the game.”

To become a success, it is important to the participants that all members of the network equally give and take to benefit from one another. As Hanne Nisbeth from Business Centre Bornholm says: “It is of immense importance that clusters are inspired from outside the cluster, and that we learn from one another’s experiences. Therefore, I expect a mutual inspiration where we all are willing to contribute.”

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European Innovation Conference 2011 hosted by REG X

By webmaster

From the 29th to the 31st of March 2011, REG X and Innovation Roundtable will host the European Innovation Conference 2011 (EIC). The event will take place at Hotel Legoland, and the themes of the conference will be: “Open Innovation and New Business Creation”

EIC 2011 is a new and exclusive platform where 200 innovation practitioners from large European companies (a minimum turnover of €500m.) will meet and discuss the challenges and opportunities that the companies are faced with today. Dynamics, innovation and collaboration are the keys to the success of the companies.

The programme of the conference varies between round table discussions and lectures given by representatives from large European companies such as Nokia, HP and Phillips. The world famous founder of the Open Innovation concept, Dr. Henry Chesbrough, will play a central role at the conference by leading the discussions on Open Innovation and offer his take on the concept.

Read more about the conference by going to the website: www.eic2011.com.

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The two-legged scientist and REG X, the cluster academy

By Trine Vu, trine@noSpamhungogvu.com

It’s a perfect match: A PhD student, focusing on how you theoretically and practically can improve cluster facilitation, and a cluster academy with the sole purpose to educate the Danish cluster facilitators.

PhD student, Mads Bruun Ingstrup, is very fascinated by the synergy, generated by cluster collaboration, and when he stumbled over a hole in the existing knowledge about how clusters develop, he knew he had found the theme for his PhD: How you theoretically and practically improve cluster facilitation and consequently, the cluster development.

“As a scientist I stand on two legs. On the one side, my goal is to reach the practitioners working with clusters. On the other side, my goal is to contribute to research”, says Mads Bruun Ingstrup. He is one year into his PhD studies for the Department of Entrepreneurship and Relationship Management at the University of Southern Denmark in Kolding.

He was affiliated to REG X from day one and will be working on two projects in the framework of the Cluster Academy.

Han blev tilknyttet REG X fra dag ét og skal arbejde på to projekter i klyngeakademiets regi:

 

Offshore cluster is to be a case

One of the projects is to assist REG X in the research work for a case about the Danish offshore cluster, Offshore Centre Denmark, based in Esbjerg, Denmark. The case will be used in cluster research as well as dissemination to students and practitioners in REG X.

“A case is an excellent method to teach complicated knowledge because by using storytelling as the media you avoid losing the point in theoretical discussions and pocket philosophy. A case is an excellent discussion tool as it sets up the framework for the discussion”, the cluster scientist explains.

Offshore Centre Denmark has existed since 2003 and has more than 220 member companies throughout Denmark. The case is to describe the particular development and the milestones the cluster has gone through, since it appeared as an informal network.

 

The lifecycle of a cluster

In the second REG X project, Mads Bruun Ingstrup is to observe 3-4 Danish clusters for two years. He says:

“Most of the cluster studies today give a snapshot image of the clusters. It is like taking a holiday photo: If the sun was shining, you automatically assume that the sun was shining during the entire holiday. By following and observing clusters over time, you will get an indication of its lifecycle including crises and changes. This is really important knowledge because when you know, which phases a cluster can go through, you are better equipped to identify and prevent possible problems."

 

The focus of the facilitator needs to be two-sided

The research of Mads Bruun Ingstrup in the role of the cluster facilitator indicates that the best results in a cluster are reached when the cluster facilitator is involved in the setup of professional, economic, and social boundaries for the cluster, coordinates innovation projects across the cluster AS WELL AS supports the process by commercialising the project results. As a good example of this way of facilitation, Mads Bruun Ingstrup mentions the Danish-Swedish cluster Øresund IT, which is one of the largest IKT clusters in Europe. A benchmarking just done has named it the best cluster in Europe (read the article:”Øresund IT cluster achieves the high-score in benchmarking” in this newsletter).

"The lesson to learn is that a cluster will almost never reach its full potential, if the cluster facilitator doesn’t focus on both the setup and the commercialisation of project results."

 

FACTS

Mads Bruun Ingstrup holds a Master degree in Business Economics with specialty in international business development. He also holds a Bachelor degree in Business Economics and business language. Besides his studies at the University of Southern Denmark, he has also studied at the business schools in Vienna and Helsinki.

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REG X on LinkedIn

By webmaster

REG X is now available on LinkedIn. We have launched the group “REG X”, which you are free to join. The group is for everyone who is interested in following REG X or has an interest in clusters in general. The group is a place where you can get in contact with others that share your interest in clusters. You will be able to start or participate in discussions in the forum and post relevant information on the site that you may wish to share with others.

We have also launched a group called “The network for Cluster Facilitators (REG X)”. This group is for cluster facilitators that are part of the REG X cluster facilitator network. To become a member of the group, you must be a cluster facilitator or work with cluster facilitation in some form.

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NATIONAL CLUSTER NEWS

Cleantech-gamble pays off

By Trine Vu, trine@noSpamhungogvu.com

A Copenhagen Cleantech Cluster corporation from Colorado, USA, is about to establish itself in Denmark. The name of the company has not yet been announced but according to the Secretariat Director in Cleantech, Nicolai Sederberg Rottbøl, it is only a matter of time before the formalities are settled and CCC can write “success” in the project book.

A great factor in the decision making process of the American company has been the Danish Cleantech Clusters’ work with network and ability to bring together companies and researchers in the field of clusters. So, when the governor of Colorado, Bill Ritter, is attending the conference “World Climate Solution” 2010, it is no coincidence.

"The American cleantech company is establishing a development / R&D department here because they have realised that Denmark is the country with the competencies within SmartGrid, and that is an exciting result of our work, now 6 months after the CCC Kick-Off”, says Nicolai Sederberg Rottbøl. He explains that SmartGrid is a type intelligent grid of electricity, which can handle much varied input of electricity from i.e. wind turbines.

 

DKK 145 million

Copenhagen Cleantech Cluster have been very active since the EU Structural Fund in April 2010, accepted the project application that is the largest in Danish history.

The EU transferred DKK 80 million to the CCC expense account, and this is the largest investment in cleantech (development and production of technology for a cleaner environment and sustainable energy supply) in Denmark to date.

In total, Cleantech administrate a budget of DKK 145 million, as the 9 partners in Cleantech contribute to the budget with a total of 50% of the EU funding and The Capital Region of Denmark and Region Zealand contribute with an additional 25% of the EU funding.

“Numerous countries are moving very fast in the cleantech area right now, and many clusters are putting all of their efforts into cleantech. CCC have its base in very concrete issues and we try to samle interesserede parter to solve these issues and increase innovation and impact”, says Anders Eldrup, Chairman of the Board in CCC and Managing Director in DONG Energy, about the philosophy of the CCC.

 

Mapping and matchmaking

The many millions given to the CCC have been marked for various projects. But in general terms, the CCC has 5 main areas of focus: Facilitation, matchmaking, test and demonstration, innovation, entrepreneurship and internationalisation.

“There are many things happening in cleantech in Denmark but the matchmaking part has been missing. No one knew one another very well, so we are in high gear now to map the jungle of cleantech companies in Denmark, so that the CCC – like a matchmaker – can bring together the right collaboration partners”, says Secretariat Director Nicolai Rottbøl.

 

Showroom

Another example of the work in the CCC is a large showroom, which is now being built by Risø. It is a test lab so advanced that it will be possible to sit in Colorado and test a component they have developed in the Danish test lab, to see how it will function i.e. in the Danish grid. Specifically, the opportunity to test new inventions is vital to the cleantech industry.

 

From research to invoice

Other projects are to ensure that the process from research to invoice is speedy, and others are to ensure that the cleantech entrepreneurs do not stall halfway.

But the CCC has only just begun their work and the Chairman of the Board, Anders Eldrup, predicts that cleantech will be the fastest growing business in a few years, globally.

For now, at least one large American company has fallen for the matchmaking skills of the Danish cleantech environment.

 

FACTS

Cleantech
: International term for energy and environmental technologies that enhance sustainable production, replace fossil fuels or decrease pollution.

Copenhagen Cleantech Cluster
: http://www.cphcleantech.com

The CCC 5 year plan
: Create 1000 new jobs. Attract 25 foreign companies to the cluster. Create 30 new knowledge and innovation collaborations between companies and knowledge institutions. Establish collaboration with 15 foreign cleantech clusters. Reach a minimum of 200 members of the CCC. Ensure growth and stability for 25 entrepreneurs. Host at least 200 events.

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The Øresund IT cluster achieves the highest score in benchmarking

By Trine Vu, trine@noSpamhungogvu.com

When the Managing Director of Øresund IT, Micael Gustafsson, stood as a speaker at the European Cluster Conference in Brussels, September 2010, he had every right to gloat if wanted to, because he had thorough documentation stating that his Danish-Swedish cluster organisation is one of the best in Europe.

A benchmarking of ICT Clusters in Europe, ordered by the German government and carried out by Dr. Gerd Meier zu Köcker from Kompetenznetze, gives the highest score to the Øresund IT cluster, out of 70 cluster organisations who participated in the benchmarking. The cluster organisations went through a thorough examination and were measured on more than 50 quality indicators, i.e. the ability of the cluster to match make, the cluster economy and its organisational structure. In most categories, Øresund IT was just the best.

A happy Micael Gustafsson says:

“It is opening many doors for us because it is creating a lot of attention – especially in Brussels. It has become easier for us to win some of the EU projects and that will benefit the entire region. We will also use the result of the benchmarking to explain the local politicians internally that we are actually doing some of the best work in Europe within ICT. Resent years have created many ICT clusters and cluster organisations, but we have been doing this for 10 years so we are indeed in a position where we can teach others how it’s done.”


10 years of experience

Even though the results of the benchmarking were a welcome boost, Micael Gustafsson was not surprised about the results:

“We have existed for 10 years and not many ICT cluster organisations can say that. Cluster collaboration is all about trust and credibility and results are to a great extend about personal relationships. It takes time to create a network and collect experience, and it is therefore, not a great surprise that we are a little further along in the process than others. We have been around for many years, and we have a very large international network.”


Øresund IT is best at knowledge sharing

Øresund IT scored very high in the areas of matchmaking and knowledge sharing.

“We have a very high score in matchmaking, because we are very close to the companies and are good at linking the companies with the right research environments in universities”, says Micael Gustafsson. He added that the benchmarking also shows that the Øresund IT cluster can improve their internal communication.

“There are a great number of people in the Øresund Region that do not know we exist, and naturally, we have to rectify that by becoming better at communicating”, says Micael Gustafsson.

 

FACTS

Øresund IT: A cluster organisation that unite Danish and Swedish IT players in the Øresund Region. The goal is to boost the development the Øresund Region IT cluster. www.oresund.org. With more than 10,000 IT companies, Øresund has one of the largest concentrations of IT companies in Europe. Among the members, you find companies such as Sony Ericsson, IBM, DTU and Netcompany A/S. The benchmarking report was made by Kompetenznetze, a German cluster organisation, and it was ordered by the German government.

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[Translate to English:] PARTNERPRÆSENTATION

Clusterland Upper Austria – Innovation through collaboration

By Lucia Seel, Clusterland Upper Austria

The Austrian federal state Oberösterreich, is considered to be one of the leading cluster and network organisations in Europe. No other region of Oberösterreich has such a well-established economic system of collaboration and networking in their clusters. Clusterland Upper Austria has more than 10 years of experience, and today they are the management and competence centre for 6 clusters and 3 networks. Clusterland is partly owned by three different institutions: 61% is owned by the Austrian Technology and Marketing Corporation (TMG); 19,5% is owned by the Chamber of Commerce of Oberösterreich; and 19,5% is owned by the Federation of Austrian Industry. Werner Pamminger is the Managing Director, and he is also a member of the REG X advisory board.

More than 1,600 companies are linked in the Clusterland clusters and networks. Especially within the car industry, the plastic industry, furniture and wood construction, healthcare, mechatronics and environmental technologies of Upper Austria, the sectors are very well developed, while the inter-sectorial sectors have developed strongly within the areas of HR, design, media and energy efficiency. Within the networks, the main activities in focus are non-technology based innovations.

Clusterland Upper Austria uses the involvement of the clusters and the networks in various international projects in order to enhance the international knowledge sharing. The most important goal of Clusterland is to offer better support to the companies when they enter a new market, and to help ensure that they can access the know-how available in international networks.

At present, Clusterland Upper Austria is involved in a number of international projects within the various EU programmes such as CIP, Interreg and Leonardo. Some important projects are:

  • The European Cluster Collaboration Platform: The goal of this project is to coordinate the development of an online platform in order to strengthen the collaboration between cluster organisations and their members.
  • The Cluster Excellence Initiative: This initiative strives to strengthen the efficiency of cluster facilitation by developing training materials for cluster facilitators, a quality label to support the materials and a club for cluster facilitators to support the process.

In 2008, Clusterland Upper Austria launched the “Upper Austrian Cluster Academy” where 50 European cluster facilitators and representatives from the regional development offices and the ministries participated in order to learn more about the professional cluster management of Clusterland. Special focus was given to the CRM systems. This activity will also take place in the beginning of 2011, from January 25th to the 27th.

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INTERNATIONAL CLUSTER NEWS

The European Cluster Conference 2011

By webmaster

How do you develop world class clusters? How do you collaborate with clusters across the borders of Europe? And how can you develop the competencies that the European cluster facilitators should master in order to create world class clusters? These are some of the questions that the European Cluster Conference will focus on.

The conference, which is hosted by the Commission, will take place in Brussels in October 2010 from the 29th to the 31st. REG X will be at the conference. Check out our website in the beginning of November to see news from the cluster conference in Brussels or go to www.proinno-europe.eu/clusterconference2010/  for more information.


European Club of Managers

At this conference, the cluster practitioners will be given an opportunity to meet one another and create new international connections. This event will take place as part of the new initiative “European Club of Cluster Managers”, a part of the European Cluster Excellence Initiative, a club that will have its first meeting during this conference. As part of the meeting, the club will announce the “European Cluster Manager of the Year 2010”. Denmark will have a say in this decision as Lars Horsholt Jensen, from the Danish cluster BrainsBusiness, will be part of the jury.

REG X will participate in the conference and we will summarise the event on our website when we return.


European Cluster Policy Group

Throughout the past 18 months, a group of representatives from Europe have been working to develop a number of recommendations for how we in Europe can create world class clusters. The recommendations of the group will be presented on September 30th 2010, in Brussels.

From Denmark, Finn Lauridsen, Director of the Danish Enterprise and Construction Authority, has participated in the work together with, among others, Gerd Meier zu Köcker from Kompetenznetze in Germany, who is also a member of the REG X international advisory board. You can read more about the recommendations on this website, after the conference.

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The TCI Conference in New Delhi 2010

By webmaster

From November 29th to 3rd of December 2010, TCI is hosting their 13th annual global conference. This year, 300 cluster players, both theorists and practitioners, will get together in New Delhi, India, to discuss the clusters of the future.

Read more about the conference and register here

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