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After an 18-month collaboration, the regions and clusters involved in the European Clusterplast project organised their second and final dissemination event.

 

The CLUSTERPLAST event ‘’Toward a common European and regional strategy for plastic clusters’’ was held on 28th and 29th of June 2010 in Charbonnières-les-bains / Lyon (Région Rhône-Alpes-France). It was organised in the context of the plastic week in Rhône-Alpes since it was followed by the Plastipolis forum the 30th of June and 1st of July morning and the Allizé- Plasturgie annual meeting of he 1st of July afternoon.

It was the occasion to gather again the key players of the Polymer Converting Industry

 

The first day,


The results of the Clusterplast project were presented and more precisely the activities planned in the Joint action plan (JAP). Collaborations were also shown on each of  the 7 axes of the JAP: 1/Sharing of RTD infrastructures, 2/ Knowledge transfer, 3/Mobility, 4/ Common RD projects, 5/ Entrepreneurship, 6/ Education and Training, 7/ Mutual learning and mentoring. This was another occasion to collect recommendation about the JAP.
It was also the opportunity to exchange good practices on cluster policy with the presentations of 3 clusters experiences, with different level of development: Clusterland which has 10 years experience in cluster policy, Engineering and Tooling from Portugal which exist since 2009 (as one of the result of the CLUSTERPLAST project)  and Plastival which is in the making.

 

The second day,


European but also international initiatives were presented: Ohio polymers, European Network of Excellence on micromanufacturing, Intercluster Europa, Manufuture.
A round table gave a global point of view from RD partners, SMEs, large companies, Regional and European political speakers about the expected impacts of cluster policy on business and territory development.
Finally, participants had the occasion to visit TORAY FILMS EUROPE (market leader in polyester films) and UNIVERSITY LYON 1 IMP Laboratory (Polymer Materials engineering laboratory).

To conclude, this second CLUSTERPLAST event was the opportunity for industrials, researchers, cluster organisation and institutions to network with the perspective of creating business and promoting common initiatives. It contributed also to the strengthening of relationships between European clusters and to common definition of the polymer industry of the future. The clusters reaffirmed their support to the polymer industry especially the SMEs. It was underlined that clusters should not only target ground breaking and breakthrough-oriented R&D and technology-based programmes but to promote, via services provision, knowledge transfer and the focused implementation of effective tools, the deployment of an answer to the industry needs and to further education and training as part of their priorities. Finally clusters should take into account the market approach, cluster strategy and management.
Local and regional representatives met other European regions and shared their experiences, promoted good practices and reaffirmed the need to work together with the stakeholders, in order to enhance and further define regional development strategies for the future.
From the European Commission (EC) point of view, the cluster definition remains wide and synergies between regions have to continue. The European programs are on the way of simplification; the European participants should look now for cross funding (CIP, FP7, PPP, FEDER…). For information, the EC underlined that some half way FP7 program are only 10% used. The proof is given that some improvements should be done in order to motivate the participation to these programs moreover towards SMEs.

93 participants attended the event (24 from cluster organisations, 16 from companies, 28 from public authorities or equivalent bodies, 21 from universities or research centres and 4 others). It respects the principle of the triple helix (Business, research and local authorities). Participation of European clusters / regions external to the consortium has to be underlined (Belgium, Germany, Slovakia, Switzerland, The Netherlands, and United States). The event was translated in local language in order to attract local actors and the full range of stakeholders.

 


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