Year 1 - 2014-2015

The work of the first year has been implemented by a group of specialists - all of them hands on practitioners - that gradually got to be called the Working Group. They opend the floor to a debate on two main themes :  development and internationalization - in particular through cooperation - of what we have called Competitive Districs or Polos de Competitividad in Spanish. By Competitive Districs we mean industrial/service clusters and other players such as local governments and Research and Development organizations in the territories in which they are located.

The working group did not realize an academic and thorough exercise on competitiveness and internationalization of clusters, but rather a work that sought to observe Competitive Districts in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) and the EU and share their practices in the matter.

The work had three objectives:

  1. Identify and synthesize key elements that favour the development of new Competitive Districts or strengthen existing ones,
  2. Look at the parameters that actually allow agreements and joint development between Competitive Districts (within a region and between both regions)
  3. Sketch lines of actions and policies likely to promote and strengthen collaboration processes between LAC and EU regions and Districts. 

The working group has actually formed a bi-regional network of actors from various Competitive Districts, sharing a number of common practices and values that could favour higher cooperation between districts of both regions.

The platform currently consists in 4 discussions blocks to which the participants contributed:

  1. Profiles of the Polos - Gathering the profiles of some 76 districs from 27 regions and countries
  2. Discussion 2: Competitiveness
  3. Discussion 3: Internationalization
  4. Discussion 4: Policies.

Each discussion block has 1-5 questions that were asked sequentially. 

The conclusions of this first year are attached to this page from which they can be downloaded.

The Working Group gathered in Hamburg at the end of April 2015 and while acknowledging the interest of the work done so far, laid down the basis for future activities to be developped from the end of 2015.

As a direct consequence a group of 14 clusters from 10 Latin American countries took part in the C2C event organised in EXPO 2015 Milan as part of the EU-CELAC Business Summit.