Luxembourg Cluster Forum: Creating Shared Value

Date: 12/12/2013

For the first time, eight Luxembourg Clusters joined forces to organise the first Luxembourg Cluster Forum that took place on Wednesday, 11 December at the Utopolis cinema in Luxembourg. The Forum offered an excellent opportunity to learn about the numerous cluster activities and to meet the actors of the Luxembourg Clusters. Special emphasis was put on the question of how the eight clusters can enhance their collaboration in order to encourage cross-sector innovation. The keynote presentation was given by Prof. Jamie Anderson, Professor in Strategic Management at Antwerp Management School, who recently was named as a “management guru” by the Financial Times. Due to his wit and humour he has been described as a ‘stand-up strategist’, who brings together the theories and frameworks of business strategy, leadership, innovation and creativity with a unique presentation style that never fails to both enlighten and entertain.

This insight of strength through collaboration, often observed in nature, is implemented in the economy by the cluster policy. Clusters are a key element of the Luxembourg research and innovation policy. In clusters, companies, research organisations and other actors join forces in order to realise common projects, to benefit from synergies and to gain a better visibility on a national and an international level.

The Luxembourg Cluster Initiative was launched in 2002 by the Luxembourg government in order to encourage networking between the private and the public sectors. The focus of the Luxembourg Cluster Initiative is placed on key technology domains that have been identified as being important for the future sustainable development of the Luxembourg economy, such as automotive components, eco-innovation technologies, biohealth, ICT, materials and space technologies. Logistics and maritime activities are also federated in custers that contribute to the diversification of the Luxembourg economy

"I am convinced that clusters offer an ideal platform for open innovation, especially when they follow a cross-sector innovation approach," states Jean-Paul Schuler, Managing Director of Luxinnovation, the National Agency for Innovation and Research, which is responsible for the management of the Luxembourg Cluster Initiative.

Creating shared value

In his very entertaining keynote speech, Prof. Jamie Anderson underlined that, in our interconnected world, it is becoming increasingly difficult for organisations to build value in complete autonomy. "We have to create an inspiring and innovative environment that brings together creative people with clear visions, ideas and the courage to try new things," states Prof. Anderson. Clusters are an ideal platform for creating shared value as they lay the basis for co-creation by sharing knowledge and experience.

New challenges for the Luxembourg clusters

The Luxembourg Cluster Initiative was presented by a short video and several testimonials were given by cluster members. The managers of the Luxembourg Clusters presented their key activities and projects during a round table discussion. The predominant question was how to foster collaboration not only within the clusters but also between the clusters. "There are themes that are relevant for almost all Clusters, for example the conception of new materials," underlines Laurent Federspiel, responsible for the Cluster Initiative at Luxinnovation. In order to better adapt the national cluster policy to future challenges, a new strategy has recently been defined that focuses on enhanced cluster activities in the fields of business development, internationalisation, flagship projects, branding, and prospection and promotion.

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