Outcomes of the Cluster Projects Development Workshop
The Bremen seminar brought together the 23 cluster ideas so far submitted and other interested projects. Many open questions have now been resolved not least regarding the Programme's real expectations for clusters, the financing available, and the timeline up to the opening of the first call for cluster project proposals on February 14, 2011. You can find information on all of these practical issues in the presentations here.
Discussion of the cluster concept
Two questions were dominant and deserve to be answered again here. Firstly, 'What is a cluster project?'. In the North Sea Region Programme it is a collection of partners from at least 3 existing projects, who come together to pool existing results and develop a package of activities that will increase the long-term impact of these results – through identifying new ideas within the cluster, gaining a stronger voice in policy discussions, drawing in new stakeholders, or whatever else cluster members believe will have the greatest effect.
Secondly, 'What kind of projects are likely to be approved?'. While it is of course impossible to give a firm answer here, cluster projects will be assessed according to the same criteria as normal projects – with a real focus on ensuring that the cluster will deliver new benefits in addition to those promised by the original projects.
Current ideas for cluster projects
In terms of progress on the ideas, some have decided to combine forces, others will develop a full project, and others again will not go ahead at this point. There is a summary of the main points below but the situation is of course very changeable.
- Water management: Two cluster ideas seem to be emerging with one focusing on climate change and the other on implementation of other water related EU Directives.
- Innovation: Two ideas remain on the table. One provisionally targets rural-urban connections while the other is focused on implementation of the EU Digital Agenda.
- Energy and climate: One main idea is going forward and will look at the regional role in developing a coherent approach to renewable energies.
- Transport: One main idea is under development focused on maritime transport.
Support from the Secretariat
It is still possible to come forward with new ideas and to try and sign up with the ideas under development – you can find these in the Cluster Idea Booklet below but please remember that many of these ideas have already changed and some are now out of date. You are also welcome to contact Matt Nichols, the Cluster Facilitator at the Programme Secretariat. Finally, please also keep an eye on the website as there will be a steady flow of new information from now until Christmas (please see the Practical Info slides for all important deadlines).
The presentations given at the workshop are available for download:
Cluster Idea Booklet
The Programme invited beneficiaries to submit their ideas for cluster projects. The ideas have been collected in the Cluster Idea Booklet.
The project clustering concept builds on the idea that projects, which share a common theme or address similar issues, form a cluster initiative and deliver a shared strategic input for the North Sea Region.
Details about the cluster concept as discussed to date, the themes and sub-themes identified and the practicalities of submitting cluster ideas can be found here: