Conference delegates will be able to pre-register for one of a selection of cluster and experience tours, with transport departing and returning from/to the main conference hotels in San Sebastian. Lunch and refreshments will be provided as part of these tours. The tours will be organised in collaboration with local partners (cluster organisations, research centres, government departments, firms, museums, etc.), and will each feature 2-3 field visits to interesting elements of the cluster/experience.
Cluster tours are likely to include the following:
Until the beginning of the 1980s, there was no significant tradition in the aerospace industry in the Basque Country. The initiative of a handful of people from local firms and the support of the Government gave rise to the cluster. After an impressive growth over the last 20 years, the Basque aerospace cluster Members forms today an important part of the global value chains supplying the world's leading aircraft manufacturers.
Originally grounded in first and second tier suppliers (with several global players: CIE Automotive, Maier, Fagor) the Basque automotive cluster has evolved into a conglomerate of actors that spans the entire value chain. As such, it forms an international best practice as to how cluster dynamics can enable a region without prior final car assembly activities to develop a gate-keeping position towards the final consumer market. The growing presence of Basque automotive companies across the globe makes this vibrant cluster a highly valuable benchmark for internationalization of businesses, and the own-created electric city car project « Hiriko » will further strengthen the Basque region's role on the global automotive scene.
This cluster represents the Basque Government's first attempt to diversify and transform the economic structure by applying a key enabling technology. Even if lacking pharmaceutical firms and strong university research capacities, the Biobasque strategy has succeed in creating research capacities and a new bio-firm sector. This success is due to the adaption of the strategy to the specific characteristics of the Basque Country and strong commitment and leadership from the Basque administration. Indeed, this commitment to the diversification of the Basque economy through biosciences was recognised in June 2011 by the jury of the European RegioStars awards.
MACHINE TOOL AND MONDRAGON
A leading export-led cluster and traditional cornerstone of Basque industry, combined with insight into Mondragon Corporation, one of the world's leading experiences with the cooperative business model.
The Basque Country has a long tradition in well-established energy companies. These firms maintain a leading role in new traditional energy projects and are at the forefront of innovation in the sector. Projects range from wind energy to electrical vehicles, from modernisation of traditional refineries to wave energy R&D projects, and from gas developments in re-gasification and combined cycles plans to electric smart grid projects. A combination of public-private partnership has enabled this development of new industries and new companies in the energy field.
WINE AND TOURISM
The Basque province of Alava forms part of the world-renowned Rioja wine-growing region and brings together an innovative nexus of wine-making, culture, gastronomy and architecture.