The Cluster Unit at ACCIÓ, the Catalan Agency for Business Competitiveness, hosted its first peer review taking advantage of the service provided by TCI. At the time when Catalonia is taking stock of what has been accomplished to determine what else needs to be done and simultaneously developing an evaluation framework and tools, the peer review was deemed as a significant element to be able to have external input from experienced practitioners.
Alberto Pezzi, ACCIÓ, believes that extracting key lessons from more than two decades of work on cluster development was only possible with a collective effort and with the help of very experienced cluster peers like the ones we had the honour to host in Barcelona.
As Ifor Ffowcs-Williams, Cluster Navigators Limited, states The TCI Network provides an opportunity through the peer review process to bring together experiences from beyond Catalonia in openly exploring further dimensions.
The peer review took place in October in Barcelona and lasted for two days. The expert team was composed of TCI members Madeline Smith, Institute of Design Innovation, The Glasgow School of Art, Scotland, UK, Ifor Ffowcs-Williams, Cluster Navigators Ltd, New Zealand and Augusto Medina, SPI Sociedade Portuguesa de Inovação, Portugal.
It consisted of different sessions in which particular aspects of the Catalan cluster policy were described as well as their evolution and challenges through the years by members of the team. The experts in turn would have some time after each presentation to ask questions, seek to clarify and have a lively discussion. On the second day there was a session with several cluster managers so that the experts would have a more complete overview.