20 members of the TCI Cluster Evaluation Working Group met after the TCI Global Conference in Eindhoven to update on progress since the Barcelona workshop in May 2016 and plan our focus for 2017.
Themes discussed during the meeting were:
- Presentation of the Poster of the working group progress to the OECD Blue Sky forum on innovation indicators
- Progress, and any challenges, with piloting the survey question, from Colombia, Adelaide and Plymouth. Further opportunities for including the survey questions (or elements of it) are planned for Scotland, Sweden and Catalonia.
- Reflections on the Global Conference: Evaluation was felt to have been an important topic once again, including interesting discussions on the different purposes of evaluation, and how to capture the wider role of clusters in the innovation landscape.
Questions for future discussion were identified including:
- Indicators to measure sustainability and the wider role of clusters
- Case studies exploring the changing role of clusters in the innovation landscape
- How can clusters help deal with crisis: issues of trust and resilience.
Other actions that the group was keen to progress, from this discussion and the meeting in Barcelona were:
- Formation of a TCI expert sounding board: building on the success of expert peer reviews through TCI is was hoped that the expertise within TCI could be harnessed through an expert sounding board which members could use to help inform the development of their evaluation approaches
- Sharing of evaluation reports: sharing the key findings and learnings from cluster evaluations already undertaken (through any executive summaries in English)
- Progressing publications:
- Academic journal papers (e.g. taking forward the OECD paper)
- White paper for policy makers
- Informative easily digestible formats e.g. updating the “pink” booklet.
Upcoming activities for 2017:
The lead partners of the evaluation group will share knowledge gathered from the group over the past years with the partners of the CLUSTERS3 project during an Interregional Learning Workshop in Inverness, Scotland, in June 2017. It is a good opportunity to deepen the discussion on cluster evaluation and involve more cluster practitioners in the activities of the group.
A further workshop open to all members is scheduled for mid-September 2017 hosted by Innovation Norway in Oslo. Key topics will include feedback on the use of the survey and how to show the wider impact of clusters.