On June 8th, Catalonia celebrated its 25th anniversary on cluster policy in an event hosted by Mr. Carles Puigdemont, President of the Government of Catalonia. The ceremony gathered cluster managers, companies, technology centres, universities and associations part of the cluster ecosystem as well as representatives from the Catalan Government in charge of cluster policy during the different stages, to celebrate and acknowledge the success achieved during the past 25 years.
Starting in 1992, Catalonia was a pioneer region in cluster policy and has become since a global leader recognised by the Harvard Business School and the World Bank. Throughout this period, a rich ecosystem has flourished including a wide array of stakeholders and international organisations like the TCI Network and the European Foundation for Cluster Excellence.
During the event, the President stated that “clusters are not a goal themselves” but a tool to boost regional competitiveness. Cluster policy implies “collaboration and joint undertakings” in views of obtaining individual as well as joint benefits for the whole industry, thus, generating a multiplying effect.
Catalan cluster policy is currently being implemented by the Government of Catalonia within the framework of Catalonia Clusters programme, which aims to increase industry competitiveness through improving strategic positioning of companies and the business environment in which they compete. The Catalonia Clusters programme brings together 30 clusters gathering more than 2.000 companies and 290.000 employees with an aggregate turnover of EUR 65.6 billion, accounting for 29% of the Catalan GDP. A recent evaluation study indicates that companies’ members of Catalan clusters believe that their membership adds value to their business and has a positive impact on their competitiveness.
Cluster policy has now been in place for 25 years, showing continuity and commitment from the government with the business fabric regardless of the different administrations. Hence, it represents a good example of innovation in public policies.