01 October 2017

The TCI Cluster Evaluation Working Group met in Oslo on 7-8 September (started at 12:00 on Day 1, concluded at 13:00 on Day 2), hosted by Innovation Norway ,with 18 participants that shared their experience on cluster programme evaluation.

On the first day, this workshop focused on the challenges of programme-level evaluation – using Norway’s ongoing evaluation as a case example. What are key aspects that should be included in such evaluations? What methods and data can be used to illustrate the systemic effects and the wider value of clusters? The group discussed and identified gaps in evaluation methodologies and approaches that need to be addressed in this area.

The main topics of discussion where:

-What do programme level evaluations add to cluster initiative level evaluations?

-What are the key aspects that should be included in such evaluations?

-What methods/ data can illustrate the systemic effects and wider value of clusters?

-Should / can we account for interactions between cluster programmes & other policies?

-Where are opportunities to learn from each other? Does a "standardised" approach make sense?

 On the second day, the workshop followed-up on previous working group efforts to develop and test a set of common survey questions for cluster firms (including key indicators, capturing the “human element”, and evidencing critical success factors), and take next steps towards a common tool for capturing the user perspective in cluster efforts. After that, small groups discussed about these questions:

-What specific revisions could be made to the survey?

-Are there specific questions that could be included in more general firm-level surveys?

-How can other approaches complement surveys in capturing collaborative dynamics?

-Why should be the next steps to bring together the data/experiences that are emerging?