"Clusters as Drivers for Economic and Social Development in the Mediterranean Area" Conference took place in Izmir, Turkey, from June 14-15, 2012. It was the first TCI Conference organized in the Mediterranean Area, although the clustering policies have been implemented and experienced widely in the Mediterranean for more than ten years.
Clustering policies, programs and clusters are required to be multi actor and multi objective dynamic processes and allow an evolutionary progress. There is also a variety of implementations, in terms of the level of experience, number of cluster initiatives or types of policies. The main theme of the Conference has been determined within this perspective with the idea of adopting new and successful models of clustering in the Mediterranean Area, which further contributes to increasing the competitiveness of sectors. Within the rich diversity of policies and implementations, the policy makers and practitioners working in different countries had an opportunity to learn from each other and also learn from the experts and well-known academicians. Up-to-date academic studies and interesting cases were presented at the Conference as well.
There were around 300 participants from Greece, Croatia, Serbia, FYROM, Spain, France, Italy, UK, Belgium, Netherlands, Germany, Poland, Norway, Sweden, Pakistan and New Zealand at the Conference. Practitioners, policy makers, business leaders, entrepreneurs, cluster managers, researchers and consultants from various development agencies, government departments, universities and international organizations shared their experiences on clustering, competitiveness, innovation and economic development.
During the Clustering in the Mediterranean: Commonalities and Experiences Session, LEDIB Cluster House was presented, along with Cluster Initiatives from Greece, Croatia, FYROM and Montenegro. The Moderator of the Session was Gerardo Patacconi, Cluster and Business Linkages Unit, UNIDO.
Mr. Lund presented the LEDIB Cluster House Concept as a Tool for Cluster Development in The Balkans and talked about the project background, the services it offers, achieved results, performances and future plans. This presentation stirred a great interest of numerous participants, and it has shown that although the LEDIB Cluster House has not been operating for a long time, it has already achieved excellent results, and is one of the leaders of cluster development in the region.
This Conference fulfilled its objective to become a creative and synergetic platform, as participants had a chance to meet and share policies, practices and knowledge. Valuable outputs were produced as the social bridges between all sides of the Mediterranean, Middle Eastern and European Countries have been built.
High Representative of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark, Mr. Mikael Erbs-Jørgensen visited for the first time since the end of the mission cluster LEDIB.