Northern Connections

Findings WP3 presented in Kiel in December 2017

16 January 2018 - Published by Rikke Schak Toustrup-Jensen

The aim of WP3 is to support knowledge transfer between project partners who represent the three different parts of the triple helix. The HCU and the WP3 partners organised and conducted two surveys. Survey one focused on knowledge transfer and internationalisation of clusters. The second survey aims to find out how small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) are involved in the clusters, how they are supported by cluster organisations and which of their activity themes or tools promise the best potential for transnational collaboration.

The intermediate results of the second survey show that SMEs are the largest group in terms of cluster members and participation in cluster activities. In total, all clusters together cover all sub-sectors of renewable energies, but there are some stronger and weaker sub-sectors considering the number of firms (annual turnover or R&D performance were not considered). The strong sub-sectors include wind, solar, biomass or energy storage solutions, among others. The weaker sub-sectors are, for example, aerothermal, geothermal or ocean energy.

Most of the clusters in the renewable energy sector are starting to work or are already working across multiple sectors, for example renewable energy and logistics and mobility, system solutions in district heating and cooling or renewable energy in context of aerospace and port industries. The generation of more cross-over linkages between the energy sector and other sectors like transport, marine or the food industry was frequently named by clusters as one of their important challenges in the future. Additionally, strengthening cooperation between businesses, knowledge institutions and education and government and increasing the involvement of citizens in innovation processes and cluster activities are topics in the future and should be supported by cities and regions.

The report with results of WP3 will be finalised in the first quarter of 2018.

The summary findings and discussion points can be seen here.