It is not an empty buzzword - Industry 4.0 has already got a profound impact on the everyday operation of most sectors, from the largest market leaders down to the tiniest SMEs. Automatisation, networked smart tools, and a significant shift towards an innovation-driven economy poses great challenges, many of which is impossible to overcome for any single enterprise.
The role that networks and especially clusters play in this environment is therefore also fundamentally transforming. No longer „just” a platform of possible cooperation and competitive advantage, they now need to grow into a hub of competence and innovation coordination interlinked with other networks around Europe, a „Cluster 4.0”. This results in renewed collaborative dynamics, however requires new and distinctly different attitudes and skills from both cluster members and most importantly, cluster managers.
These new trends could be classified in different topics as internationalization, due to the need to work in a global market; Business leadership and entrepreneurship, because new market methods and social networks are changing all the ways of managing a business and interacting with customers, competitors and workers and also to foster the growth of emerging industries; And industry 4.0, owing to that new technologies are changing industrial processes toward a smart industry.
Time is of the essence though. These new sets of cluster management skills and competences need to be learned and put to use fast, and this is where Cluster4Smart comes into play. Responding to this need, we are developing a comprehensive online vocational training course, providing accessible and up-to-date knowledge tailored to the very specific needs of cluster managers.
Cluster4Smart is a project co-financed by the ERASMUS+ programme of the EU, running from September 2017 to February 2020. The partnership is composed of 7 French, Hungarian and Spanish clusters, intermediary organisations and universities, providing a complex overview of the field. During this time, we work rigorously to research develop, test and fine-tune a great learning experience for the European cluster community to utilise.