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European Cluster Conference 2016 “CLUSTERS 4.0: Shaping Smart Industries”

24 October 2016


The European Commission’s Directorate General for the Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs and the European Cluster Observatory team are organising the European Cluster Conference 2016 that will be held in Brussels from 1 December to 2 December 2016 at the Crowne Plaza Brussels, Le Palace Hotel.

The fifth edition of the European Cluster Conference will focus on the theme “Clusters 4.0: Shaping Smart Industries”, where participants will have the opportunity to hear and discuss the most recent trends and priorities for cluster policies and cluster organisations supporting industrial modernisation.

The spotlight will be on shaping smart industries that are not merely being transformed but that are transforming others and are gaining from the ‘fourth industrial revolution’ or 'Industry 4.0' trends towards mass customization and servitization. The key question is how to effectively use clusters to capitalise on new technologies and service offerings that drive the digitalisation and industrial transformation trends, where everything is becoming interlinked and smart:

  • factories.
  • machines.
  • autonomous production systems.
  • the actors along the value chains.

Clusters 4.0 calls for the development of a generation of advanced cluster policies that respond to these new industrial challenges through:

  • facilitating cross-sectoral value chains.
  • fostering internationalisation .
  • boosting interregional investments.
  • accelerating entrepreneurship.
  • skills upgrading.

The conference is linked to the European Commission’s efforts to support European Strategic Cluster Partnerships and its joined efforts under the thematic Smart Specialisation Platform for Industrial Modernisation. The focus is also on the support of entrepreneurship and growth acceleration of SMEs to turn more start-ups into scale-ups across Europe.

Who should register?  The conference entrance will welcome 250 European cluster policy-makers, practitioners and other stakeholders.

How to register and find more information?  The registration portal is available through the Cluster Conference 2016 website. For the programme see the draft agenda, also available on the portal. Registration will be possible until 17 November 2016.