HBio together with three other European life science clusters that participate in the COSME-funded “Excellence Cluster for Regional Improvement” (ECRI) project performed a study visit on February 15 and 16 in the regions of Malopolska and Silesia in Poland. The project partners come from four different countries with a different level of cluster excellence. The four consortia members are Bioib (Cluster biotecnològic i biomèdic de les Illes Balears); KLK (Klaster LifeScience Krakow); bioPmed (Piedmont Innovation Cluster); and HBio. The common objective of the ECRI project is to improve the performance of the four consortium clusters, achieve and maintain cluster excellence in order to strengthen the competitiveness of their actors and foster trans-cluster cooperation.
The study visit was hosted initially at the premises of the Life Science Park of Krakow and was part of the training activities foreseen by the ECRI project in order to foster exchange of best practices regarding cluster management. The participants were first informed about the economic development strategy and cluster policy of the regional authorities of Malopolska by Robert Maciaszek (Director of the Department of Treasury and Economy, Marshal Office of the Malopolska Region) and by Anna Sowa-Jadczyk (Deputy Director of the Malopolska Regional Development Agency). The Malopolska region is one of the most dynamically developing regions in Poland and Central Europe. Clusters in Malopolska serve as sectoral innovation agencies that offer business development services and promote technology transfer, sharing of facilities, exchange of knowledge and competences among the innovation actors of the local ecosystem (SMEs, large companies, research institutes).
Additionally, the study visit included visits at two Key National Clusters; the Sustainable Infrastructure Cluster in Kokotow and the MedSilesia Cluster, which is a Life Science cluster in the region of Silesia. The managers of the visited clusters presented their organisations and their activities. The presentations were followed by open discussion, identification of best practices and reflection on the actual situation of each cluster initiative. The discussion was focused on topics such as activities and services for members, strategic and operational collaborations, income streams and member engagement.