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Support action for innovation driven clusters in construction. Regional approaches, multi-stakeholder engagement and cross regional co-operation

Final Report Summary - REG CON (Support action for innovation driven clusters in construction. Regional approaches, multi-stakeholder engagement and cross regional co-operation)

In the first year of the REG CON project methodology for cluster implementation has been elaborated as a framework defining the most important elements for emerging, developing and mature clusters. Moreover, the methodology has been complemented at the end of the project with the knowledge and experience gained in the course of realisation of REG CON.

After successful preparation of ICM333 model (innovative cluster model with 3x3x3 main elements), thorough analysis of potential stakeholders' opinion on cluster initiatives followed. This has been achieved by means of field surveys, specially adjusted in each country to the specific requirements and needs of the relevant region and cluster status.

The results have been presented in a form of country reports and the stakeholders that participated in the field survey activities were included in the regional databases of potential cluster members. Next steps included early mobilisation of stakeholders during communication workshops, which were organised in Poland, Basque Country and Greece in the end of year 2008. During these workshops, survey results has been presented, future cluster set up activities has been planned and thematic sub areas of collaboration have been identified.

Simultaneously, individual meetings with potential stakeholders took place and intense dissemination activities including also promotional material production: first REG CON leaflet in five languages informing about the project and second high-quality folder in English for the cluster workshops and meetings.

Having performed mentioned above tasks the ground was laid for more intense formation of new cluster in Poland, Basque Country and Greece, as a first step to ensuring the cluster sustainability after the project ends.

The tangible results achieved in the second year of the project realisation started with preparation of detailed action plans for all pilot regions. The action plans were important step in further development of the new clusters, covering organisational, operational, and financial aspects.

The results gathered and experience gained during elaboration of REG CON documents were also included in the additionally prepared publication entitled 'Regional construction clustering in action. Strategic roadmapping & action planning' acting as guidelines for cluster formation supplemented with examples for construction clustering beyond the pilot regions.

The second publication entitled 'Regional construction clustering in action. Case study showcase' provides some insight into the plans and aspirations in three cluster regions, as well as a sample of case studies, of a different level of maturity, originating from all five participating countries (Poland, Greece, Basque Country, Finland and Slovenia). These case studies highlight instances on innovation in construction and demonstrate the clustering concept in action.

Mentioned above publications were disseminated during interregional conference which took place on the 20th of October 2009 at Bizkaia Technology Park Headquarters in Bilbao (Basque Country) and regional cluster events in Poland (Warsaw), Crete (Greece) and Basque Country (Bilbao).

Simultaneously, continuous meetings and workshops with existing and potential stakeholders has taken place during the second year of project realization as well as intense dissemination activities including: updating REG CON website, creating third REG CON leaflet (A5 format, eight pages) with all project results and REG CON publications.

Having performed mentioned above tasks the goals envisaged in the description of work has been achieved successfully and on time. As a result and through incorporating small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) into sector innovation processes, the REG CON project contributed to a shift in the construction sector to becoming knowledge-based driven.

Presentations of the new clusters are included in the attachment.