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Inter-cluster initiative to target the future challenges for the European polymer converting industry

Final Report Summary - CLUSTERPLAST (Inter-cluster initiative to target the future challenges for the European polymer converting industry)

The European Polymer Converting Industry (EPCI) is one of the major European industries. However, it is facing a huge international competition coming from both, low labour cost regions with increasing innovation ambitions and high developed countries which are massively investing in edge technology   towards leading innovation markets.  
To overcome these challenges, the EPCI has to be able to promote innovation through technology breakthroughs, where synergies between RTD players, European companies (especially SMEs) and local and regional authorities are essential. That is the reason why the 6 european regions of CLUSTERPLAST project1 and their respective clusters worked together during 18 months with the support of the 7th Framework program of the European Commission.
First, the collection of data was supported on a questionnaire specifically developed for this purpose and   filled‐in at cluster level (relevant players outside the clusters were also contacted in order to encompass within the analysis the potential growth of each cluster). We should note that the EPCI clusters involved in CLUSTERPLAST project have different profiles and are in different development stages. In fact, 3 are well established clusters: CLUSTERLAND in Upper Austria region, PROPLAST in Piemonte Italian region, and PLASTIPOLIS in the region of Rhônes‐Alpes in France. Engineering and tooling from Portugal is a recently established cluster in Portugal and finalized its official creation during the CLUSTERPLAST project. Two clusters, from the “Provincia” of Valencia in Spain and Zlín region in Czech Republic, are still not formally constituted . Even if differences are reflected in the collected data, very interesting results were achieved allowing comparisons and correlations between clusters.