Research confirms positive impact of Flemish spearhead clusters on innovation and growth

13/03/2024
News

Spearhead clusters are driving forces for innovation and growth in a future-oriented Flanders. Recent studies by the ECOOM expertise center and VUB demonstrate this. The six Flemish spearhead clusters Catalisti, De Blauwe Cluster, Flanders' FOOD, Flux50, MEDVIA and VIL request in a joint memorandum to further assume their essential role.

Memorandum speerpuntclusters 2024

Strong clusters ensure Flemish prosperity

The spearhead clusters contribute significantly to Flemish economic growth, which translates into higher added value and productivity of their member companies compared to the sector average, as shown by the Steunpunt Economie en Ondernemen/ECOOM in a recent impact study.

A study conducted by the VUB under the leadership of Prof. Elvira Haezendonck, confirms the quality of the work delivered by the Flemish spearhead clusters. Through a scientific study and extensive survey of companies and knowledge institutions, 14 possible roles were identified that are assigned to cluster organizations. The Flemish spearhead clusters are doing very well in all these domains, this study confirms.

The successful Flemish spearhead cluster policy has major advantages. There is strong coordination between the players within our own innovation ecosystem and the resources are deployed on a business-driven basis. Knowledge development is strongly encouraged throughout value chains. Clusters are the engine and meeting place for companies that ensure innovation and growth in Flanders.

Tine Schaerlaekens

Now it is shown for the first time that we have a positive impact on the productivity of our members through sustainable innovation. That is very remarkable.

Tine Schaerlaekens Director ‐ Catalisti

Now it is shown for the first time that we have a positive impact on the productivity of our members through sustainable innovation. That is very remarkable. - Tine Schaerlaekens (Director of Catalisti)

“It is very encouraging that research confirms that we are doing good work,” responds Tine Schaerlaekens, general manager of Catalisti, the spearhead cluster of the chemical and plastics industry. “It was somewhat expected that we had an impact on innovation and research. But now it is being demonstrated for the first time that we have a positive impact on the productivity of our members through sustainable innovation. That is very remarkable.”

In their memorandum, the six Flemish spearhead clusters jointly express the explicit ambition to further assume and strengthen their role in the future. They therefore ask to continue the cluster policy and thus continue to contribute to prosperity in Flanders.