Impressions from the Competitiveness Summer School 2018

Last month the Foundation, in association with IESE Business School, held its Competitiveness Summer School, the annual agora for policy makers end senior practitioners in economic development. The training week went fast and it was a great experience to see the engagement level between participants, the faculty and speakers, hailing from diverse geographies and areas of expertise.

When Friday came, everyone left the classroom with a smile on their face and fresh ideas in mind. Here are a few impressions from the participants themselves about the Competitiveness Summer School:

Raimonds Aleksejenko, Deputy Vice Secretary, Latvian Ministry of Economics: “This has been one of the best trainings that I have experienced. I'd strongly recommend it to the professionals working in public sector, especially for those who work with sectoral and industrial policies in regional and national level.”

Evita Feldberga, Deputy Director of Sectoral Department, Latvian Ministry of Economics: “I had a very high expectation for this week and I honestly can say that they delivered more than I expected. All speakers were of highest level with deep knowledge on competitiveness theory and practice… We brought home a precise action plan for Latvia’s future sectoral policy development.”

Claudia Soncin, Network Coordinator, TCI Network: "Thanks to the Summer School I am taking home knowledge on the different cluster policies in various regions. I really appreciated the learning method with the business cases which were very interactive. I’d strongly recommend it to professionals working for the development of their countries or regions."

Anna Korten, Communications Officer, TCI Network: “The Summer School 2018 provided us with first-hand cluster experiences and cases from various parts of the world. I really appreciated the high-level speakers explained the story and challenges they faced and the work they deployed. I gained a deep understanding of clusters, cluster initiatives, and their application for sound competitiveness policies and economic development.”

Many thanks from the Foundation to Raimonds, Evita, Claudia and Anna for their words of trust and support !

The Foundation welcomes Messrs. Conejos and Madsen as new Trustees

Messrs. Jordi Conejos and Søren Madsen were named to the Foundation's board at the last general meeting. Two recognized cluster-based economics experts and practitioners, they both possess an impressive track record in policy formulation targeted at the support of regional and national competitiveness. Together they will bring to the Board of Trustees decades of expertise and vision for sound economic development applied at the highest level.

A partner and senior policy advisor at the Cluster Competitiveness Group, Jordi Conejos served in the government of Catalonia for 18 years, most notably as its Director General of Industry. Under his tenure the first Catalan cluster-based industrial policies were implemented, opening the way for many other countries in Europe.

A “Clusterpreneur” with over 30 years of experience, focusing on cluster and regional development in Denmark, Søren Madsen championed the first cluster reinforcement initiatives and formed the first cluster academy of the country: the RegX Academy. He is the man behind the Agro Food ecosystem and the Business Park Skejby, both located in the city of Aarhus.


The Foundation is honored to welcome them aboard.

Raising Turkey's competitiveness for more sustainable textile

Consulting company TABU Solutions together with the European Foundation for Cluster Excellence finalized “The Essence of Cluster Excellence Management” training which was addressed to stakeholders from the Sustainable Home Textile Cluster in Bursa, Turkey.

Class participants successfully completed the programme and their field project. They were mainly hailing from 4 regional institutions:

  •     BUTEKOM (Bursa Technology Coordination R&D center),
  •     Bursa Chamber of Commerce and Industry,
  •     Demirtas Organized Industry Zone,
  •     Bursa Eskisehir Bilecik Development Agency.

For Mr. Ekin TAŞKIN, faculty member of the European Foundation for Cluster Excellence and General Manager of TABU Solutions:

“When it comes to clustering, having the same vision and using the correct methodology is crucial because we are working on real businesses. Thanks to the training, all stakeholders from the home textile cluster in Bursa now share common understanding about competitiveness and regional development.”