10% of European clusters that have the Gold Label of excellence are Catalan

19 Oct 2020

  • Catalan clusters Packaging Cluster, MODACC, Catalan Water Partnership, Beauty Cluster Barcelona and secpho have been awarded the Gold Label by the European Secretariat for Cluster Analysis.
  • The label, which the clusters accessed with the support of Catalonia Trade & Investment, is one of the most prestigious global recognitions in the field of clusters, which analyzes indicators such as funding, strategy or the qualification of the managing team in these organizations.
  • The minister for Business and Knowledge, Ramon Tremosa, said “having distinguished clusters is very important for Catalonia because once the pandemic is over opportunities will be back quickly and we’ll have to be prepared and well positioned”.

Catalan clusters Packaging Cluster, MODACC, Catalan Water Partnership, Beauty Cluster Barcelona and secpho have been awarded the Gold Label by the European Secretariat for Cluster Analysis (ESCA).

This is is one of the most prestigious global recognitions in the field of clusters, which certifies excellence in the management of these organizations -which Catalan clúster FEMAC already achieved in 2012- to which they had access with the support of Catalonia Trade & Investment, the Catalan Government’s agency for business competitiveness.

Therefore, 10% of European clusters that have the Gold Label are Catalan. In fact, by number of clusters with the Gold Label in Europe, Germany, Denmark and Norway are ahead of Catalonia.

The Minister for Business and Knowledge, Ramon Tremosa, said this Friday morning during the ceremony of recognition to these organizations that "these are excellent figures that give Catalonia self-esteem as a country”.

During his speech, Minister Tremosa also said “having distinguished clusters is very important for Catalonia because once the pandemic is over opportunities will be back quickly and we’ll have to be prepared and well positioned”.

The Minister for Business and Knowledge highlighted the role of clusters as “Catalonia has taken a very big step in the last 10 years, almost tripling the number of foreign multinationals that have a presence here: the Catalan economy has opened up and become international around these multinationals and this allows our SMEs to collaborate with big companies”.

ESCA Director, Helmut Kergel; the CEO of Catalonia Trade & Investment, Joan Romero; FEMAC cluster manager, Enric Pedrós; Beauty Cluster Barcelona cluster manager, ​​Ivan Borrego; CWP cluster manager, Xavier Amores; MODACC cluster manager, David Garcia, Packaging Cluster manager, Àlex Brossa, and secpho cluster manager, Sergio Sáez also participated in the event.

To receive the Gold Label, 30 cluster indicators are analayzed, including those related to financing, governance, strategy, composition (whether the organization has a presence of multinationals, SMEs, startups, universities or technology centers) or the qualifications of the managing team. Having this certificate allows clusters to increase their visibility and international positioning, as well as offering access to other leading European clusters to carry out joint projects and improvement processes.

The Gold Label is awarded by the European Secretariat for Cluster Analysis (ESCA), a Berlin-based association that brings together over 200 cluster experts and manages certification processes, which was born out of the European Cluster Excellence Initiative (ECEI), promoted in 2009 by the European Commission.


What is a cluster?

A cluster is an association of companies (startups, SMEs and multinationals) and other agents (universities and technology centers) in a specific economic field that share resources, generate synergies and project themselves internationally. It helps its members improve their competitiveness through the development of joint transformation projects and the definition of strategic challenges for their sector.

In Catalonia, clusters represent 30% of GDP (74 billion euros of aggregate turnover) and generate more than 300,000 jobs. They have more than 2,600 members, who represent a diverse network of actors, as 70% are SMEs, 13% are large companies, 10% are research centers, universities and knowledge providers; 4.5% of startups, among other agents in the environment.

Currently, 29 clusters are part of the Catalunya Clusters program of Catalonia Trade & Investment, an initiative promoted to support Catalan clusters to help them focus on their strategy, train cluster managers, co-finance strategic projects and organize trips to reference ecosystems to do international benchmarking and closing collaboration projects between Catalan clusters or with international entities, among other initiatives. Out of these 29 clusters, 6 already have the Gold Label.

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