Fornyet Gold Label-sertifisering
Klyngeprosjektet GCE Blue Maritime har gjennomgått en omfattende revisjon og fått fornyet EU-sertifiseringen Gold Label for the European Clusters Excellence Initiative.
Results of the Assessment
A total of 31 quality indicators were assessed by the three independent cluster experts by interviewing the cluster manager and the CFO and by studying of the digital documentation prepared by the cluster team. The findings of the interview were substantiated by relevant documents provided in advance by the cluster organisation and «on request» of additional information from the assessors during the on-site assessment. The assessment focused on data relevant to the year 2017 and 2018. For each quality indicator a specific quality threshold had to be passed. The “Cluster Organisation Management Excellence Label (Quality Label) GOLD” is awarded to cluster organisations, which gain a minimum of 80 per cent of the cluster management excellence score.
The cluster organisation BLUE MARITIME CLUSTER has gained 93 % of the cluster management excellence score and is therefore awarded with the “Cluster Organisation Management Excellence Label (Quality Label) GOLD”.
The experts had a very good impression of the work of BLUE MARITIME CLUSTER initiative and its ability to create impact for the cluster members. The cluster team has improved many of the recommendations from the 2016 assessment, especially in the areas of cluster strategy revision and in monitoring of project and cluster economy. Strengths can be seen in the stability of the cluster membership despite the sharp downturn in the relevant markets since 2016. The cluster management team encompasses both young and some highly experienced senior managers making the team well able to manage the complexity. The team should work hard to develop more measurable goals related to cluster management excellence and the output (activities/services) of the cluster organisation.
The three success stories which have been presented strongly match the requested criteria, demonstrating the creation of a clear added value for the majority of the cluster members, for the local community, as well as for the majority of the engaged stakeholders. The ÅKP Innovation Arena in particular, with all its infrastructures, represents the “beating heart” of the cluster, gathering companies, the Technical University, and ÅKP Knowledge Park.
About European Cluster Excellence Initiative (ECEI)
Since 2009, the ECEI, initiated by the European Commission, DG Enterprise and Industry, is aiming for the development of methodologies and tools in order to support cluster organisations to improve their capabilities in the management of networks and clusters. Within this context, 13 project partners from 9 countries – all well experienced in the field of cluster management and support – created a uniform set of cluster management quality indicators and developed a quality labelling system for professional cluster management with the aim to have this methodology and proof of evidence accepted and recognized all over Europe. Labelling clusters is not new as such. During the last few years, many member states all over Europe have started setting up cluster support programmes, which often focus on the most competitive cluster initiatives within the country. For example, in France, Germany, Hungary, and Sweden a certain number of clusters have been selected for further funding or support, due to their leading position. Being selected within such a programme is already in itself some kind of quality label, since it expresses recognition as “excellent cluster” among the entire variety of clusters in a country. However, the applied selection mechanisms often follow national priorities or politically driven objectives. The “Cluster Organisation Management Excellence Label (Quality Label) GOLD” developed within the ECEI goes one step further. The overall approach is the creation of an independent, voluntary proof of cluster management excellence which is accepted and recognised all over Europe, or even beyond. It is not only aimed at the distinction between “good” and “bad”, but to motivate cluster managers to take part in an improvement process, to become better by comparing with others and learning from the best. Thus, the elements of “mutual learning” and “mutual benchmarking” play an important role. The European Secretariat for Cluster Analysis (ESCA) (www.cluster-analysis.org) has been mandated by the European Cluster Excellence Initiative to organise the assessment process and to award successful cluster organisations with the “Cluster Organisation Management Excellence Label (Quality Label) GOLD”.