Project Details

Title: Improving Innovation Capacity in European Chemical Clusters
Priority: 1: Innovation and the knowledge economy
Theme: Innovation, research and technology development

Type of intervention

Type of intervention: 1: Regional Initiative Project
Mini-programme: No
Duration: 1st Jan 2010 - 31st Dec 2012


Total budget: €1,762,400.00
ERDF contribution: €1,342,200.00

Lead partner

Ministry of Science and Economy of Saxony-Anhalt
Hasselbachstraße 04
39104, Magdeburg

  • Click for contact details
    • Contact Person: Catrin Gutowsky
      Phone: 49 391 567 4452
      Fax: 49 391 567 4722

Project summary

The project Chemclust is a cooperation between 10 chemical regions from 7 Member States with the objective to improve the effectiveness of regional development policies in the area of innovation and cluster policies for the chemical sector by means of interregional cooperation and exchange of best-practice. The project has the aim to 1. accelerate the innovation capacity in chemical clusters in chemical regions by (a) improving the organisation of chemical clusters towards knowledge sites, (b) focussing specifically on the implementation of the open innovation concept in chemical clusters, (c) involving R&D providers, local and regional administrations in cluster partnerships for innovation and (d) developing an innovation friendly regulatory framework in chemical clusters throughout Europe; 2. to transfer experience and jointly implement successful practices in three pilot actions focussing on improving the organisation of chemical parks towards knowledge sites, on the

implementation of the open innovation concept in chemical clusters and on skills foresight for the chemical industry, 3. to develop a joint benchmark and monitoring tool to regularly assess the rate of innovation in chemical clusters 4. to articulate the experience in joint policy recommendations at European and regional level to ensuring an innovation friendly regulatory environment and 5. to use the results of the co-operation to improve regional innovation and cluster policies and in particular the efficient use of structural funds mainstream programmes. The cooperation is based on the partnership of the European Chemical Regions Network and a result of the discussion in the framework of the High Level Group for the competitiveness of the chemical industry in Europe, chaired by the Vice-President of the European Commission Günter Verheugen. The partners are regional authorities and development agencies from Saxony-Anhalt, North Rhine Westphalia, Asturias, Masovia, Usti,

Cheshire, Novara, Limburg, Teesside and Schleswig-Holstein responsible for the establishment and support of clusters and the implementation of regional innovation policies.


Results 1. Improve the rate of innovation capacity in the chemical regions by transfer of 15 best practices and by benchmarking the regional performance in a European context, 2. Supporting the chemical industry in Europe in the years ahead by an improved ‘know how’ of public policy actors in the chemical regions on innovation and cluster development, 3. Develop new innovation concepts and strategies with the mainstream SF, 4. Improve the efficiency of regionally based R&D and innovation and cluster initiatives in the chemical regions, and improving 10 regional policies in the area, 5. Creating new or strengthening existing clusters towards R&D and innovation in and between the chemical regions.

Project achievements

The ChemClust project aims to improve the innovation and knowledge capacity of European chemical regions, which are faced with increased competition. Therefore 10 regions have teamed up to share their experiences on innovation promotion within the chem. industry in order to enhance their regional policies. In 02/2010 the ChemClust partners came together in Brussels for the initial meeting of the Interregional Working Group (IWG), where they discussed the planned activities for the exchange of experience in the development of chemical parks as knowledge sites, skills development and open innovation (OI). 1st seminar was organized in June 2010 in Leuna/DE nearby the local chem. park. Under the topic "Chemical Clusters and Innovation Promotion" the partners discussed strategies and the following challenges to be considered for the development of clusters: Cooperation of clusters with outside stakeholders, e.g. industry and academia for OI; cross-sector cooperation with other industries;

New finance models for research infrastructure; Improving the image of chemical industry through clusters.2nd seminar "Skills for Future" took place in Tees Valley/UK in 09/2010. It focused on the supply of skills to the chemical industry. Partners shared their experiences and introduced practices to attract interest of young people for the chemical industry, to improve the skills and training standards for employees as well as to develop qualifications to meet the future demand of skills in the sector. The topic of the 3rd seminar (11/2010, Maastricht/NL) was "OI". The hosting partner explained the theory of increasing innovation through close cooperation of industry, universities and administration as well as its implementation within the Province of Limburg and the Chemelot park. In 2010 the project partners contributed to the 1st benchmark report, which analyzed profiles of chemical clusters and industry in the partner regions, examined existing approaches to promote innovation and

identified needs for action to improve the individual innov. capacity within the regions. Favorable practices to foster the innovation capacity and strengthen the competitiveness of the chem. industry were described in 25 good practice examples, ranging from the establishment of jointly used R&D facilities through training to soft support services. In 03/2011 the Steering Group initiated 3 pilot actions on the topics of the initial seminars. In 4 WS partners of the "OI" pilot compared the instruments used in Limburg to the existing measures to promote cooperation of chem. industry stakeholders in Asturias, Schleswig-Holstein and Novara. They discussed the requirements to implement open innovation and how to promote the approach on regional and interregional level. Within 2 WS partners from Usti, Saxony-Anhalt and Northrhine-Westphalia shared their exper. on the development and management of chem. clusters and agreed to support Usti region in the process of establishing a new cluster.

They also addressed strategies of chemical parks to promote innovation, e.g. through the provision of R&D facilities or the develop. of innovation profiles. Partners of the "Skills" pilot from Tees Valley, Cheshire West and Chester, Masovia and Novara analyzed the skill requirements of the industry, measures to attract further and future interest in the chemical industry of children and younger people. In consequence trainings for teachers have been organized in Mazovia and a new curriculum has been developed in Novara. The findings of the pilot actions are summarized in final implementation reports and were disseminated in and across the regions through seminars and other media (e.g.videos). A final dissemination conference in Brussels (CoR building) in 11/2012 presented the results to the EU COM and stakeholders. The 2nd ChemClust benchmark report on the development of the chem.clusters was finalized. Project results found entry in an EU COM study and the current Action plan of ECRN.


Institution, Town Country Region Contact details
Ministry of Science and Economy of Saxony-Anhalt, Magdeburg GERMANY Sachsen-Anhalt 49 391 567 4452
Ministry of Economic Affairs, Energy and Industry of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia, Düsseldorf GERMANY Düsseldorf 492118372264
Regional Development Agency of Asturias, Llanera SPAIN Principado de Asturias +34 985 980 020
Mazowieckie Voivodeship, Warsaw POLAND Mazowieckie 48 22 59 79 100
Ustí Region, Ústí nad Labem CZECH REPUBLIC Severozapad +420 475 657 353
Cheshire County Council, Chester UNITED KINGDOM Cheshire 44 (0)1244 972263
Province of Novara, Novara ITALY Piemonte 390321378875
Province of Limburg, Maastricht NETHERLANDS Limburg (NL) +31 43 389 76 64
Tees Valley Unlimited, Stockton on Tees UNITED KINGDOM Tees Valley and Durham +44 1642 5244 02
Development Company Brunsbuettel, Brunsbüttel GERMANY Schleswig-Holstein 49 4852 8384 0


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