Clusters are considered to be an excellent way of increasing the collaboration between companies and other relevant actors and improving their competitiveness at European and international level. In the countries around the Mediterranean Sea there are over 230 active registered clusters.
The clusters work mainly in the fields of innovation, business development, joint company strategies, internationalization, etc. Cluster management represents a structured and an increasingly requested activity, which requires a large set of specific skills to be performed. Nevertheless, there is a lack and gap of training offers and opportunities available for the present and future cluster managers.
This project aims at developing and providing a set of specific skills and competences for cluster managers in order to promote this professional profile that represents a key actor at EU, but also international level.
Maritime Clusters represent in fact strategic “policy actors” to support sustainable growth and jobs competitiveness across the European Union and, in particular, the Mediterranean area: Clusters do so by promoting the uptake of innovation, knowledge transfer, finance access ensuring that the support provided is effective and locally grounded.
This is possible through joint actions promoted by socio-economic and institutional actors at the local, national, and sub-regional levels. Maritime Clusters have been growingly acknowledged as essential boosters for innovation and diversification of the Blue Economy.
The Concept of “Cluster” and the practical examples of related organizations have evolved through time. As a result, a range of practices and approaches has de facto emerged (industrial complex, agglomeration of interlinked industries, community-based network, etc.), depending on specific local needs and experiences, as well as the different development patterns and challenges faced across the maritime sectors.
In the Mediterranean area, Maritime Clusters register a lack of Competitive Managerial Staff often without specific innovation and management skills or without specialization in specific areas such as for instance maritime spatial planning background. At the same time, the high priority need to have more effective Entrepreneurial and Innovation skills for Maritime Clusters professionals continues to increase. The scope of this research is specifically to promote competitive profiles for Marine and Maritime Clusters across Europe and, specifically in the Mediterranean Area.
So where do the tailored curricula, lessons learned, knowledge and skills expertise reside so that it can continuously be accessed over time? How can it be structured into a capacity building programme? How can it be continuously made available? The project aims to satisfy this need and promptly respond to the labor market needs and challenges.
Main actions and Expected Results
- Ensure an effective cooperation mechanism in order to respond to the skills needs of Maritime Clusters Manager at the European and international level.
- Strengthening Tailor made training paths, vocational training in innovation management, leadership and entrepreneurship in order to adapt the new Cluster professionals to the labor markets’ needs.
- Enhancing the synergies between the Maritime Clusters at the transnational level to facilitate the cooperation and, consequently, the exchange of best practices and know-how.
- Increasing synergies between a large number of Maritime Clusters in the Mediterranean area
- Ensure the promotion of a New professional Profile for an increased competitiveness of Maritime Cluster in the Mediterranean area
Main Project Activities
- Analysis of Clustering Skills Gaps and Design of Innovative Curricula.
- Development of Cluster Management Educational Programs and training materials (including innovative digital tools for using in blended learning).
- Implementation of Practical Training activities in order to ensure the quality of the learning outcomes.
- Development of a set of recommendations and Best Practices for Innovative Blue Cluster Management and Capacity Building to be promoted at the European and international level.
ForMare – Polo Nazionale per lo Shipping is the Coordinator of the project. In particular, the project aims at bridging the gap between the existing needs and the current skillset of Maritime Cluster Managers ensuring the reskilling and up-skilling for an innovative professional Profile toward an increased competitiveness of the Maritime Cluster in the Mediterranean area and, overall, the boosting of innovation and sustainable growth in the Blue Economy sector.
Among the consortium, there are 5 Clusters from Italy, Greece, Portugal and Tunisia of the WestMED Cluster Alliance, an initiative aimed at promoting dialogue between maritime clusters and supported by the WestMED Initiative: Cluster BIG – Blue Italian Growth, Federazione del Mare (Associated Partner), Strategis – Maritime ICT Cluster, Fórum Oceano, Cluster Maritime Tunisien (Associated Partner); as well as institutes and research bodies from Italy, Greece and Malta, operating in the blue economy sector: OGS, Metropolitan College Global Engagement, MaritimeMT, DLTM – Distretto Ligure delle Tecnologie Marine Scrl (Associated Partner).
01.01.2023 - 31.12.2024
The project is co-funded by the EU programme for education, training, youth and sport Erasmus+ under the Key Action 2: Cooperation among organizations and institutions.