Bavaria continues to focus on networking – Cluster Initiative is being extended

The Bavarian state government is continuing its Cluster Initiative with a third funding period. It is evident that the initiative has successfully helped to promote Bavaria’s economy and was even able to strengthen entire regions. Since 2006, the Cluster Initiative has been bringing together companies and research and educational institutions, that are active in similar clusters.

The main aim of the initiative is to link companies that have been less focused on research in the past with experts through so-called Cluster Teams and, in turn, help them develop new products, optimise processes and tap into new markets of the future. Within its third funding period, Bavaria is now supporting the participants with an additional EUR 17 million between 2016 and 2019. Since the beginning of the sponsorship in 2006, Bavarian clusters have been able to acquire EUR 256 million state and EU subsidies. Within the same time period, the State itself invested EUR 63 million in companies and science as part of the Cluster Initiative.
Continuing the initiative is an indicative investment which was strongly supported by Bavaria's Minister for Economic Affairs and Technology Ilse Aigner in particular: “Our Cluster Policy is a model of success! Independent experts from Berlin have attested that the sponsored Bavarian Clusters successfully bring together economy and science, initiate partnerships, strengthen value chains and increase the innovation dynamism. ”
Bavarian Clusters are successful on a national level
The Cluster Initiative in Bavaria is divided into 19 key sectors including bio and nanotechnology, medical engineering or mechatronics, for example, each supervised by Cluster teams. The key sectors are summarized in five comprehensive groups: Mobility, material development, people and their environment, IT and electronics, as well as services and media. Currently, 5,500 companies with 770 individual projects are part of these various clusters, and 5,800 events have taken place so far.
Some Bavarian syndicates have even been awarded the title of a so-called top cluster. The Medical Valley, for example, located in the region of Nuremberg, links together technology and service in the field of health care. MAI Carbon also ranks among Germany's top clusters and connects 89 partners in total in the field of carbon-fibre-reinforced plastic between Munich, Augsburg and Ingolstadt, including companies such as Airbus, BMW and BASF. You can find further information on the official homepage of the initiative.
Cross-linking and blue-white innovations
One thing is also clear: a company's success also always depends on local factors – especially in a globalised economy. Support provided by the Cluster Initiative should especially help mid-sized companies in Bavaria, which are of course not only located in urban centres such as Munich and Nuremberg. Many Bavarian global players and hidden champions are located in rural areas. It is especially in these regions where we must establish the right connections. Bearing this objective in mind, the Cluster teams support personal exchanges by means of informal meetings, thus improving the networks among companies as well as research and educational institutions. This way we can quickly establish valuable business contacts. Especially when it comes to obtaining specialist knowledge from research facilities or partners, improving education and facilitating start-ups. One thing is absolutely certain: through the cooperation between companies and research and educational institutions, Bavaria will continue to play an important part in economic competition in the future.