These past days I had the privilege to be part of the Global conference of TCI on Challenges for Clusters. Organized by Brainport Region and Wageningen University I must first make them a big compliment on setting the international spotlight on the Netherlands eco- system of innovation, hubs, startup environment and cluster policy.

During the three day conference we had a group of international clustermanagers visit the Health Valley region on Tuesday. Wednesday was filled with the conference day and on Thursday we had to ‘work’ on the Workshop day. (Work as in actively participating, but that is so much fun, that you can hardly call it work 😉

Tuesday we received people from Sweden, Denmark, Estonia, Canada, Australia and Germany. In the busride over from Eindhoven to Nijmegen we were already able to share background and expectations of the participants so we could start right of with the community of practice once we arrived on Novio Tech Campus.

We posted a cluster challenge to discuss with the various people present. _mg_0552-collage

After these initial discussions we took the talk and experiences to various entrepeneurs on the campus and to the startups from Rockstart Digital Health accelerator. Needless to say that exchanging the different points-of-view and experience was the largest bonus of this day.

After Novio Tech Campus and Health Valley we transferred to Radboudumc to discuss within the REshape Innovation center the strategic point of view of this medical center. All during the day we were followed (and recorded) by students from Wageningen University to make transcriptions of the discussions. So there will be more to follow afterwards.

The interesting part of the three days was not so much the new information and knowledge that I came across but actually the discourse with all the other clustermangers, politicians and scientists to discuss cluster policy, development and economic advancement of regions. The various points-of-view from different areas, countries and industries made a very lively debate and exchange.

A number of interesting connections have been made with Sweden and Denmark to see if we can follow-up on the first impressions that there is a lot of simularity in problems and possible solutions. Also within the organization of TCI itself I will start working in a interest group for the development of the profession of a clustermanager’s role in the eco-system. Looking forward to that. Especially this last effort feels like a bonus, a cherry on a birthday cake 😉