The regional minister for the economy and business gave a statement in the Echo with regard to interest in and the future of competiveness clusters. An extract follows:
Competitiveness clusters are based on the concept of company networks, which have grown up across the world as a way of working in the economic structure that favours innovation and the cooperation this creates. In Wallonia, it is possible to count six key sectors around which this policy of clustering has been established: aeronautics and aerospace (Skywin), green technologies (Greenwin), mechanical engineering (MecaTech), agro-foodstuffs (Wagralim), transport and logistics (Logistics in Wallonia) as well as life sciences (Biowin). Each activity brings together at least two companies and two universities or research centres.
The consequences are very positive for the Wallonia economy and the figures speak for themselves: 19,243 jobs have been created since 2006, which corresponds to more than 600 projects.
Jean-Claude Marcourt is clearly convinced of the necessity to pursue this course, which also enables cooperation between companies and universities or research centres. Beyond projects completed in the context of the Marshall Plan, what has been achieved is that people are working together. All this is beneficial for the future of Wallonia, for which the key is definitely this innovation that is sought and stimulated, particularly via the competitiveness activities.
Despite the ever-present possibility of an increase in the number of key sectors via the culture of evaluation developed around the Marshall Plan, the minster does not envisage a change for the moment: the sectors are complementary and cover many specific areas in which Wallonia distinguishes itself in particular. “All these activities, including Creative Wallonia and the employment / environment alliance, are consistent and are moving in the same direction. A complementarity and not a dispersion of efforts should be apparent”.
Wallonia is moving, it is the time to capitalise on our assets and regain a certain regional pride. Strengthening the capacity to develop economic activity and jobs must be, according to the minister, Marcourt, the absolute priority of the next government.
Mathieu Cavillot, From an article in L’Echo