Management of clusters

How to create jobs from knowledge: Malik supports top cluster projects in Germany

The top cluster competition is a central component of the federal government’s high-tech strategy. During three rounds of competition without any thematic restrictions, which were held between 2007 and 2012, an independent jury selected 15 clusters that bundle regional potential along the value-added chain in a significant way. With a purse of as much as 600 million euros, the competition fosters these top clusters – and therefore Germany’s technological performance. The private economy spends quite a bit on this long-term approach and invests at least the same amount as the federal government in the cooperation projects.

Fredmund Malik is a member of the top-class, independent jury for the Federal Ministry for Education and Research’s top cluster competition. The competition, under the charge of the German Education Minister, supports the search for the most efficient high-technology initiatives in Germany. Malik, as an expert in the development of strategies for complex technological, regional and economic policies, has supported the ministry over a long period – particularly in the assessment of the control options required to ensure the management of highly complex clusters in dynamic structures. Thanks to the great results achieved by the top cluster model, it is now to be continued at the European level.

With the top cluster competition, the program of the Federal Ministry for Education and Research emphasizes the main points with regard to the promotion of national research and the safeguarding of the country’s innovative ability. The ministry supports these large, regional networks from the fields of business and science as a strategic investor in order to enable future economic developments. Under the motto Germany’s Top Clusters – Greater Innovation. Greater Growth. Higher Rate of Employment, the most efficient clusters are awarded prizes and supported in terms of implementing the research findings in an optimal way in the market.

The best strategies for future markets

In new cooperations, major joint leaps forward in terms of innovation will become possible, which will give rise to important competitive advantages. Not only new structures and new paths of cooperation are coming about in the top clusters. In particular, the enthusiasm of young people is also being aroused to become engaged in the adventure that is science and technology – which is important when it comes to recruiting skilled personnel. Therefore, the clusters contribute to changing mentalities in business and science and to creating mutual understanding for one another’s perspective.

Throughout the country, 15 regions are currently demonstrating what education, research and business can achieve when they effectively mesh and work together to implement regional innovation strategies. All 15 top clusters – including the North Rhine-Westphalia top cluster it’s OWL – Intelligent Technical Systems, the top cluster Cool Silicon in the vicinity of Dresden, the Munich-based biotech cluster m4 – Personalized Medicine and Targeted Therapies, the southwestern German Software-Cluster and the central German Solarvalley – are dedicating themselves in a targeted manner to the promising sources of future economic growth: ranging from personalized medicine to technologies for sustainable resource conservation to forward-looking energy and transport concepts. Together, the regional partners intend to work on equal footing with other innovation centers in Germany, Europe and the world to compete for the best minds. Top clusters for more innovation and competitiveness.