The Competitiveness Institutes (TCI) Cluster Evaluation Working Group will meet in Cork on 14th and 15th of this month, hosted by Cork Institute of Technology (CIT), to discuss evidencing the role of clusters in smart specialisation strategies. TCI Network is the leading global network of main organisations and practitioners with deep expertise in clusters and competitiveness, who collaborate to advance the practice of competitiveness, innovation and cluster development. Through its activities, TCI reaches out to 9,000 practitioners from development agencies, government departments, cluster organizations, academic institutions, companies and multilateral organizations in over 110 countries. The two-day workshop will focus on evidencing the benefits of clusters and discussing a potential framework of cluster programme effects. What types of benefits do cluster efforts have? How are different types/levels of benefits experienced over time? The group will then revisit and follow-up a number of previous working group activities. The second day will delve into the topic of evidencing the role of clusters in smart specialisation strategies, presenting ongoing approaches and experiences from across members of the working group.

Gerard O’Donovan, Head of Faculty of Business and Humanities at CIT believes “hosting the TCI Cluster Evaluation Working Group is an excellent opportunity to learn and share ideas with cluster managers, policy makers and academics involved in some of Europe’s top clusters. In the context of Ireland’s DBEI Action Plan for Jobs 2017 goals of strengthening clusters and realising enterprise opportunities; promoting innovation; and stimulating regional growth this workshop is extremely relevant.”

Dr John Hobbs the ecoRIS3 project co-ordinator and member of the TCI network is looking forward to hosting the workshop. “CIT are involved in the Interreg Europe ecoRIS3 project which focuses on promoting better policies and measures to generate solid interactions between key stakeholders and orchestrate sustainable innovation ecosystems within RIS3 strategies. Other members of the TCI Cluster Evaluation group are engaged in the Interreg Europe Clusters3 project which seeks to leverage cluster policies for successful implementation of RIS3. The evaluation working group meeting in Cork represents an ideal opportunity to share good practices from both ecoRIS3 and Clusters3.”

Further information on the TCI network is available through, whilst more detail on the activities of the Cluster Evaluation Working group and their activities are available here

More information on the ecoRIS3 project and CIT’s role in the partnership can be found on


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