SCENARIO AND BACKGROUND
The European mechatronic technologies and industrial base are the most advanced in the world. Large industrial-based countries such as Germany, France, Italy and other innovative countries such as Switzerland, The Netherlands, Sweden, Finland, UK, Austria built a significant asset stock in terms of know-how, patents and innovation skills.
European players are often at the top of the global ranking for revenues and market share in several industrial segments such as machinery, industrial automation, packaging, automotive, robotic, medtech.
A strong base of innovative SMEs and private or public Applied Research Centers have been also developed in particular in some leading countries.
Nevertheless globalization and technology-hungry countries such as China, India, Korea threat the Europeans due their enormous demand rate and financing capabilities. Europeans have to quickly react in order to protect and develop new and strong value-added business models accelerating the innovation and the market exploitation.
Industrial mechatronic clusters are key elements for competitiveness of SMEs through: know-how sharing, R&D resources aggregation in order to reach critical mass of investments, innovation acceleration with open innovation approach and market exploitation with effective technology transfer and commercialization.
Clusters are also very important for mid and large corporations for the access to ideas/technologies, to Intellectual Property Rights (IPR’s) and to enable the organization of their own collaborative environment (C&D).
Significant Clusters were organized in many European countries with different models (Competitiveness Poles, District, Competence Centres,..). They there are now facing the so-called phase 2 challenge where speed, impact and sustainability should be dramatically improved.