Danish clusters must be an open embrace

28. September 2020

The Danish cluster landscape has been significantly simplified – and more consolidations are on the way. Precisely for this reason, the new cluster organisations must be extra conscious of maintaining an open mind and being receptive.

In recent years, there has been a lot of consolidation in the Danish cluster organisations. What were originally 60 Danish cluster organisations, are now consolidated and brought together into approximately 10 clusters, which with contributions from public funding will ensure the business promotion efforts within the identified positions of strength.

The final designation of clusters and positions of strength will take place during the autumn of 2020, but it is already clear that the new cluster organisations will have a huge responsibility to ensure that innovation, growth, and knowledge sharing is still a Danish parade discipline.

Undoubtedly, the simplified effort makes good sense in many ways and will help ensure that we get the most innovation in economic terms.

But one must also make sure that simplifying does not end in a simplification – or even worse – in an entrenchment.

Working across the board

With fewer units, it is important that each cluster organisation is aware of continuing to have an open mind and a clear vision and keeping an ear to the ground.

The most important task of the cluster organisations is to push forward in societal areas and ensure innovation while creating the framework for networks, connections, and new partnerships. The established cluster organisations must support innovation within each respective ecosystem, and thereby be the driving force for growth and development, while at the same time boosting innovation between research environments, companies, and other relevant actors.

In Energy Cluster Denmark, we thus work for synergy and technological development across the energy areas in close dialogue with our members. Our goal is to strengthen joint innovation across the entire energy sector and thereby create growth and development in Denmark.

But we must also build bridges and secure synergies across other sectors.

Going forward, we must also be able to identify the potential and existing value chains that exist. The energy sector plays a significant role in achieving Denmark’s climate goals for 2030, and as an organisation for the entire energy sector, Energy Cluster Denmark therefore also focuses on sector coupling and system integration in a single energy system. When we talk about sector coupling, we refer both to the sector coupling of the internal energy system between different forms of energy and to how we can couple energy to the other sectors: The transport sector, the maritime sector, and the environment and water sector, as examples.

There will be a risk that the new Danish cluster organisations will close in on themselves – and this is exactly here that the clusters must show their strength and competencies to ensure cross-cluster cooperation. We all have a responsibility to facilitate Denmark’s growth and development and ensure that we reach Denmark’s climate goals.

So, when we soon know the final distribution of Danish tax money in the cluster environment, we have both a responsibility to spread innovation in our own part of cluster Denmark and a huge responsibility to ensure that the money gets out and creates innovation and growth throughout the country – also outside the framework of the cluster.