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The Basque Country will host the 2012 conference that draws together the world's leading experts on clusters and innovation

2011 December 2

The Basque Country will host the 2012 conference that draws together the world's leading experts on clusters and innovation

At this year's The Competitiveness Institute (TCI) conference in New Zealand, the Basque Ministry of Industry and the Basque Institute for Competitiveness confirmed that the 15th Annual Global Competitiveness Conference will be held in the Basque Country in 2012

Over 500 experts will attend the conference, which is to run from the 16th to the 19th of October, while a further 3000 specialists in over 100 countries will be connected.

The Basque Government and Orkestra (the Basque Institute for Competitiveness) have arranged for the 15th Annual Global Competitiveness Conference, which brings together the world's leading experts on clusters and innovation, to be held in the Basque Country next year. Specifically, the event will take place from the 16th to the 19th of October and will be attended by 300 to 500 delegates from all over the world, with sessions being divided, provisionally, between Bilbao and San Sebastian.

During their visit to New Zealand, the Director of Planning and Strategy in the Basque Ministry of Industry, Innovation, Trade and Tourism, Inmaculada Freije, along with the general director of the Basque Institute for Competitiveness (Orkestra), José Luis Curbelo, officially took up the mantle for hosting next year's event in a ceremony involving the symbolic exchange of the flags of the Basque Country and New Zealand.

Freije declared that the selection of the Basque Country as host for 2012 "is an acknowledgment of the direction taken by the Basque Country in terms of the strategic commitments we have made and the policies we have implemented, particularly in terms of industry, clusters and planning". Curbelo remarked that "this is a challenge and an opportunity for Orkestra to welcome the leading figures in the field of competitiveness to the Basque Country. It will give us the chance to demonstrate the dynamism of our companies and agents and also enable us to learn from the experiences and good practices of others".

The Basque Country will be playing host to the world's leading experts on clusters and innovation, a privilege enjoyed by New Zealand during this year's edition of the conference. A total of four regional TCI conferences will take place in 2012, in Europe, Asia, Latin America and Africa, whilst the global conference will be held in the Basque Country.

The TCI network brings together 3000 experts from 100 different countries. The organisation itself is made up of 409 active members, including national and regional agencies, cluster associations, academic institutions and companies. This year, its conferences were attended by over 900 experts.

The objective of the network, which is the world's leading authority in the field of clusters, is not only to act as a meeting-point for professionals and researchers in the TCI community but also to serve as a forum for promoting the practice of cluster development, territorial competitiveness and support for innovation. It also provides a space wherein the newest ideas can be explored and challenges for the future can be discussed by professionals and analysts in the field of clusters and competitiveness.

The October 2012 conference provides a unique opportunity for academics and cluster policymakers to advance in terms of a better understanding of the challenges they are facing and to discuss the practical approaches they need to adopt in order to tackle issues such as competitiveness in the sustainable-tourism industry, the ICT sectors, the bio and nano industries, smart specialisation, management groups, the management of intellectual-property rights, creativity and collaboration, leadership, evaluation and benchmarking, amongst other areas.

Debates and conclusions in the New Zealand conference

During the New Zealand conference this week it became clear that, in these turbulent and changing times, each society has to find its own path in terms of improving levels of development and wellbeing. Countries must do this by making their economies more competitive, and this "competitive capacity" will be determined by their abilities and the connections they have established beyond their borders. The conference also emphasised the importance of cooperation throughout this process, which afforded the Basque Country an opportunity to compare its own experiences, acknowledged by the international delegates, with the experience of others from all corners of the world, thereby learning and enriching itself.

In today's context of economic crisis it is important to implement economic and development policies on two levels: on the one hand, measures must be taken to help alleviate the effects of the crisis and facilitate recovery; on the other hand, countries and regions must also, at different levels, apply medium and long-term strategies that will ensure the financing of their economies. These policies must be orientated towards:

- Developing complementary activities relating to the capacities of the society in question.

- Adopting a global perspective in relation to the economy and the market.

- Attracting knowledge, particularly in the aforementioned activities.

- Taking advantage of opportunities arising in emerging countries, particularly India and China.


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Politicians attending the event
(IX term 2009 - 2012)