Switzerland is the first country to become a partner of the “go-cluster” initiative. As many as 25 cluster managers and several political representatives from Switzerland are already involved. The President of the cantonal government of Fribourg and head of the Intergovernmental Conference of Western Switzerland, Dr. Beat Vonlanthen attended the opening ceremony, where he delivered a speech on “Public-private partnerships key to effective innovation policy: the Swiss experience”.
There were also presentations by Ambassador Dr. Eric Jakob, Head of the Promotion Activities Directorate of the State Secretariat from Economic Affairs (SECO), Professor Dominique Foray from the Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne (EPFL) and Christoph Beer, cluster manager of the ICT Cluster Bern. In addition, an exhibition accompanying the ceremony showcased the work of several Swiss clusters.
The previous evening, a networking reception was held at the Berlin residence of the Swiss Ambassador to Germany.
Every spring, Germany’s clusters of excellence meet at the annual “go-cluster” symposium. A record 200 participants attended this year’s event, which was entitled “Clusters – Shaping the Future” and jointly organised by the Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Technology and the Association of German Engineers (VDI). These annual symposia are the premier innovation promotion and cluster policy events in Germany.