Evaluation of Walloon Competitiveness Clusters

Authors: Nelly BrunoFlora GiarraccaAlasdair ReidMatthieu LacaveElisabeth ZaparuchaFlorian Knecht

Language: English

Publication date: 1st February 2014

The Walloon Institute for Evaluation, Prospective and Statistics, (IWEPS), asked Technopolis to evaluate the results of the Walloon policy for competitiveness clusters which were first implemented in 2005 in this Belgian region. The Walloon competitiveness clusters policy aims to increase the competitiveness of the regional economy through research, innovation and the networking of actors. It mobilises businesses, research organisations and training organisations on joint projects. This evaluation aimed to inform decisions on the continuation of this policy and to assess individually whether to maintain, or not, the official accreditation of each pole (“label”). Beyond these specific objectives, the study also contributed to improving the overall support for competitiveness of the Walloon economy through innovation.  We built a tailor-made approach for this evaluation to produce a robust assessment of the results achieved by the competitiveness clusters. Our approach notably included:

  • An assessment of the activity of each cluster based on a set of triangulated data from online surveys of members and non-members of the clusters, interviews with non-participating companies, followed by an on site visit with representatives of the ecosystem of the clusters, and supplemented by a set of case studies of projects
  • An appreciation of the Walloon policy clusters based on a detailed literature review, followed by interviews with a wide range of actors from the Walloon innovation system, coupled with a international benchmark exercise of cluster policies
  • The formulation of clear and operational recommendations at the level of individual poles and at the policy level together with a monitoring framework serving as a referential for future assessments.