Time to change the cluster foundation

Being back in the cluster context on the Cluster Matchmaking Conference in #Copenhagen makes me think a lot about how we should fund and construct future cluster organisation. Traditionally we have used the famous triple helix model (Academia, Public sector, Industry) in order bring funding and knowledge to clusters. And I realise that this has been the wrong approach all the time and unfortunately brings the cluster organisations down instead of bringing them up. 

Talking to many excellent cluster managers on the conference strengthens my thoughts. They all say the same thing: To many people in the board and to many different agendas. The main issue is the time aspect. Industry wants fast results due to the quarterly economy. Politicians needs media coverage especially if there is an election coming. And academia stills thinks in 10 year plans and firm structures. Its obvious that this creates more conflicts than it creates positive forward thinking.

So what to do? Well there is no simple answer. But probably more clusters needs to find a more commercial angle to their work, without starting to compete with private firms. Working with internationalisation gives excellent opportunities to build revenue sharing models where companies that gain from the cluster activities also pay for it. I think that the time is over where we give everything away for free and start charging for the value we create.