Developing regional clusters and networks / New tool for cluster managers and policy makers

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24.09.2007 14:52

Developing regional clusters and networks / New tool for cluster managers and policy makers

Sybille Wenke-Thiem Stabsstelle Presse- und Öffentlichkeitsarbeit
Deutsches Institut für Urbanistik

    Conference in Berlin presents intellectual capital reporting as a new tool for cluster managers and policy makers / Developing regional clusters and networks / November 15th 2007

    Cluster are a popular policy tool: Many cities and regions support networks of companies and science in specific branches and technologies to boost innovation and regional development. But the successful management of such knowledge-intensive networks is challenging: Cluster managers and policy makers need sound information to formulate strategies, monitor success and communicate their networking activities. Appropriate tools for the management of clusters are therefore gaining importance.

    Within the RICARDA project researchers and practitioners from Austria, Sweden, Hungary and Germany have explored the potentials of intellectual capital reporting for regional networks during the last two years. This method was originally developed for private companies. Intellectual capital reports support management and policy makers developing cluster initiatives by highlighting the intangible assets of networks: What know-how do members bring to the network? How do they cooperate? Of what quality are the networks linkages with important stakeholders?

    At the final conference, 15 November 2007 in Berlin, approach and results of the project will be presented and discussed. Network managers in the fields of automotive, IT, virtual reality and polymer science will report on their experiences with intellectual capital reporting. In addition to that the "RICARDA manual" will be presented - a practical guide about how to draft intellectual capital reports. Finally, the European Commission will present new activities in the field of cluster management.

    Participation in this one day event is free of charge. The number of participants is limited.

    Programme and registration via Internet:

    Dipl.-Verw.Wiss. Daniel Zwicker-Schwarm, Telefon: 030/39001-154, E-Mail:
    Dipl.-Geogr. Holger Floeting, Telefon: 030/39001-221, E-Mail:

    Venue and Time:
    Straße des 17. Juni 112, D-10623 Berlin
    09:00 h to 17:30 h

    Press Contacts:
    Sybille Wenke-Thiem, Ltg. Presse- und Öffentlichkeitsarbeit
    Deutsches Institut für Urbanistik (Difu), Ernst-Reuter-Haus, Straße des 17. Juni 112, 10623 Berlin, S-Bahn: Tiergarten
    E-Mail: , Internet: , Telefon: 030/39001-209/-208, Telefax: 030/39001-130

    As a matter of course the press release is free for publishing. Please sent the www-link or a voucher copy to the press office after announcement. Thank you very much indeed!

    Information about the institute:

    German Institute of Urban Affairs (Difu)

    Targets and research focus
    Following an initiative from German cities, the German Institute of Urban Affairs (Difu) was founded in 1973 to facilitate problem solving in municipal government through sound academic research and further training and to forecast long-term prospects and possible strategies for urban development. The institute investigates municipal policy issues, conducts interdisciplinary research on fundamental problems for municipalities and devises methods, tools and concepts for implementation in municipal planning and administration. Central focuses of the Difu programme provide assistance for individual cities in solving current problems typical to Germany today.

    As a joint-venture establishment funded by more than 100 contributors, of which most are cities, municipal authorities and planning bodies, Difu has carefully designed its research programme to cater to the needs of cities and offers them a broad spectrum of services.

    Research papers, studies, training seminars and information and documentation materials facilitate knowledge transfer for practical applications and intermunicipal experience sharing and support the implementation of planning objectives in municipal administration.

    Three research departments - Urban Development and Law, Business and Finance and Environment and Transport - and Difu's Cologne division conduct practice-oriented research projects which provide materials for three service departments: Further Training, Publications, and Information and Documentation. Difu gains expertise on municipal issues, which it makes available to local players through seminars, information and documentation services and a number of serial publication and journals.

    Further training
    Difu's educational and training events primarily target executives, senior staff from public administration and elected members of local councils. They provide professional support on current issues of municipal policy. The " Berlin seminars" held in Ernst-Reuter-Haus in Berlin comprise most of the 30 or so further training activities. Difu also holds short seminars locally in association with individual institute members, tailoring the agenda to the needs of the cities and regions concerned. Broader expert conferences complete Difu's further training programme.

    Information and documentation
    The institute's information and documentation service supports intermunicipal experience sharing and implemen­tation of research findings in local practice. Difu maintains its own databases (ORLIS: reference pool on subjects of municipal interest; kommDEMOS: surveys from the municipalities). These resources and customized database research and documentary series on various topics are the main components of the service.

    Difu publishes material in a variety of series: "Edition Difu - Stadt Forschung Praxis", "Difu-Impulse", "Difu-Arbeits­hilfen", "German Journal of Urban Studies", "Informationen zur modernen Stadtgeschichte", "Difu-Papers" and the quarterly published newsletter " Berichte".
    English Information on Difu Homepages

    Difu contributors and providers
    Difu only accepts as contributors direct or indirect members of the German League of Cities or the German League of Towns and Cities. Subscribers profit from regular programmes at the institute, receive Difu publications free of charge and participate in seminars and other further training events at reduced prices. They also ensure that Difu's research and educational programmes reflects real issues and problems in the cities by furnishing the institute with current feedback. Difu is legally an organ of the Association for Municipal Sciences, whose eight members are named by the German League of Cities and the Land of Berlin (Difu's headquarters).

    Financing and staffing
    Difu currently draws its funding from several sources: member contributions (25%), the Association for Municipal Sciences (13%), the Land of Berlin (11%) and the German federal government (11%). Grants for projects, income from seminars and publications cover 40% of the budget. The institute currently employs around 80 people.

    Weitere Informationen:

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