Blending Processes in HAv
Bridging and Cross-Clustering
HAv managers, like the offices of other Hamburg clusters, strive to build bridges among them and create what Fromhold-Eisebith (2017) call ‘clusterspace’.
In Hamburg, each sector is organised in a cluster (Figure 6.1). There are altogether eight clusters, which meet all necessary criteria and proper cluster definition epitomising the triple helix. The benefits obtained when clusters work together across their disciplines, made the EU back the concept of cross-clustering. In late 2014, Hamburg was selected as one of six model regions for modem cluster policy. Since then, all of Hamburg clusters’ stakeholders have been involved in developing crossclustering, guided by the overarching purpose to make better use in the future of the potential for innovation and added value that is available, thanks to the thematic intersections between Hamburg’s clusters. It has been designated as ‘cluster bridges’ (www.hamburg.de/wirtschaft/ clusterpolitik-modellregion).
These eight Hamburg metropolitan clusters have their specific path development. As stressed by the CRs (CR1, 3, 6 and 7), ‘Here, in Hamburg, segments are different, and we may have little touchpoints. Hence, it is certainly easier when we discuss topics, which are common to all. We can talk “eye-to-eye”, but indeed, as settings and scenarios we are hi. are so different, it is often difficult’.
Figure 6.1 Hamburg clusters
Source: Own elaboration based on www.hamburg.de/wirtschaft/clusterpolitik-modellregion
The Ministry of Economy decided to bridge them and set up a platform of co-operation, which seems critical in the digital revolution. The co-learning space (www.co-leammgspace.de) might prove vital in the 14.0 era, as it encourages co-operation across clusters—technologies applied in aviation, are also used in health, maritime, and so on. These meetings also aim at developing specific solutions for future joint problems (e.g. travelling of the elderly in 2030). (CS1) ‘We create a person—a fictional character— grandpa Willi. We develop a story of an 85 year-old grandpa, who is visiting hi grand-daugliter in Paris, and he faces many challenges. The question arises, how do we get him there? We adopted a holistic approach to using our strengths, to solve transformation problems’.
14.0 instruments and technologies facilitate bringing clusters together. They are acting like a glue which binds them, a common thread of interest for representatives of various clusters. 14.0 solutions support the development of RV (aerodynamic wings—new in planes, have also been adopted in windmills, where the blades now resemble the plane wings with this curve upward), but also unrelated variety (c.f. elderly travelling).
Clusters in Hamburg are very autonomous, very different, so they need proper cluster management. Co-leaming (an official project funded jointly by the state—Ministry 50% and European Commission 50%) is done in a pre-established fonnat. Co-operation takes place formally via a weekly meeting of middle- and lower-level officers, and monthly, when higherranking representatives like CEOs and directors meet and discuss. When there are differences of opinion and some disagreement, it is easier to handle, thanks to this unique cluster fabric—trust and understating, plurality and mutual commitment. Thus, the cluster management needs to offer the ecosystem, which can facilitate such collaboration. It may seem to be of less importance for delivering concrete solutions, but it constitutes the necessary starting point for any further co-operation. Building trust, developing some code of conduct, sometimes, simply to get to know each other requires that stage-setting and preparations.
It should be mentioned that all these initiatives to leam from each other, thanks to the co-leaming space and regular meetings in established fonnat, help also to boost international expansion across industries (e.g. events on how to do business in Japan). So, blending (internal cross-industry co-operation) might lead towards and facilitate expansion abroad (i.e. hubbing); the overlap of these two processes materialises.
Cross-clustering happens, not only within the region, but takes place also on the national level. The Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy has been supporting the cross-cluster partnerships within the framework of ‘Go cluster’ initiative (www.clusteiplattform.de/CLUS TERRedaktion/EN/Downloads/Publications/cross_cluster_success_stories.
pdf?_blob=publicationFile&v=7). HAv took part in such a project under
the motto, ‘Chemical and aviation industry on a common path’. It is rightly argued that chemical products offer diverse applications in aerospace. So far, mainly the perceived ‘distance’ between chemical suppliers and industrial OEM, the lack of transparency in value chains, as well as regulatory hurdles, prevent smooth co-operation between the chemicals and aviation industries. Nevertheless, the Aviation Cluster, Hamburg, and Chemie-Cluster, Bayern, are committed to a merger between their respective industries, which, however, requires the ability of ‘thinking outside the box’.
Cross-cluster collaboration on a national level also materialises via cooperation with Silicon Saxony (Energy Efficient Aviation Solution [EEAS], BMBF). All these initiatives are in line with recent EU Commission plans to many clusters—to form meta-clusters.
Projects (cio$$-clustemig/We»f/wg) with Saxony or a Chemical cluster in Bayern have officially been completed with some follow-up co-operation most likely. Although, currently, no new projects of this type have been conducted; if some interest existed, HAv would be ready to stall a new collaboration. Relatively low demand for such partnerships (cross-sectoral, nation-wide) might result from the perceived high entry barriers, as other sectors’ firms may see high hurdles in starting a business in the aviation industry. The requirements concerning qualifications or certifications may deter other industries from such co-operation. Nevertheless, more players come, thanks to digitalisation, than would have been the siniation in the past; more digital companies enter the aviation cluster.