Cluster Initiative Lake Constance
The Cluster Initiative Lake Constance (Clusterinitiative Bodensee – CLIB) was created in 2000 at the initiative of District Administrator Frank Hämmerle. It was based on the idea of strengthening and further developing the business region of Lake Constance through cross-border location marketing and the development of a regional marketing body. This organisation, the Lake Constance Location Marketing (Bodensee Standort Marketing GmbH), was founded in December 2000.
But marketing requires a product and target groups. Without these two elements, there can be no successful marketing strategy. This particularly applies to regional location marketing. Its “product” is the business location, yet this definition is too abstract for a derivation of statements and messages that can be communicated. It is therefore necessary to further define the product and locate its unique characteristics and its attractiveness for certain target groups.
For this analysis, a working group came together under the direction of Dr. Gerd Springe, the former board director of ALUSUISSE in Singen. Further members included representatives of regional business, chambers, communes and business promotion services from the District of Constance.
In their analyses, the working group conceptually focused on the cluster approach. A business cluster is a regional concentration of companies that cover various functions in a value chain (horizontal and vertical association). This includes not only the core area of production but also upstream-, midstream- and downstream areas such as supply, marketing, logistics and other services, research and development, further education, and the cluster-specific pool of employees.
In the regional-economic sense, clusters are more than a simple line-up of the functions mentioned. A cluster only exists when there are actual, active networks between the actors and direct interaction, exchange and cooperation. When there is such a vertical and horizontal connection along the value chain, then – as per the assumption of empirical studies – specific, regional strengths result and are demonstrated in innovation power, successful innovation and economic dynamics. A strong cluster marks a region and also gives it a specific expertise profile.
If an analysis shows a regional concentration of companies and institutions for a technological core but no active networking, then the regional development has the task of promoting this networking so that cluster potential can be realised.
Based on this approach, the business structure was first examined in the regional influence area of Lake Constance Location Marketing (Bodensee Standort Marketing GmbH). Then, building on this in a second step, the ten most promising clusters were identified and corresponding development concepts were derived. In the diagram, clusters are presented in accordance with their assessment. In a third step, the cluster managers for the CLIB cluster initiatives meet to exchange among themselves.
Currently, there are working groups for five of these clusters that deal with questions of strengthening and further developing individual specialisation and deriving concrete measures. For the support function of training and further education, which is extremely important for all clusters, a working group has also been created.
The following clusters have been created: