Competence Networks – Indispensable for Innovation Infrastructure

Networks enhance innovation capacities by making use of widespread expertise and synergies. It is their central concern to link economy, science and research to accelerate the transfer of knowledge. Early and intense cooperation between research and businesses promotes technical progress sustainably.

On the one hand businesses benefit from the research results, and simultaneously research institutes find business partners for implementing their outcomes more effectively.

Networks are also the growth medium for entirely new products and technologies, frequently reaching across borders of disciplines and industries. 


The go-cluster Initiative regards itself as ”Club of the Best Innovation Networks” in Germany, thus well-defined criteria have to be fulfilled to be granted access to the initiative. In turn membership in the initiative constitutes a cachet. This initiative combines the most innovative and capable national networks in Germany. Even though regionally concentrated, competence Clusters (Kompetenznetze) are supra-regionally operating cooperation associations of multiple high-performance players within a topical field. 


Not only do they cover the various steps of the value chain as well as various sectors and disciplines, but are also defined by an intense interaction and communication among the involved players. Hence, Competence Clusters are enabled to create innovations of a particularly high value-added potential, and to transform them into marketable products or services. Finally, they contribute to a profile development and to the positioning of regions within the national and international competition. 


The successful collaboration and cooperation within the go-cluster Initiative has enabled the creation of the “German Food Clusters“. Initiators are foodRegioGIQSNieKE and FPI, which all are acknowledged by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy. The German Food Clusters are the ideal platform for everyone interested in this branch. Together they represent the complete value chain in food processing.

Germany's Food Competence

Lübeck: foodRegio │ Vechta: NieKE │ Bielefeld: FPI │ Bonn: GIQS


foodRegio, GIQS, NieKE and FPI are members of go-cluster.

Germany needs strong and efficient innovation clusters. Companies and research institutions that co-operate with one another are able to profit from each other’s strengths and skills. Working within a cluster makes it is easier to develop ideas. When brought together, the diverse set of experience held by all the different members of a cluster also helps companies to implement good ideas in a targeted manner, thanks to the concentration of synergies and skills. Sound cluster management is also a necessary foundation for success.


The aims of the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy’s go-cluster programme are as follows:

  • To further develop German clusters and turn them into highly effective international clusters
  • To undertake regular analyses of trends in international cluster policy in order to make recommendations for necessary developments in German cluster policy
  • To provide partial support towards the development and implementation of novel cluster services in order to give cluster managers an incentive to create new services.


go-cluster offers a variety of services that help cluster managers to further develop their management systems. The project also offers support services for clusters and for policymakers in the field of clusters. You will find further information under


GFC-Broschure 2012 (GB)
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