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The Governance of the Business Clusters

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The decree relating to the support and the development of the networks of enterprises or Clusters was voted by the Parliament on 18 January 2007 and has been sanctioned by the Government and suppported by an executory decision on 16 May 2007 .

To be acknowledged as a Business Cluster by the Walloon Region pursuant to the decree of 18 January 2007, an official application for acknowledgement and subsidy ( See attachment for criteria (PDF - 11kb) ) should be introduced to the Administration (the "Direction des Réseaux d'Entreprises" of the "Direction Générale de l'économie, de l'emploi et de la recherche").

To be acknowledged again after 3 years of existence, the cluster has to renew its application at the latest four months before the expiry of the ministerial decree in force.

Advisory Committee

To ensure transparency of the processes, the Advisory Committee has been created with the assignment of giving an opinion to the Government on :

  • the application files for first acknowledgement and subsidy ;

  • the application files for acknowledgement renewal and subsidy ;

  • the application files for the specific subsidy ;

  • the proposals for the withdrawal of acknowledgement and subsidy for a business cluster ;

  • the modalities for implementing the present decree.

The Advisory Committee is composed of :

  • a representative of the Minister in charge of the Economy and a substitute ;

  • a member and a substitute from the "Direction des Réseaux d'Entreprises" of the "Service public de Wallonie" ;

  • a member and a substitute from the "Direction générale de la Recherche " ;

  • two experts and two substitutes mandated by the "Conseil économique et social de la Région wallonne" ;

  • two external independent experts and two substitutes (from academic quarters and industry).

Accompaniment and Support Committee

An Accompaniment and Support Committee has been created to monitor each cluster.

It is composed of a Minister's representative, of two representatives of the Administration and three representatives of the business cluster who have an advisory capacity. It can be extended to other services of the Walloon Government and it can resort to two external and independent sectoral experts.

It is in charge of checking the appropriateness of the actions of the business cluster with the 6 guidelines defined by the decree, discussing the results of the cluster and its projected trends, deciding the potential questions related to the payment of the instalments of the subsidy, guiding the cluster when searching for project financing through existing regional instruments and wants to be a platform for exchanges dealing with the strategic development of the cluster, its scope of activities, its membership policy. Moreover, when the Minister makes recommendations to the business cluster in the course of its acknowledgement (or renewal), the Committee is in charge of monitoring the effective implementation of these recommendations.

Three-year assessment of the business clusters

Pursuant to article 8 of the decree of 18 January 2007, in the course of the last 6-month period of each three-year acknowledgement period, the subsidized business cluster is subject to an overall assessment by independent consultants.

The summaries of these assessments are available below.