EPCA '07: Cluster strategy can grow Europe chems

02 October 2007 11:36  [Source: ICIS news]

BERLIN (ICIS news)--European chemical producers should look to develop the industry in clusters to improve its performance, said leading academic Professor Michael Porter on Tuesday.


The cluster concept focuses on synergies between businesses that are located close together.


“This is just the beginning of a new mindset and also the beginning of a set of new opportunities which should allow Europe to remain a world-class leader in chemicals,” he said.


Porter was speaking after the presentation of a report into chemical clusters at the European Petrochemical Association conference.


This found that while many European companies agreed it made sense, few were doing enough to adopt it.


“The cluster approach is a different mindset. It's not less competition, it's smarter competition. It's competition on a higher plane,” said Porter.


Porter said that all companies within a cluster needed to perform at a high level for it to succeed as a whole.


Trying to push down supplier costs and looking internally to improve performance was a “limited toolkit”.


“What we have to get people to understand is that there is a better toolkit and this is not just within the company,” said Porter.


He said the European chemicals industry needed to harness technology and innovate more rapidly in order to succeed.


Porter praised the EPCA, which sponsored the report, for its approach to chemical clusters.

By: Graeme Paterson
+44 20 8652 3214

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