General information

The Hamburg Metropolitan Region is an internationally renowned centre for successful cluster development. Distinguished in 2004 as one of six European ‘Model Demonstrator Region for modern cluster policy’, the cluster policy of Hamburg is constantly seeking improvement and support for inter-organizational cooperation to foster progress and competitiveness.

The project ‘Co-Learning Space for Hamburg’s clusters’ (11/2016 - 05/2020) was launched in November 2016 in order to facilitate and to consolidate the pooling of knowledge and therefore the exchange process between the clusters. The research project is funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and the  Ministry of Economy, Transport and Innovation of the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg. It is affiliated to the Helmut-Schmidt-University (University of the Federal Armed Forces Hamburg) and it is coordinated and managed by the Chair in Business Administration, in particular organization theory.



The second project phase started in June 2020 under the name „Co-Learning Space for Hamburg's clusters – collective engagement with new topics and stakeholders“. The project is again funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and the  Ministry of Economy and Innovation of the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg.

The focus is on the aquisition of new topics and stakeholder, in order to promote knowledge and technology transfer in Hamburg. That way, perspectives in the orientation of cross-sectional technologies shall be opened for the clusters and the development of cross-cluster relevant topics as co-learning fields shall be encouraged.



Cluster policy of Hamburg

The cluster policy of Hamburg is part of a large innovation strategy with the aim of making Hamburg a European capital of innovation. It aims at further developing learning, development and synergy potentials in order to reach a larger cooperation between clusters in the future.



The research project for the development of a co-learning space for clusters in Hamburg seeks to develop and implement together a further professionalization in cluster management. Furthermore, the project supports the development of cluster bridges (cross-clustering). Cross-clustering is a strategic orientation which aims at establishing and consolidating interdisciplinary cluster cooperation and which ensures consistency of thematic intersections.


Once realised, the project should lead to collective learning for Hamburg’s cluster managements with appropriate networking, formats, processes, and instruments. Sustainable structures to ensure perennial cooperation across the clusters should be developed.

How are we going to achieve this?

By encouraging and supporting cooperation across the clusters in order to link them in an efficient and effective way, to enable innovation and to increase the added value.

By identifying and implementing in close cooperation with the cluster managements methods and tools that support the needs of Hamburg’s clusters and that are suitable to further strengthen the performance of Hamburg’s clusters, including knowledge development and transfer.

By testing, evaluating and developing different event formats, bringing together actors of the clusters and creating a platform for additional exchange.

By providing a digital toolbox which includes different tools tested during the project (practical guides and templates). This toolbox shall help the cluster managements to efficiently meet the challenges of cluster coordination and to simplify the cross-cluster cooperation.

By providing a digital platform or work space to simplify the inter-organizational collaboration and corresponding exchange processes, to facilitate cooperation and to make information available.