To a lot of people game development is a leftside industry, exerted in a lone wolf ecosystem with little value for other businesses. It doesn’t have to be that way though. Game design thinking and game technology certainly have their merits, and because relatively few people wield the power of game development, you can use these unique skills to help out other companies achieve their mission.
Growing and getting more competitive through collaboration is precisely what VLAIO clusters (link in Dutch) are are all about. The objective of the cluster policy is to unlock untapped economic potential and to achieve an increase in competitiveness among Flemish companies through an active and sustainable cooperation between ambitious enterprises, knowledge centers, and the government.
Within the cluster, a cluster organization acts as facilitator of the network and representative of the cluster members. VLAIO supports these cluster organisations both financially, with up to 50% of funding, and operationally, ensuring they can work as effectively as possible.
There’s two types of clusters. Spearhead clusters (link in Dutch) are long term (10 years) collaborations between 50 companies, centered on a strategically important domain for Flanders, such as Blue Cluster or Flux50 (links in Dutch).
Perhaps more suited to our maturing industry are the innovative business networks (link in Dutch). They differ from spearhead clusters in scale, maturity, time horizon and level of ambition. These are smaller scale initiatives between 10 companies which can be supported for up to 3 years. Interesting examples for some of our industry players include EUKA, Smart Cities Vlaanderen, and IoTValueChain – The Beacon (links in Dutch).
We’re well aware this is all a bit theoretical (and quite heavy), yet we hope it might be of interest to some of the bigger players in our beloved industry who want to work together to become even bigger.