Skip to content Skip to search

European Gold Label awarded to ACT

Arctic Cluster Team has been awarded the European GOLD Label "Cluster Management Excellence". The organization has met a set of quality indicators for "levels of excellence" in terms of structure, governance and cooperation, financing, strategy, services, achievements and recognition, in order to qualify.

ACT is a leading industry cluster in Norway and the Arctic, with over 100 partners from all over the country who collaborate on the development of sustainable solutions.

Gold Label for management excellence

A world class industry calls for a world class cluster management, and the Gold Label shows an international recognition of the work performed by the cluster, says Cluster Manager Monica Paulsen and continues:

– A comprehensive assessment shows that Arctic Cluster Team is compliant with international standards, and that our strategic focus and services create great value for our members.

Positioning Arctic Industry

Arctic Cluster Team has obtained the certification for the GOLD label, after first beeing awarded the BRONZE label in 2019. Today, more than 1261 cluster organizations from 46 countries have been benchmarked and awarded a BRONZE label, 172 clusters from 27 countries a SILVER label, and 137 clusters from 18 countries got a GOLD label.

– By entering this ‘Champions League for Clusters’, ACT becomes more attractive for international collaboration, says ms. Paulsen, and continues: – the climate crisis and the sustainability development goals calls for action. ACT contributes to solving the global challanges by developing, scaling-up and exporting sustainable solutions from the Arctic to the world. Collaboration with international actors and partnerships is key to success.

The report on the results of the Cluster Organization Management Excellence Assessment states that

“The cluster has now reached a high level of operational excellence with a good service portfolio. It has achieved national and international positions, focusing on the entire value chain and the competence on developing greener business. The ACT cluster has achieved the position as a national cluster and have made the Arctic visible and recognised by the authorities and the international business environment through their activities.”

–          When the industry faces demanding challenges or exciting opportunities, access to professional services from the cluster is worth its weight in gold, says Ellen B. Myrvold, Steering Group Manager, ACT

Results of the Assessment

“The presented success stories demonstrated a high level of impact of the cluster management’s work to the participants and the sustainability of the cluster. The on-site-assessment was very well prepared by the cluster management, which allowed for a smooth process and a pleasant and fruitful interaction with all team members on further improvements.”

Two independent cluster experts assessed 31 quality indicators of cluster management excellence by interviewing the cluster manager and relevant staff members. The findings of the interview had to be substantiated by relevant documents to be provided by the cluster organization. On this base, the experts determined the achieved level of excellence.

A recommendation to award the “Cluster Management Excellence Label GOLD – Proven for Cluster Excellence” is given if the cluster organizations gain a minimum of 80 % of  an overall cluster management excellence score. The cluster organization Arctic Cluster Team has gained: 91 % of the cluster management excellence score and therefore the recommendation for awarding the “Cluster
Management Excellence Label GOLD – Proven for Cluster Excellence” was given by ESCA.

Continous improvement of management and methods

  • The assessment provides a good opportunity for the management team to build competence, discuss strategies, methods and tools, and identify new areas for improvement, says the management team members, ms. Hildrun Hope Rydsaa and Tone Jakobsen.

The Cluster Management services are provided by Kunnskapsparken Helgeland, (Knowledge Park of Helgeland), which is a regional innovation company and incubator supported by the national incubator program financed by SIVA. The
close organization and cooperation between the incubator and the cluster is very positive, related to the stability of the cluster management being embedded in the solid economy of the incubator and other regional development projects in the portfolio of Kunnskapsparken Helgeland.

The Cluster Management Team was represented by Cluster Manager Monica Paulsen and team members Tone Jakobsen and Hildrun Hope Rydsaa, together with Steering Group Manager Ellen B. Myrvold (not present at the photoshoot). The Assessment Sensors: Tor Arne Bellika and Anne Grete Ellingsen.

About ECEI and ESCA

The European Cluster Excellence Initiative (ECEI), initiated by the European Commission, DG Enterprise and Industry, aims for the development of methodologies and tools in order to support dedicated organizations to improve their capabilities in the management of networks and clusters.

The European Secretariat for Cluster Analysis (ESCA, was initiated and mandated by the ECEI to organise the assessment process and to award successful cluster organizations with the “Cluster Management Excellence Label GOLD – Proven for Cluster Excellence” (GOLD Label) and the other labels in SILVER and BRONZE.

About Arctic Cluster Team

ACT is part of the national cluster program Norwegian Innovation Clusters, where the cluster has status at the highest level (ARENA PRO). ACT was established in 2017, and consists of 102 partners. The cluster aims to be a spearhead for the sustainable restructuring of Norway, and the partnership has a common vision to develop sustainable solutions for Northern Norway, Paris and the whole world. The cluster works to accelerate the green transition and development of new value chains within e.g. battery, hydrogen and carbon.


Monica Paulsen

Ellen Myrvold


View related articles!

View all