Leading-Edge Cluster Competition

The Leading-Edge Cluster Competition is the flagship of Germany's High-Tech Strategy. It intends to strategically expand the technological competence of regional partners from science and industry and implement this competence in internationally competitive innovations. The Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) launched the competition in the summer of 2007. The second contest round started in January 2009.

Germany's Leading Edge Clusters, Source: BMBF


The aim is to support clusters with the highest performance while they are making their way into the group of top global clusters. By promoting the further strategic development of excellent clusters, the transformation of regional potential for innovation into sustainable value creation is to be strengthened – thus safeguarding and creating growth and jobs as well as making Germany more attractive for innovators. 


During three rounds of the competition, a high-level independent jury chose five leading-edge clusters which received funding for a maximum period of five years. No demands with regard to topic were made: the candidates with the best strategies for future markets in their respective industries were selected.

Cool Silicon was choosen to be one of those five leading-edge clusters, receiving funding of 40 Million Euro over the next five years by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research.

High-tech Strategy

A key element of Germany's High-tech Strategy is the building of bridges between science and business: to safeguard growth and employment, research results having innovation potential must  be recognized and brought to market quickly and sucessfully. At the same time, future relevant research questions must be formulated and solutions must be provided. This requires a close cooperation between science and industry.

Clusters where companies, scientific institutes and further players pull together, are offering excellent conditions to achieve this. They facilitate the merging of different competencies at an early stage and offer an unique combination of success factors:

  • a high-quality scientific and practical support for the next generation of scientists as well as attractive opportunities for for teaching and continuing education  
  • long-term research strategies
  • market-oriented technology developments
  • creation of favourable conditions for start-ups
  • strategic expansion of international cooperations and alliances

Project Duration: 2009 bis 2014

Project Funding: 40 Mio € ( Federal Ministry for Education and Research) + 30 Mio € (Saxon Ministry of Science and the Fine Arts)