Over 250 participants representing the European Commission and national governments, regional devel- opment agencies and innovation actors, industry and academia, clusters and cluster associations from all over Europe debated on 22 and 23 November 2017 in Bucharest about the role of clusters in the smart specialisation process, integrating value chains and trigerring business driven innovation. Particular foci were put on the Danube Strategy and the Danube Transnational Programme, tools for cluster development with particular emphasis on bioeconomy as developed by the DTP “DanuBioValNet Project” approach and on internationalisation solutions for bussiness by Afaceri.ro platform. Around 50 B2B/C2C meetings took place in the adjacent EEN brokerage event.
awareness workshop in bulgaria
The Association of Business Clusters made an important step to raise the awareness about the prospects and challenges of the biobased industry in Bulgaria. Its Executive Director Svetlin Ranguelov presented the DanuBioValNet project to several cluster managers and stakeholders during the workshop in Plovdiv on 7 November 2017. As the communication manager of the project, he shared in deep the details about the project, partners taking part in it, the need of bolstering bioeconomy and the opportunities that it creates not only for Bulgaria but for the entire Danube region.
BBCEI successfully launched
The idea of BioBased Cluster Excellence Initiative (BBCEI) is to support biobased cluster initiatives in improving cluster management excellence in the Danube Region to better address the upcoming challenges in the field of Biobased Industry. This can be reached by mutual benchmarking and Bronze Labelling of cluster organisations according to the European Cluster Excellence Initiative Approach (www.cluster-analysis.org). The BBCEI has been successfully launched in August 2017. More than 25 Cluster Initiatives of the 8 DanuBioValNet partners’ regions have expressed their interest. Thus, it is the largest Cluster Benchmarking Initiative since 2011. Although the initiative is still ongoing, clusters from Romania, Montenegro, Baden-Württemberg, Slovakia and Czech republic have been already successfully benchmarked and received the European Label for Cluster Management Excellence. It is expected that BBCEI can be successfully finished by the end of this year. Valuable insights on size, structure, financial models and main objectives of Biobased cluster initiatives have been found. In the context of the BBCEI, many cluster managers already received ideas and recommendations how to strengthening the cluster organisation in order to better support the competitiveness of their SME members.
Two Slovak Clusters related to bioeconomy awarded by Bronze Label
Two Slovak clusters related to bioeconomy have been benchmarked by the European Secretariat for Cluster Analysis. The representatives of the Bioeconomy Cluster and the Hemp Cluster were interviewed on 4th October 2017 in Pecs, Hungary by Dr. Ing. Gerd Meier zu Köcker from VDI/VDE-IT during the 1st Danube Competitiveness in Practice event. Both clusters were awarded with the European Cluster Management Excellence label in BRONZE.
Phytopharma sector stakeholders in the Danube region extend networking activities
On 5 December, almost 50 stakeholders from the phytopharmaceutical sector in the Danube region gathered in Stuttgart for the Phytopharma Day. The event provided insights into the work of collectors and growers of medicinal plants in Germany, Poland and Romania, and featured presentations by Baden-Württemberg companies. The participants also had the opportunity to discuss the extent to which science and industry could increase their networking activities in this sector in the Danube region.
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