On 12 September 2013 the Working Group Clusters of Excellence met in Vukovar, Croatia.
17 members of the working group, including participants from Romania, Serbia, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Austria and Germany, as well as the European Commission and the OECD attended the meeting.
The goal of the meeting was to work on a common cluster strategy for the Danube Region and to make progress in the development of the project DanuClus.
A fruitful and animated roundtable discussion brought the following results:
- The attendees offered a list of economic sectors in which their strongest clusters operate. These clusters are most ready for international cooperation in the framework of Danube Region cluster projects. Many of the strongest clusters are active in sectors such as automotive, ICT, wood processing and furniture, textiles and apparels.
- A cross-sectoral approach for cluster projects is the new trend to foster innovation, which also allows for a transfer of KETs to more traditional industries and for developing a smart specialization strategy that goes beyond national borders. The attendees therefore proposed common projects in the areas of active ageing, energy efficiency, service innovation, creative industries and social innovation.
- For cooperation with clusters from other countries, the quality of the cooperation partner needs to be assured. Therefore the attendees proposed a EUSDR cluster label with minimum quality requirements, going beyond simple benchmarking of cluster management skills.
- Nevertheless, some clusters and cluster policies are still not living up to their potential in the Danube Region. The working group therefore proposed to work on new curricula for cluster training, aiming at a larger target group of not only cluster managers, but also national cluster associations and policy makers.
- As six different national cluster associations were present at the meeting in Vukovar, their representatives decided to sign a Memorandum of Understanding, in which they agree to work together on cluster development, common projects, knowledge and experience exchanges, and cooperation with the project DanuClus.
For more information, please download the detailed meeting minutes.