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Full name: Clusters & Cooperation for Regional Development in Central Europe
Priority: Innovation
Area of Intervention: 1.1 Enhancing Framework Conditions for Innovation
Duration: March 2010 – February 2013 (36 months)
Total budget:
ERDF contribution:
€ 1.358.494,68
€ 1.112.940,82

Regional Development Agency of Usti Region, PLC (Severozapad, CZ), Stuttgart Region Economic Development Corporation (WRS) (Baden-Württemberg, DE), Regional Development agency of Piestany TTSK-RDA TTSK (Zapadne Slovensko, SK), REGIONAL DEVELOPMENT AGENCY CELJE L.T.D. (Slovenija, SI), Mid-Pannon Regional Development Company (Kozep-Dunantul, HU), Regional Development Agency of Bielsko Biala (Slaskie, PL), Upper Austrian Chamber of Commerce (Oberösterreich, AT), Milano Metropoli Development Agency (Lombardia, IT), “ARLEG” S.A. Regional Development Agency (Dolnoslaskie, PL), Centre for research and innovation (Jihovychod, CZ), BSC – Business support centre ltd Kranj (Slovenija, SI)

Lead partner: Regional Development Agency of Usti Region, PLC (Severozapad, CZ)
Lead partner country: Czech Republic



CLUSTERS-CORD – Description
The business and geographical clusters have proved to be an effective regional economic development tool, in particular in peripheral/less competitive areas, where the concentration of interconnected businesses, suppliers and associated institution in specific fields increases their productivity, drives the innovation processes and leads to stimulation of new businesses. The project CLUSTER-CORD builds on this premise and focuses on promotion of the exchange of best practices in cluster management, as well as the cooperation among clusters from the same thematic field but different geographical origin, through the creation of so called “meta-clusters”.

Regional development agencies and other business supporting actors are acting very often as clusters facilitators, as well supporting actors in clusters services development and promotion. The creation of industrial clusters various between the EU27 countries, whereas in the new member states clusters are relatively new instruments receiving currently support from structural funding scheme.

Within the CLUSTERS-CORD the partners, representing the regional business supporting actors (e.g. RDAs) have joint their forces in order to improve regional capacity in the management and development of clusters, through the exchange of experiences and good practices and development of direct cooperation among existing actors.


CLUSTERS-CORD – Objectives
The project general objective is to strengthen the cooperation among clusters from the same thematic field but different geographical origin, through the creation of 5 Strategic Cooperation plans which will result in creation at least 3 so called “meta-clusters”. The project has selected 10 key industries that will be closely examined: Mobility & Logistics; Professional Services; ICT; Automotive & Aeronautics; Tourism; Health Sciences; Energy & Environment; Production Technologies; Wood Industries; Food processing.

The partners will exchange their know-how and experience related to the regional cluster policies that are important instruments creating framework conditions for regional innovation.


CLUSTERS-CORD – Expected Result
The project foresees to start with the benchmarking activities of regional clusters and regional cluster policies of participating actors that will lead to identification of the best practices. The outcomes of this activity will be summed up in the benchmarking study that will be also presented with the specific event.

In order to reach the main goal – to establish 3 metaclusters and to support the cooperation between clusters – the project will bring together clusters managers, cluster representatives, as well as relevant decision makers exchanging about the creation of new services and methods as well as potential synergies. As a result cooperation agreements between the clusters should be signed, guaranteeing future joint activities and their institutionalisation.


CLUSTERS-CORD – Activities
Summary of activities:
CLUSTERS-CORD project dedicated to facilitation of working and lasting transnational cooperation of clusters across the Central Europe territory took the final steps towards the establishment of meta-clusters in the five sectors identified as the most promising ones (information & communication technologies, food, energy and environment, tourism and health). The project efforts were divided into two parts – analytical and practical. The analytical part was focused on gathering and analyzing data related to clusters resulting into complex data set summarized in the Benchmarking study (completed in summer 2011). The study provided the partnership, the clusters themselves and important regional stakeholders with the big picture of clusters environment in CE regions and ever since represented valuable point of orientation for the project progress. The conclusions of the study left only five most promising sectors for further consideration,namely the ICT, food, energy and environment, tourism and health sciences. For each selected sector a working group was established in order to assure effective implementation of the exchange activities and further analysis of the meta-clustering potential.

As the next step, the key target groups first met vis-à-vis within a transnational conference held in Milan in October 2011 which represented the closure of the analytical fieldwork and start-up of the clusters cooperation and exchanges at the same time. Cluster representatives were given a floor to present their expectations, hopes and fears concerning the internationalization and meta-cluster build-up. From that point on, there were five exchange fora accompanied by thematic study visits held where cluster managers and cluster members defined their common interests, issues and shaped future cooperation under the auspices of CLUSTERS-CORD partnership.

The exchange activities concluded into emergence of 4 meta-clusters (bringing together 20 clusters with more than 1000 members) in the fields of tourism, ICT, energy & environment and food. The meta-clusters are established on the basis of strategic cooperation plans and their existence is sealed in cooperation agreements defining the scope and terms of cooperation.

The project paid attention also to the policy aspect of clusters development and established cooperation with public authorities and regional stakeholders in order to determine which policies and supportive measures are desirable across the CE territory. The conclusions are promulgated in policy recommendations which are now to be translated into real life policies and measures. Last but not least, the project designed complex dissemination and communication campaign addressing the key stakeholders in order to create awareness of the topic and to give it due visibility towards policy makers.