CEE Cluster Agreement –
Rationale and Objectives
The whys, ambitions and perspectives!
Mr. Vladimir Kovacevic, Director, Croatian Employers‘ Association,
National Centre for Clusters and representative of the CEE-
ClusterNetwork Steering Committee
May 7th, 2009 Copenhagen
12 project partners from Central and Eastern Europe
Co-operate in developing jointly their future innovation
and cluster policy in the areas of economic strengths on
1. policy level
2. administrative level
3. level of regional development agencies and cluster initiatives.
Countries and regions involved
Austria – Upper Austria, Lower
Austria, Salzburg, Tyrol
Hungary – West Pannonia
Italy – South Tyrol
Slovenia – Region Podravje
Coherent development of the innovation and cluster
policy in the areas of economic strengths of the
individual regions on three levels:
regional development agencies and cluster
CEE Cluster Agreement Contribution to the European
commitment on Cluster Memorandum
Policy and Administration Cluster and Network
Level Initiatives‘ Level
Ongoing involvement of regional and Cluster Action Plan
national governmental jointly identified
administrative level fields of future co-operation
Bases for transnational long-term co-operation
beyond the duration of the project!
CEE Cluster Agreement
a commitment on common strategies and objectives for the future
innovation and cluster policy
signed by politicians representing all CEE CN countries and regions,
Brussels Nov. 2007.
3 Steps to the CEE Cluster
1. Detailed overview on CEE regions and countries in regard to future
strategic points of interest and cluster wide needs
Elaborated in several regional workshops, personal discussions with
the governmental administrative level, cluster initiatives and cluster
2. Identification and definition on COMMON strategic innovation issues
3. Involvement of responsible administrative bodies, relevant players on
Lobbying Awareness building Keyplayers
Main needs of CEE-CN partner regions
on policy level, regional & national
Policy and administrative level
Focus on cluster initiatives in European programmes
We support participation of cluster initiatives in EU-programmes creating research, innovation, technology transfer
and qualification e.g. EU-structural funds (ESF, EFRE), FP7 and CIP.
Cross-border cooperation of clusters
We support the international and cross-border cooperation of clusters as they remove barriers and facilitate
international activities of companies in clusters.
International visibility of European clusters
The European economy has strong clusters in mid and high-tech areas. We support all measures facilitating a
strong international presence.
Sustainable cluster policy and accepted role of cluster initiatives in innovation programmes
We support all cluster policies at regional, national and European level stimulating economic growth, know-how
transfer, employment and prosperity as well as emphasizing the necessity of persistent, reliable and long-term role
of cluster initiatives.
Cooperation between research and entrepreneurs (companies)
Research and development are key factors for innovation and entrepreneurial success hence we support all
activities that intensify the cooperation between R&D institutions and companies. Especially SMEs are of
importance with priority.
Give companies a steering role in cluster initiatives
Cluster policy implicates a customer oriented way of innovation policy as it is focused on the needs of very
important sectors. We support the implementation of an advisory board with cluster companies as an appropriate
tool of steering the cluster initiatives.
Main needs of CEE-CN partner regions
on Cluster & Network Initiatives’ Level
Research & Developm ent e.g. closer co-operation SM E and R&D 39
Hum an Resources (e.g. personnel exchange) 43
Netw orking (e.g. I&C platform for cluster m anagers) 43
Innovation Support Service (e.g. Co-operation/Partner finding events) 19
Internationalisation (e.g. com m on activities to open new global m arkets) 28
Cluster and Network Initiatives’ Level
Platform for all European cluster initiatives
We support the co-operation among European clusters and cluster initiatives through an all encompassing
platform for all European cluster initiatives enabling the visibility of cluster companies.
Closer cooperation between Universities, R&D-institutions and companies
We support all activities that turn research into economically valuable innovations and economic benefits at the
same time through closer cooperation between Universities, R&D-institutions and entrepreneurs and improvement
of access to R&D facilities and results.
High qualification for cluster companies
As a key factor of success we support high qualification services for cluster members to maintain their skills
updated for the latest market demands.
Access to global markets
We see the importance and support the setting up of common activities to gain access to new global markets
towards long positioning of CEE fields of strength.
High quality trainings for cluster managers
To get best cluster performances we support high quality trainings to keep cluster initiatives' staff continuously
Benefits from CEE CN – policy level
Establishing stategic partnerships with Ministry of Economy, Labour and
Entrepreneruship in the process of cluster development in the Republic of Croatia
Initiated Strategy of Cluster Development in the Republic of Croatia in 2008 – currently
draft, expected to be finished by end 2009
Initiated integration of cluster strategy with other industrial papers and sectoral
strategies (Strategy for development of processing industry, strategies of development
of industrial processing of textiles, and leather, Strategy of development of wood-
processing industry etc.)
– improved governance of Croatian cluster policy and cooperation of all cluster
– participation with relevant EU programmes and exchange with cluster policy actors
of other countries, cross-border cooperation of clusters
Cluster policy in Croatia has to be seen against the background of its status as small
transitional economy - The benefits of “clustering”: enhanced competitiveness and
inovativeness of the Croatian economy, activities aimed at lowering costs of business,
development of products and processes, increased exports and access to new