Cluster House Nis, in partnership with FED Sofia, successfully realized the joint workshop of business communities from Bulgaria and Serbia. The workshop “Development of BG-SER Cluster Network” is one of activities which will contribute to preparation of the draft of the strategy for cluster-based SMEs networking between Bulgaria and Serbia. The workshop gathered over 30 representatives from clusters and cluster initiatives from the following areas: tourism, agriculture and food processing, construction, urban planning, youth entrepreneurship, energy efficiency and textile, as well as representatives of the public sector and business associations from Leskovac, Svrljig, Niška Spa, Aleksinc and Gadžin Han.
The results of the workshop in the area of strategic cooperation between clusters in the border region were:
• Synergy of clusters in terms of supporting the initiatives concerning the protection of environment – presented clusters support a petition initiated by the Tourist Cluster “Banjac” from Niska Spa regarding remediation of illegal dumps in the surrounding of Spa.
• Development of joint projects in the field of tourism, trade, agriculture, textiles, construction and architecture, design and manufacture of furniture.
• Linking entrepreneurs from Bulgaria and Serbia through joint participation in trade fairs, exhibitions and study visits.
• Organize joint conferences, seminars and training.
• Direct connection of producers, for example in the textile industry due to respond to customer requirements in terms of quantity or in construction for a joint appearance to tenders
• Direct connection of youth to encourage entrepreneurial spirit and starting their own business on both sides of the border
One of the key indicators of success of the project is that the Balkan Cluster contributed in creating business linkages between 7 Bulgarian and 5 Serbian institutions, which resulted to the preparation of the 4 project proposal to access the EU INTERREG CBC SER-BG 2015/16 program.