The first TCI regional conference in the Balkans, a powerful tool for cross clusters collaboration, was held in Sofia from 20-22 March. It was definitely the most important cluster event in Europe in 2018 gathering over 130 representatives of public institutions, academia and business community from 26 countries. The conference themed “Turning challenges into opportunities” was prepared under the Bulgaria’s Presidency of the EU Council in 2018 providing a planty opportunities for more effective cluster-based efforts to policy makers, clusters unions and associations, cluster managers and cluster experts.
There were the 7 leding cluster development membership organization: Cluster House, coordinator of the Balkan and Black Sea Clusters Network BBS ClusNet and Union of Serbian Clusters; Czech Republic NCA; Union of Slovak Clusters, Romanian ClusteRo, Bulgarian ABC, Hungarian IKOSZ, and Spanish ClustersEs. Leading experts and practitioners from Europe, Americas and Asia shared their knowledge and experience.
The special Sofia conference edition of “Shared Views“ was publicated with the aim to share knowledge, inspiration and ideas amoung cluster actors.
From the Balkans for the first time the Energy Efficiancy Cluster ENEF, a bronze labeled cluster from Novi Sad, Serbia and the Romanian ASTRICO Nord-Est Textile Cluster from Str. Gheorge attended the TCI conference.
One of conference discussions was focused on putting attention of the EC institutions on the fact that for cluster associations and unions the „networks“ are only one of tools for cluster development. It means that the clusters associations and clusters unions could not be named or clasified by „networks“.
The Cluster House is a good example of the cluster development model in Serbia and in the Balkans. The Cluster House is an union of clusters in Serbia and a coordinator of the four networks: Serbian ClusNet, Balkan and Black Sea Cluster Network BBS ClusNet, CZ-RS SME Trade Bridge Network and BG-RS Balkan Cluster Network. The Cluster House and the national clusters associations and unions in each country should be identified and accepted as partner institutions since they are more than networks, they are the cluster develipoment membership organizations and should be a part of European cluster policy infrastructure.
The EU development interventions should be better splited between public and private sector through implementation of the BOTTOM UP CLUSTER DEVELOPMENT APPROACH enabling environment for setting up dialogue between public and private sectors in the Balkans.
The TOP DOWN CLUSTER DEVELOPMENT APPROACH, which is currently used, contributes to building a bigger gap between public and private sectors, lack of access to development funds and unsustainable social-economic development in the Balkans.
The Cluster House had a great pleasure to be one of conference supporting organizations.
We are very much thankful to Mrs. Teodora Jilkova, the Consulting Cluster Veritas and organising team of the TCI European Conference 2018 for the great collaboartion during the conference preparation and huge efforts to support the Balkan Clusters promotion on the European and global cluster map and to spread information how much cluster community could help in the European integration process of the Balkans.
Docent Dr. Danka Milojkovic, director of the Cluster House and member of the Global TCI Network Board of Directors gave presentations on THE SMART BALKAN CLUSTER POLICY POWERFUL TOOL FOR EUROPEAN INTEGRATION PROCESS OF THE WESTERN BALKANS and CLUSTER HOUSE START-UP MODEL FOR CLUSTER-BASED LOCAL ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT IN THE BALKANS & CLUSTER HOUSE NETWORKS.
The Cluster Tours in Sofia (ICT) and Plovdiv (Mechanical building) and the galla dinner with the special Bulgarian traditional performance marked the Sofia cluster event.
More info about the conference are available on the link http://www.tci-network.org/reg2018_sofia
Photos and video materials are available on the following link.
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