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AgroTransilvania Cluster

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General Information
The date when the cluster organisation was established: 
Saturday, 23 February, 2013
Number of staff in the management team of the cluster organisation : 
6-10
Regions: 
Nord-Vest
Cluster Excellence Label: 
Silver Label
Other Label: 
ISO 9001:2008
Membership to other networks/partnerships: 
NameWebsite
Romanian Cluster Association
Cluster Management Team: 
NameSurnamePositionTelephoneEmail
Felix
Arion
Cluster Manager
0040744170222
felix.arion@agrocluster.ro
Languages spoken: 
English
French
Romanian
Sectoral and Industrial Focus
Sectoral Industries: 
Agricultural Inputs and Services
Education and Knowledge Creation
Technology fields: 
Animal Production / Husbandry
Crop Production
S3 EU priority areas: 
Crop & animal production, hunting &related service activities
Sustainable agriculture
Emerging industries: 
Advanced Packaging
Environmental Industries
Areas of specialisation of the cluster not covered above: 
Food Quality Certification, Traditional Products, Geographical Indication Products
Composition of the cluster
Total number of members: 
54
Number of SME members: 
35
Number of larger company members: 
12
Number of research organisations/universities/technology centres: 
7
Number of other ecosystem actors : 
6
Entrepreneurship and scale-up support facilities in the cluster's ecosystem (see "Organisation type"): 
Name and link of major players: 
NameWebsiteType
Banca Transilvania
Larger Company
Tehnofavorit
SME
Mafir
SME
Hostvision
SME
Adisal TH
SME
TEHNO STAR PRODIMPEX
SME
MECANICA HUEDIN
SME
GLUE CHIM PROD
SME
CONF TUB INOX
SME
UNIVERSITATEA DE ȘTIINȚE AGRICOLE ȘI MEDICINĂ VETERINARĂ CLUJ-NAPOCA
University
ASOCIAȚIA IJARUL
UNITATEA ADMINISTRATIV TERITORIALĂ- JUDEȚUL CLUJ
UNIVERSITATEA TEHNICĂ CLUJ-NAPOCA
University
CAMERA DE COMERȚ ȘI INDUSTRIE CLUJ
MIB PRODCOM
SME
MARIFLOR PRODCOM
SME
AGROTURDEAN IMPEX
SME
CENTRUL AGRO TRANSILVANIA CLUJ
ONCOS PROD
SME
GLOBAL DISTRIBUTION GROUP
SME
HYGIA CONSULT
SME
FUNDAŢIA HEIFER PROJECT PENTRU ROMANIA
Cooperativa Agricola Lunca Somesului Mic
BONAS IMPORT EXPORT
SME
DLG INTERMARKETING
SME
PRIMĂRIA MUNICIPIULUI CÂMPIA TURZII
FOOD TRANSILVANIA MARKET
SME
FABRICA DE BRÂNZETURI TRANSILVANIA
SME
STUPARUL PUNCT RO
SME
INSTITUTUL NAȚIONAL DE CERCETARE DEZVOLTARE PENTRU TEHNOLOGII IZOTOPICE ȘI MOLECULARE CLUJ NAPOCA
Research Organisation
TAF PRESOIL
SME
REFRESH PRINT
SME
GRATECO MEDICAL
SME
ASOCIAȚIA PENTRU MARKETINGUL PRODUSELOR LOCALE- AMPLU
CRAMA LA SALINA
SME
SUPER LACTIS
SME
INSTITUTUL DE CERCETĂRI PENTRU INSTRUMENTATIE ANALITICĂ CLUJ-NAPOCA
Research Organisation
AGRO TV NETWORK
SME
ANTOMA ADVERTISING
SME
VOX PAPER
SME
SCDA TURDA
Research Organisation
ORGANIC PLANT AGE
SME
STAȚIUNEA DIDACTICĂ EXPERIMENTALĂ - USAMV
Research Organisation
Cluster Strategy
Mission/Objectives: 

The activity of the cluster and resource allocation (time, logistics, labour and funds) was run and motorised based on the above mentioned activities until the mid of 2015, when the stragey was reviewed by the management team of AgroTransilvania Cluster, form emergent cluster strategy to innovative cluster strategy. The decision was made based on the following argues: the number of the members increased (attracting two new research institutes) and the complexity of decision making process increased also; the knowledge about the cluster management improved, and the strategic planning process needs to keep on being up to dated; appeared new possibilities for financing the clusters, both at national and international level, mostly for cluster involved into research and technology transfer. 

According to the new strategy approved by General Assembly of the Stakeholder, the new vision of cluster development is to support the development of agro-industrial sector, with the stated aim to support the increase of competitiveness association and to every member, both on the national and world markets. In its own view, AgroTransilvania Cluster will become the main active and viable partner for actors in to the field, and a model of good practice for associative activity.   The mission for which the management team AgroTransilvania Cluster has been mandated by the General Assembly of Shareholders is to become an Integrator Pol of research, innovation, technology transfer and sustainable development of the Transylvanian agribusiness sector (supporting sustainable competitiveness of the agribusiness sector). 

The strategy is, also, based on 6 strategic activities (some of them unchanged), up to dated based on the new assumed mission:

1. Increasing the research and development capacity in field of bio-economy and nationally and internationally strengthening the image as innovative smart specialization cluster - Create and equip research laboratories to develop new activities and research directions - Development of research and development activities in the cluster by the attracting highly qualified personnel - Creating scientific added value in the bio-economy  - Involvement in research, innovation and technological transfer

2. The Increase of Sustainable Competitivity of Agri-Industrial Sector in Transylvania: - increase of agricultural production at the average level of the EU; - improvement of technology in agriculture; - increase the animal husbandry, processing and manufacturing share in agriculture;   3. Encouraging the Set-up and/or the Development of Associative Forms, in following areas: - plant production; - animal husbandry; - processing and manufacturing; - marketing sector.   4. The Increase of Qualitative and Quantitative Representatives of Cluster: - Creating the brand AgroTransilvania Cluster ®  (quality standards) - investments with common positive potential (storage and selling facilities, irrigations, slathering house);

- Creating new locations for selling the products of the members

5.  Integration of Producers and/or Associative Forms into the Value Chain: - creation of the AgroTransilvania Cluster Trademark; - Visibility as an association with common goals - Mediation with authorities, administration, international relations - Organizing and participating in trade fairs, exhibitions  

6.  Support the Development of Local and Regional Initiative: - Consulting Department - identification and support for local initiatives (logistics, consultancy and financial) - practical internship for students.

It pursues, through these goals the more efficient use of the local resources (natural, human, research and innovation), as, at the moment, the results of the agribusiness sector are far below its potential, either because of their inefficient administration, either simply because of not being used at all (due to the inability to use, or as a result of not recognising their potential).

Do you have a formalised strategy?: 
Yes
Do you have a specific strategy focus that addresses internationalisation ?: 
Yes
Services
Support services provided: 
Access to the European Internal market
Access to public support (regional/national programmes, innovation vouchers, etc.)
Access to private funding (connecting to investors, seed-capital, venture-capital, crowd-funding, etc.)
Facilitation of collaboration between members
Enabling Facilities sharing
Details of support services: 

· Enabling Facilities sharing: · Access to private funding (connecting to investors, seed-capital, venture-capital, crowd-funding, etc.): · Provision and facilitation of access to training for members: · Facilitation of collaboration between members: · Innovation Management / Support of innovation processes (internal, external): · Direct advisory services: · Access to technology services: · Access to public support (regional/national programmes, innovation vouchers, etc.): · Access to the European Internal market:

Cooperation Activities
International Cooperation
The main countries targeted by the cluster organisation: 
Cuba
Iraq
Republic of Korea (South Korea)
Our cluster organisation undertook the following international activities to support our members: 
Participation at missions/events/study visits/fairs
Trans-national Cooperation
The main countries targeted by the cluster organisation: 
France
Italy
Netherlands
Poland
Portugal
Our cluster organisation undertook the following trans-national activities to support our members: 
Support to collaborative activities/etc.
Which clusters do you collaborate with?: 
AgroCluster do Ribatej
Plant InterCluster consortium
FEMAC | The Catalan Cluster of agricultural Production
TRANSILVANIAN FURNITURE CLUSTER
ARIES Transilvania
TREC - Transnational Renewable Energy Cluster
Transilvania Taste Cluster (Gusturi Transilvane)
Transilvania LifeStyle Cluster
Support Programmes
Participation in Funded Support Programmes: 
European ProgrammesProject NameName & Description (Regional/National)
H2020
Other

H2020 641690-1 - WIN2WIN Co, în cadrul Societal Challenge - Climate action, environment, resource efficiency and raw materials, Call: H2020-WATER-2014-two-stage 

HORIZON 2020 2014-2015 Call H2020-SC5-2015, Topic: SC5-17-2015,  Type of action: IA, Proposal number: 690159-1, acronim: FarmGov, propus de Helmholtz-Zentrum Fuer Umweltforschung GMBH – UFZ, Germania

H2020 Subject: Horizon 2020 Framework Programme, Call for proposals: H2020-SFS-2015-2 topic: “Tackling Malnutrition in the elderly”, Proposal: 678293 - NUperLIFE, "NUtritional status-based dietary intervention to defeat malnutrition – NUxLIFE", propus de Tecnoalimenti S.C.p.A., Italia

POSCCE 1.3.3. Programul Operațional Sectorial Creșterea Competitivității Economice – POS CCE, Axa Prioritară 1 – Un sistem inovativ și eco-eficient de producție, Domeniul Major de Intervenție  1.3. Dezvoltarea unui antreprenoriat sustenabil, Operațiunea 133. Sprijin pentru integrarea întreprinderilor în lanțurile de furnizori sau clustere, Apelul de Proiecte POS CEE-A1-DM 1.3.-O 1.3.3-2013, cererea de finanțare “Dezvoltarea sustenabilă a clusterului agro-industrial sub brandul «AgroTransilvania Cluster » 200.000 Euros 

Program Operational Competitivitate Axa 1. Program cofinanţat din Fondul European de Dezvoltare Regională "Investiţii pentru viitorul dumneavoastră". SECȚIUNEA B - Cod competiţie POC-A1-A1.1.1-B-2015 - Tip proiect - Clustere de inovare. P_35_476. AGROTRANSILVANIA CLUSTER - Cluster inovativ specializat în domeniul bioeconomiei, 4.2 milions Euros

Promotion
Success Story / Achievements: 

Common Vision on Research and Technology Transfer Infrastructure

AgroTransilvania Cluster is a professional association of 48 members in field of agri-food (including input suppliers, farmer associations, processors, 2 universities, 2 research institutes, 1 commercial bank, 1 television, 2 consulting companies, 2 local/regional authorities, distributors, catalyzing institutions.)

The mission for whom the management team AgroTransilvania Cluster has been mandated by the General Assembly of Shareholders is to become an Integrator Pole of Research, Innovation, Technology Transfer and Sustainable Development of the Transylvanian agribusiness sector (supporting sustainable competitiveness of the agribusiness sector).

On August 2015, based on an effort of Cluster Management Entity of AgroTransilvania Cluster, University of Agricultural Sciences, National Institute for Research and Development of Isotopic and Molecular Technologies INCDTIM Cluj-Napoca and SC Hygia Colsult SRL it was designed and proposed a research project of around 4 mil Euros, through it, AgroTransilvania Cluster intends to create 7 laboratories for research in terms of Safe and Security of food.

There will create 7 labs: Laboratory for the control and safe of milk and dairy products, Laboratory for the control and safe of meat and meat products, Laboratory of instrumental analysis, Laboratory for genomics, Laboratory for determining bio- geographical authenticity and origin, Laboratory for the control and safe of animal feeds, Laboratory for determining the micotoxins / allergens from food and for developing the natural food colorants. The facility will be able to provide services for members of cluster in terms of quality and safe assurance of the agri-food products.

One of the main objectives is to assure the entire facilities required for being a certified organism able to certified European geographical indication products (PDO, PGI). In that direction, together with partners from France, Italy, Spain, United Kingdom and Romania an Institute of food & Beverages Identity and Origin, in frame of ERASMUS+ Knowledge Alliances Programme.

Clusters International Conference CLUSTERS – INNOVATIVE BUSINESS MODELS, Cluj-Napoca, 4-5 June 2015

One of the directions of development of AgroTransilvania Cluster is to increase its visibility and its level of trust as a valuable partner for business, institutional development, and research and policies and/or strategies makers, so it can play a better role of the in its way to support the development of agri-industrial sector, by increasing the competitiveness of the association itself and its members individually, both on national and international market, based on a common development strategy. 

As member of Romanian Cluster Association and based on a collaborative work with other regional clusters, during 4th-5th of June 2015 in Cluj-Napoca City, AgroTransilvania Cluster organised Clusters International Conference Clusters – Innovative Business Models, with the participation of almost 50 international known speakers at a European level and over 300 participants from all over Europe, like makers of cluster policies, public authorities, financial institutions, support associations and European cluster management organizations, universities, research institutes, companies, NGOs and professional associations.

The subjects of conferences covered the most important problems the clusters confront at the moment Financing the business environment & products dedicated to clusters, Financial transfer – business development opportunity, How can the clusters excel?, The role of clusters in implementing European, national and regional policies, Sections devoted to agribusiness, furniture, IT and lifestyle. To fully complete its mission, the conference enclosed brokerage sessions (C2C, C2B and/or B2B) that facilitated individual business meetings among the participants, networking sessions, as well as business opportunities within a well organized environment. Brokerage sessions encouraged the development of sectoral collaboration and/or cross-sectoral collaboration between clusters.

AgroTransilvania Cluster chaired the session “Added Value in Agribusiness”, together with Mr. Carlos Lopes de Sousa (President of Agrocluster Ribatejo, Portugal) and Mr. Enric Pedros (Cluster Manager of FEMAC, Spain – certified Gold by Cluster Management Excellence). The topics of discussion were connected to the current state of cluster policy in agri-food, with a focused approach on members’ interests, all for a higher degree of relevance and pragmatism, sharing the experience of more experienced clusters.

For more information you can see the conference’s website: http://www.romaniaclusters.eu

SC Fabrica de Branzeturi Transilvania SRL

AgroTransilvania Cluster managed to re-use the economic and commercial potential of Taga Cave (an unique natural cheese production facility), where it is produced the well-known maturated "Cheese Nasal" (known as the “Romanian Camembert”).

The facility was not used for a couple of years by its owner and, based on a year and a half period of negotiation; the right to use the facility was attributed to the AgroTransilvania Cluster for a determined period of time. The purpose of this initiative was to economically exploit the unique potential of this facility and to offer to the consumer’s some quality products whose quality can not be matched by any other Romanian cheese, but also to take advantage of the specific expertise of the members of the cluster.

After the right of use the cheese factory from Taga was obtained by AgroTransilvania Cluster, the factory was administered via a separate company named SC Fabrica de Branzeturi Transilvania SRL, having two stakeholders: AgroTransilvania Cluster (52%) and Agricultural Cooperative Somes Aries (48%). Agricultural Cooperative Somes Aries is member of AgroTransilvania Cluster and it was mandated by the General Assembling of Stakeholders of AgroTransilvania to administrate the SC Fabrica de Branzeturi Transilvania SRL as it reunites the producers of the milk that is processed for obtaining the cheese. All products manufactured for the cluster have the label: "AgroTransilvania Cluster".

In such a way, a full agri-food value chain was created: the raw material is supplied by Agricultural Cooperative Somes Aries (member of AgroTransilvania Cluster), the cheese making process is done by SC Fabrica de Branzeturi Transilvania SRL (belonging to AgroTransilvania Cluster) and the commercialisation is done also via SC Transylvania Market SRL (also, a company belonging to AgroTransilvania Cluster), but also via shops of other members of the Cluster (Bonas, CosmFan).

The project “A chance for each farmer”

Any success story starts with a chance. AgroTransilvania Cluster turned the project “A chance for each farmer” into a successful story, involving in the project all the communes from the Cluj County, in order to get an accurate overview regarding the needs, problems, production potential and the marketing details of the agro-industrial sector of the County. Thus, an international study was conducted with the University of Agricultural Sciences and Veterinary Medicine from Cluj-Napoca.

The study benefited from the international expertise of the ERASMUS MUNDUS MSc Food Identity and the Scholar Mobility ERASMUS Projects, where 9 international students from Argentina, France, Spain, Mexico, Croatia, Moldova and Romania joined the Romanian students to conduct a qualitative research in this area.

The study consisted in going, concomitantly, through several stages, considered to be extremely important:

  • Conducting interviews in every commune, having as target group the executive authorities of the local government and business representatives from the agro-food sector, carried out during the period of September-October 2013;
  • Gathering information from the citizens, based on self-administered questionnaires filled by any interested citizen of the Cluj County.
  • Consulting the local decision makers. In order to implement successfully the third stage, the county councils were asked to debate the information required by the project on the agenda of the local deliberative forums and, thus, to present the official position to the project team, to be included in the study.

This project represents a successful story as the survey results were used to develop and implement a strategy to cover the needs of the farmers from the Cluj County. The most relevant information gathered from every commune refers to the agro-food sector, targeting mainly: the currently unused agricultural and food resources from the commune; the vision of the local authorities regarding a proper development strategy for the commune; the priority areas that the local authorities would like to develop if all the necessary resources were available to them and, not least, the projects that the local authorities intend to implement, indicating the financial resources, the project value and implementation period, etc.

The information collected during the project were used to design and implement an unified strategy for the agro-food sector, destined to determine the real needs of the area and to prioritize the investments and the involvement into fundraising projects at the county administration level. Thereby, one of the cluster strategic objectives is fulfilling: to increase the competitiveness of the agro-industrial sector from Transylvania and to increase the qualitative and quantitative representativeness.

Another achievement resulted from the project is the creation of an internal database by the cluster, where only its members have a direct access, which is continuously updated annually or whenever a relevant information appears. Therefore, the further development of the cluster is sustainably related to the situation and the evolution of the available resources, expectations and needs of the subjects concerned.

SC Food Transilvania Market SRL Project

The value chain generated by the cluster is complex and is not limited only to product brokering, but largely integrates locally and regionally the entire agro-business system. The value chain starts from the suppliers for the agricultural and food industry, being both specialized in this field or as suppliers of general inputs and, naturally, ends with local marketing facility units for the products of the cluster members. AgroTransilvnia cluster looked for practical solutions to shorten the marketing chain and increase the rate of local products in the local markets. It happened through the creation of a cluster shop inside the shopping centre Iulius Mall. Thereby, resulted the successful project SC Food Transilvania Market SRL, representing the opening of a store in one of the biggest shopping centres of the Cluj-Napoca city. This could be called a successful story as it contributes significantly to the efficiency of the cluster’s marketing chain, thus increasing its visibility.

The main goal was to conduct an image campaign to promote the AgroTransilvania cluster through the products that meet the following minimum requirements: good traceability system, high quality products, the production is exclusively local and the price is competitive. Then, AgroTransilvania cluster will serve as a guarantee for these requirements in the front of the consumer. One of the medium-term strategies of the cluster is to ensure the cluster brand recognition, that will be followed by the creation of the own quality standards (higher than usual) designed to surpass the customer expectations.

The internal analysis of cluster members revealed certain limits for some of them in fundraising for specific projects, development of common projects and, thus, working in complex teams. That is why, as a measure of improvement, it was decided to involve the cluster members and the executive management, under the cluster’s guidance, in common specific projects, in accordance with every member competencies. This goal meets the aims of the cluster’s strategically objectives to integrate the producers and associative forms to into the value chain and increase the qualitative and quantitative representativeness.

The shortening of the value chain and marketing chain of the cluster and its members represents a defining element for its sustainable development. The success of the first store opened in one of the biggest shopping centres of the Cluj-Napoca city has increased the cluster visibility. This generated the interest of other important shopping centres to collaborate with the cluster. At the moment, advanced negotiations are carried out to open a second store for the cluster members’ products in another shopping centre. Certainly, the financial contribution brought by such commercial activities is not negligible to the cluster and its members.

The project “Practical course - „Learn consulting, do consulting”

Another success story of the cluster represents the project “Practical course – Learn consulting, do consulting” concluded by the Association “Agro-Food-Ind Napoca Cluster” – AgroTransilvania cluster, Babes-Bolyai University from Cluj-Napoca, University of Agricultural Sciences and Veterinary Medicine from Cluj-Napoca, Transylvania Bank and S.C. Hygia Consult S.R.L. The partners agreed to work together to organize a package of practical professional development modules: “Learn consulting, do consulting” destined to prepare the students to acquire practical knowledge regarding the consultancy for the preparation and implementation of the EU funded projects. Following this course, it was created the consultancy department within the cluster.

The cluster has provided the space and the necessary infrastructure for the courses; made all necessary support materials to promote the course and will contribute to its further promotion through specific channels. The universities have promoted the course and provided advice during the selection process of the students; they have recognized the course as a practice module and provided logistical support. Transylvania Bank financially supported the production of promotional materials and the support materials necessary to conduct the course. More than that, some of the bank employees acted as lecturers for specific modules. S.C. Hygia Consult S.R.L. assured the coordination of the practical modules for the professional development “Lean consulting, do consulting”, provided a sufficient number of consultants-trainers throughout the entire course to ensure that the students acquire the necessary knowledge specific for consulting activity, according to the plan; assured the electronic support of the course as well as the documentation for related planning.

The framework plan of the course, that lasted for 128 hours, included two main modules: Module 1. General Consultancy (32 hours: Development of the consulting mission, Development of the professional relationships with the client organisation, Use the expertise and knowledge to achieve the objectives of the consultancy mission, Delivering sustainable results within the organisation as a result of the consultancy mission) and Module II. Specialized consultancy (96 hours: Preparation of project design, Documentation to the project, Establishment of partnerships, Project drafting, Setting the requirements for the integrated management of the project, Planning the activities and project benchmarks, Management of costs and operational resources used for project realisation, Management of the project procurement procedures, Risk management, Project team management, Project communication management, Project quality management).

As a result of running the course, the students acquired professional skills and knowledge, social and human, which allowed the selection of four graduates who have been integrated into the cluster consultancy department, under the coordination of the cluster management team. The purpose of the consultancy department is to provide advice and coaching primarily for cluster members, both current issues and planning, as well as specific activities to attract financial resources for investments (grants or loans). Based on the success of this course, its replication is desired to beneficiaries from the economic, social and administrative areas, to act as active liaison elements in order to carry out joint research projects (development).

The internal analysis of cluster members revealed certain limits for some cluster members in fundraising for specific projects, development of common projects and, thus, to work in a complex team. That is why, as a measure of improvement, it was decided to involve the cluster members and executive management, under the cluster guidance, in common specific projects, in accordance with every member competencies. This goal meets the aims of the cluster strategically objectives to support the local and regional development initiatives and encourage research, innovation and technology transfer in the agribusiness sector.

The consultancy department created after the completion of the course conducts its activity, also, through providing specialized services to the economic environment from the agro-food sector, ensuring a sustainable development of the cluster by attracting funds to the current activity. There have already been signed consulting contracts that generated cash flow to the cluster.

Why should partners choose you for cooperation?: 

AgroTransilvania Cluster aims to become an integrative pole of the harmonious development in the region; an referential professional and institutional strategical entity on the field, recognized by business and institutional frameworks as being the most appreciated Cluster Association, both for the quality of its work and the results obtained. The main activity of the association represents the integration of all its members into a sustainable and competitive value chain that could bring notoriety and visibility to Transylvanian’s local products.

As the structure of the cluster become, in time more complex (starting with 20 members and having, at the moment, 54 members), the needs of the members it becomes more complicated to be individualized, so there were created 6 working groups, based on their common set of interests. The design and componence of the cluster’s working group intends to increase the efficiency and the effectiveness of collaborations among the members on the agri-food value chain.

1. Agricultural producers working group

2. Food Processors working group

3. Producers of equipments / tools / technologies working group

4. Research / development / innovation working group

5. Additional services suppliers working group

6. Public services suppliers

Each of the working groups are relatively independent, it have their meetings, workshops according to the opportunities and of the needs of the members. The coordinators of the working groups are regularly meeting together for sharing the information. Some of success examples are the SC Transilvania Marker SRL, the company belonging to AgroTransilvania Cluster which sells in tow shops the products of the members of Food Processors working group or the project AgroTransilvania Cluster – Innovative Cluster Specialized Bio Economy, based on the collaboration of Research / development / innovation working group.