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Joint Romanian-Hungarian Cluster Conference 2018

As the first European cluster event kicking off the “European Cluster Weeks” initiative, the 3 days conference co-organised by the Hungarian Ministry of Finance and the Romanian Cluster Association (CLUSTERO) and supported by the INTERREG Europe CLUSTERIX2.0 project invites cluster experts and practitioners to a lively debate on relevant topics such as sustainable business models, cluster support tools, the role of universities, of the Y generation and of the start-ups. A special focus will be put on innovative SMEs with dedicated sessions and a B2B/C2C matchmaking event.

The rationale behind the joint conference is to bridge the cluster success stories of two neighbouring Eastern European countries which have followed different paths towards reaching the same result - the establishment of a competitive and sustainable cluster landscape – that now needs to be scaled up within the wider European perspective.

In striving for a world class cluster status, both countries benefited a lot form the European interregional learning processes enabled by the INTERREG Europe CLUSTERIX2.0; both the Hungarian well established national cluster programme with its well-operating financing, evaluation and accreditation system and the ambitious Romanian industrial clusters programme with its organisations climbing the stairs of excellence in a bottom up approach, adopted and adapted innovative cluster management instruments or smart cluster policy approaches from other European partner regions in Sweden, Denmark, Flanders, France, Italy, the Czech Republic and Austria. The findings and results of three years of successful interregional cooperation will be presented, debated and capitalised upon alongside other Danubian or European initiatives (Danubiovalnet, CLUSTERS3, STRING etc.) and embedded into the INTERREG Policy Learning Platform.

In addition to the high scientific and informative character, the conference will also have a strong practical side, facilitating bilateral business meetings between participating national and international companies and clusters via the brokerage event session conducted with the support of Enterprise Europe Network.

Join us for clustering, intercultural sharing and innovation spirit!

Details about registration, programme, participation to the brokerage event, promotion opportunities and logistics are to be found here.

In the attachment you can also find the invitation to the event.







"Within the framework of the Operational Programme Growth of the Economic Competitiveness, for the measure 1.3.3. Attraction of SMEs in suppliers chains and clusters there were €20 million allocated, while for the measure 1.3.1 Development of support structures with national and international vocation/competitiveness poles the budget was of €60 million. 39 clusters (emerging or mature competitiveness poles) were financed from the two budgets."

Mr. Ilie Calin Bodea – State Secretary, Ministry of Economy (Romania)




"We are very proud that Central and Easter European regions are now visible on the European Cluster Map thanks to the hard work of our countries over the last 10-15 years. As a result of it, speakers and participants from 12 countries, from Sweden to Georgia, came to this conference to share their experiences, successes and challenges."

Mr. Balázs Greinstetter – Deputy State Secretary, Ministry of Finance (HU)





"Excellent clusters are not a privilege of more developed Western European countries. Not anymore. ‘Gold’ can also be found in lagging regions, as is the case in Romania (Transylvanian Furniture Custer and iTech Transylvania) and Hungary (Archenerg). They proved that competitiveness based on innovation and internationalisation can be achieved by strengthening intra and inter cluster cooperation. From this particular point of view stronger emphasis should be put on bridging gaps between West and East, not in a one-way manner, but by also promoting the transfer of Eastern European best practices towards the rest of the continent. The joint Romanian-Hungarian Cluster Conference is an outstanding example, but not the only one."

Daniel Cosnita, President of the Romanian National Cluster Association CLUSTERO

"Clusters are organic systems. They can grow into powerful and versatile tools, and the most important task of any cluster policy is enabling this growth. This conference clearly showed that cluster organisations, intermediaries/associations and policymakers find value added if (1) the clusters consciously manage their missing competences, (2) there exists a platform to supply for this demand, and (3) there are both funds enabling easy access to said competences and opportunities for those reaching the next step. This interplay of shared interest among levels is essential for clusters to fulfil their true potential for economic competitiveness on a European or global scale."

Gál Körmendy, President of the Hungarian National Association of Innovative Clusters (IKOSZ)




For the first time in European cluster history, two countries decided to bring their already existing cluster collaboration to another level and merged their national cluster conferences into one big joint Romanian-Hungarian cluster conference. Under the motto: ‘Bridging countries reaching Europe’, it became an inspiring example for a joint approach in organising a large cross-border event dedicated to raising awareness on the role clusters play at the European level to the broad European cluster community. “It had the format of a large international cluster conference, with the presence of top policy makers from both countries, top international speakers and participants from 11 countries.

The conference conveyed a strong message of cross-border cooperation at both policy and cluster level as well as the feeling of ‘belonging’ to a European community.

Lucia Seel, Content & Communication Manager of the European Cluster Collaboration Platform

Peter Keller, Head of Unit, International and Cluster Unit, Managing Authority of Economic Development Programmes, Ministry of Finance, Hungary

"In Hungary, the emphasis is placed on supporting clusters showing close and deep cooperation and presence on the international market instead of supporting a large number of new cluster initiatives. the Hungarian clusters are increasingly stronger in the international arena due to the concentration process. In our work, we heavily relied on successful European cluster development models and European standards. Now our clusters have to move towards opening more on the European and global markets and a joint international event like this one can be a huge help in the process.

The cluster policy of other Central and Eastern European countries has also gone through tremendous development over the last decade. As representatives of countries from the Central and Eastern European region we have a key role in making our success stories visible. We can be proud of our achievements and one of our main tasks is to organise such events to prove that cluster success stories are no longer limited to Western European countries.’ Although we have chosen different paths, due to the common historical roots and economic background, our problems and challenges are almost the same."

Péter Keller, Head of Unit, International and Cluster Unit, Managing Authority of Economic Development Programmes, Ministry of Finance, Hungary


Bianca Muntean, cluster manager iTech Transilvania Cluster by ARIES T about the  JOINT ROMANIAN – HUNGARIAN INTERNATIONAL CLUSTER CONFERENCE 2018:

We had the honour to be a part of the Joint Romanian - Hungarian International Cluster Conference at the end of November and the opportunity at the same time to bridge the cluster success stories of 2 neighbouring Eastern European countries which have followed different ways in reaching the same result- the establishment of a competitive and sustainable cluster landscape – in order to scale it up on the wider European perspective.



David Fernández Terreros, Clusters Coordination and Research Unit, SPRI - Basque Country Business Development Agency about the JOINT ROMANIAN – HUNGARIAN INTERNATIONAL CLUSTER CONFERENCE 2018:

It was a great pleasure and honour to speak at the Joint Romanian – Hungarian Cluster Conference 2018 and to share with an engaged audience the Basque experience on cluster development, convergence and integration, a hot topic across Europe.

Brilliantly organized by the Hungarian Min. of Finance, @Peter Keller, and the Romanian Cluster Association, Daniel Cosnita, it featured lively panels on topics such as cluster models, their contribution to regional development, the role of universities, traditional clusters’ potential or digitalisation; moderated by Gál Körmendy, IKOSZ; Lucia Seel, cluster expert; Simone Hagenauer, Ecoplus; Vuillermoz Patrick, PLASTIPOLIS; Christoph Matthias Reiss-Schmidt, Business Upper Austria; Marius V. Niculae, DTP; Zoltan Bendo, Tenderix and Gabriela Pirvu, Romanian Min. of Economy. Annalisa Tessarolo, DG Grow, outlined the EU cluster strategy.

We discussed with, among others, Prof. Paul Svasta, the crucial challenge of solving the talent gap in the manufacturing industry, allegedly a common European concern and a threat to industrial modernisation. Could this be a target for a joint action in the framework of European cluster policy?

David Fernandez Terreros

My sincere appreciation to the Government of Hungary for its kind invitation to participate in this Cluster conference.

News that talk about the event