Summary of the ClusterCOOP Project

Start date: April 1, 2011

Duration: 36 months

Funding: 85% co-financed by ERDF

ClusterCOOP partners: Hungary, Slovak Republic, Czech Republic, Germany, Italy, Slovenia, Poland

Innovation is a crucial driving force for economic growth, relevant to every economic sector. Europe needs to improve its performance in innovation to withstand comparison with competing global partners. Clusters provide conditions conducive to innovation, specifically “open innovation” promoting new ideas. They can leverage this potential and increase their excellence if they create linkages with other clusters exploiting complementarities.

Creating and enhancing framework conditions for the effective cross-regional and cross-border cooperation of clusters in Central Europe (CE) requires joint actions by the policy makers. In many cases, the regulatory level is exactly the area which CE cluster experts see as the major bottleneck for successful cluster cooperation. Partner countries/regions identified similar CHALLENGES regarding transnational inter-cluster cooperation:

1. There are little or no synergies among national/regional cluster policies, and the current framework does not solicit cooperation.

2. There is a need to identify industries which, through cluster-cooperation, could become a driving force for national/regional economies.

3. The current level of support for transnational cooperation is much lower than desired.

ClusterCOOP partners have set the general aim to create and enhance the framework conditions of efficient transnational cooperation between clusters in the countries of CE. Their aim is to help clusters better exploit their innovation capacities, improve their competitiveness so that in the long term, their development and effective cooperation improves the position of the CE Region in the European Economic Area. Taking into the considerations common challenges described above, project partners defined 3 specific objectives:

1) Enhance existing and create new synergies among national/regional cluster policies and funding frameworks.

2) Facilitate emerging industry development through cross regional cluster cooperation.

3) Promote the flow of information between clusters, their associations or networks and provide a common knowledge base for clusters of CE to facilitate their networking and cooperation.

The outputs of the actions of the 3 thematic work packages will directly contribute to the achievement of these objectives through the following main project results:

  • An integrated collection of policy measure and solutions (regulatory, legislative and institutional), which can effectively support the cross-regional and transnational cooperation of clusters.
  • action plans, which will be an effective set of policy measures tailored to the different policy environment of PPs, and which can be incorporated in national/regional/local decision making, hence contributing to the sustainability of project resu
  • An implementation-oriented proposal for the alignment and integration of different funding schemes, including measures and modifications which lead to more innovative and efficient practices.
  • A clear view on the potential for the development of new industries in the different regions and sectors of partner countries, and policy tools for boosting the energence of these industries through cross-regional cluster cooperation.
  • Extended knowledge of clusters on the possibilities and framework of transnational cooperation with the help of cluster contact points and the virtual interactive platform.

The ClusterCOOP partnership includes 10 CE partners in 5 new and 2 old member states. The core partnership is composed of national, regional and local public authorities, national public agencies, as well as public national knowledge providers. Complementary to PPs, three national ministries (Germany, Poland and Slovenia) are involved as associated institutions. Thus the project involves all relevant policy makers in all partner countries competent in cluster cooperation and development. The partnership represents a horizontal and vertical mix that can best address project aims, achieve, and maintain project results.

ClusterCOOP partners

Ministry for National Economy of the Republic of Hungary (HU) – Lead Partner
MAG – Hungarian Economic Development Center (HU)

Ministry of Economy of the Slovak Republic (SK)

Slovak Innovation and Energy Agency (SK)

Ministry of Industry and Trage of the Czech Republic (CZ)

CzechInvest (CZ)

VDI/VDE Innovation + Technology GmbH (DE)

Piemonte Region (IT)

University of Ljubljana (SI)

The City Office of Rzeszów (PL)