Themes of the working group

WG 1 - Innovation, R&D driven Cluster Development

The principal objective of the WG 1 “Innovation, R&D driven Cluster Development” is the definition of conditions to set up an effective R&D and innovation policy for clusters to be shared within the learning platform.

In particular, main aims of the WG 1 are:

- to analyze regional policies on innovation and R&D with particular reference to clusters

- to make a benchmark with EU most relevant policies

- to share policies and experiences with stakeholders

- to discuss proposals for future evolution of clusters, also with reference to the new EU funded opportunities

- to provide inputs to the definition of the Smart Specialisation Strategy at regional level, starting from a SEE approach


The activities to be undertaken within the WG1 will, thus, be directed to analyze, starting from cases of existing clusters, discuss and elaborate implemented policies in order to identify the more relevant aspects to be considered when designing a policy for R&D and innovation for clusters.


WG 2 - Sustainability through Cluster Development

- clusters in ecoinnovation industry in SEE area

- ecoinnovation  and cluster policies on national  and regional levels in SEE area

- existing initiatives and studies in the programme area in the field of sustainability through cluster development in ecoinnovation industry

- potential role of clusters in mainstreaming eco‐innovation

- development of new policy learning mechanisms: discussion and analyses of best practices on cluster policies, policy instruments, practical tools and incentives for area of sustainable development through clustering in ecoinnovation industry

- definition of policy measures to be implemented – pilot activities


WG 3 - International Cluster Cooperation and networking  

The strategy of WG3 is to look at the topic from a combination of “top-down” and “bottom-up” analysis. This is based on the principle that the international co-operation techniques of excellent cluster organizations, supported by excellent Cluster policies, can help business (especially SMEs) to improve their competitiveness and maximize their presence in global value chains.

The Internationalisation of Cluster organizations covers a range of avtivities that will both influence SEE Country policies and directly produce benefits for the region and country in which the Cluster is located: access to knowledge, access to new markets, access to key infrastructures, access to mew products and forms of collaboration.


WG 4 - Financial Framework Improvement (Cluster Financing)

The main objective of WG 4 is to map, analyze and make recommendations for the improvement of the financial practices of the involved countries/regions in terms of cluster support. The SEE region’s clusters are versatile in their financial strength. Nevertheless even the financially strong clusters (or at least most of them) have started up with some kind of external support earlier on. We can observe remarkable differences in the support system’s of the partner countries/regions. In some PP countries/regions there is no existing cluster support system at all, while others have years of track record in terms of cluster support with the use of pre-selection procedures and experience of funding schemes. It can be stated that the efficiency of cluster supports is rather mixed and on the whole relatively low and there is substantial room for improvement. Good practices can be examined in and beyond the partnership.


WG 5 - Clusters and Regional Specialization

WG5 aspires to set the policy framework for identifying the specialization that will provide to South East Europe a competitive advantage over other regions as well as the tools to develop new activities in the future and to maximize its regional innovation potential.  Clusters, due to their inherent capability to support cooperation between different innovation actors in a region, are considered powerful instruments for fostering regional growth, and as such they will be used, like efficient platforms that focus on and quickly contribute to smart regional specialisation’s objectives.



WG 6 - New skills and Jobs creation

WG6 New skills and new jobs creation means to set the policy framework for improving the number and the quality of jobs created in the cluster structures, mobilising relevant regional stakeholders, recommending appropriate policy tools and providing sectorial input to the policy makers in their effort to prepare the future cluster development policy in SEE area and supporting clusters to identify future knowledge/skills and professions, select, develop and attract qualified personnel.