'Towards EU – EaP clusters collaboration', a two-day workshop was successfully held in Tbilisi 11-12 July
An EU-EaP PLUS-funded clusters workshop was held on the 11-12 July 2018 in Georgia to share experiences, good practices and vision on the clusters' landscape in the Eastern Partnership (EaP) countries.
One of the main goals of the EaP PLUS project consists in strengthening clusters in the EaP Countries, transferring EU’s good practices in terms of cluster policy and cluster management, and facilitating sustainable inter-cluster cooperation between EU's and EaP countries’ existing and emerging pre-clusters.
For this purpose, a two-day workshop was organised by the Georgian project partner, International Center for Advancement of Research Technology and Innovation (ICARTI), with the support of the project coordinator, the Centre for Regional and International STI Studies and Support (CeRISS), and the leader of cluster-related tasks in the EaP+ project (Inno TSD).
The workshop served as a follow-up activity to the EaP PLUS Cluster grant scheme which financed six EaP cluster organisations for cooperation activities with their respective EU cluster partners, through a highly competitive call.
The first day started with a welcome by the local stakeholders, Dr. Givi Kochoradze, EC ICT NCP and Mariam Keburia, representing Georgian Rustaveli National Science Foundation. This was followed by a presentation of the EaP+ project and its cluster-related objectives by Svetlana Klessova, director of inno TSD France, and further presentations on the concept of clusters and the development of clusters in Georgia by Dominik Papenheim, Programme Officer at the Delegation of the EU to Georgia, Fabio Russo, UNIDO senior industrial development officer of trade, investment and innovation, Lucia Seel European Cluster Collaboration Platform (ECCP) representative and Cluster expert, and Philipp Steinheim from GIZ.
The second half of the 1st day and first half of the 2nd day was dedicated to the 6 EaP clusters - who were granted up to 10 000 € for cooperation activities with their respective EU cluster partners- to present and discuss how they experienced their collaboration in the last 6 months, what difficulties they faced, what are the lessons learnt, what are the main achievements- and how to proceed from now on.
Finally, the second day was closed by a fruitful knowledge sharing interactive discussion session with the audience that tackled questions related to cluster development in the EaP countries, including how clusters can be seen as drivers of research and innovation and collaboration between EU and EaP, and suggestions on policy-level from the participants.
Following the grant scheme and the cluster workshop, a comprehensive report on cluster development in the EaP countries will be prepared by the EaP+ team in April 2018. Recommendations will be put forward in this report in order to further develop clusters in EaP countries.
For additional information, please also see the article on the workshop published on ECCP.