Lithuanian Plastics Cluster to Host an International Event
Invitation to participate
How to measure the success of a cluster? According to Gintaras Vilda, Head of the Lithuanian Engineering Industry Association (LINPRA), the cluster’s work is best reflected by the growth of companies, export volumes and quality of international relations. The cluster officially was founded just two years ago in 2015 and one of the first major milestones it achieved was preparation of an investment project to promote the growth and export of cluster members under the “Verslo klasteris LT” measure.
The fact that the initially chosen direction was successful is proven by results accomplished in a short time: the turnover of member companies is growing, they are expanding into existing markets and looking for new ones. In cooperation with the Agency for Science, Innovation and Technology (MITA), another 2 projects have been launched. The Lithuanian Plastics Cluster was selected to participate in the “InoLink” platform, and the joint project application for the BSR “Innovation Express” together with Danich Cluster was approved. Latter project will help to expand the international and inter-sectoral cooperation between Danish and Lithuanian clusters. In addition, together with the Baltic Automotive Components Cluster the agreement was reached to promote Lithuanian engineering industry export which is worth around 1 million EUR.
The active expansion of the cluster’s international relations recently has led to another major breakthrough: the forthcoming ECP4 Platform Planning Session will be held in Vilnius. This event is a joint effort by ECP4 (The European Composites, Plastics and Polymer Processing Platform) and the Lithuanian Plastics Cluster.
Significant for the entire Lithuanian plastics market
“The ECP4 Platform Planning Session in Vilnius is an international event, important for Lithuania, the plastics companies and the overall Lithuanian plastics sector. The Lithuanian Plastics cluster is a member of the ECP4 platform. Long-term membership in the platform and active participation in the sessions were fruitful. In one of the last sessions, the cluster coordinator and MITA representatives introduced the activities and opportunities in Lithuania – thus, we managed to draw international attention and initiate a next session to take place in Lithuania. On September 19th during the event” ECP4 Info Day and B2B meetings in 2017″we will discuss not only the work in the platform and project issues, but also present the Lithuanian plastics market, introduce the strongest companies and will reveal the potential of our companies and the cluster”, said G. Vilda.
Companies that are active in the field of plastics, composites processing and innovation should be paying close attention. Although the number of participants in the session is limited, it is open not only to the member of Lithuanian Plastics Cluster, but also to members of the LINPRA association. The event is aimed at strengthening the links of international cooperation and presenting the Lithuanian plastics sector, therefore it can be a great medium for representing companies, finding ways to engage in international projects. On the other hand, this event is an opportunity to prepare for the participation in the Horizon 2020 program and its calls in 2018.
Together better than alone
The first achievements of the Lithuanian Plastics Cluster are very positive: “In order to increase the efficiency and competitiveness in the European market, merging into clusters is one of the most advanced routes. Participation in joint projects strengthens the competitiveness of enterprises. The cluster provides a platform for joint projects while organizing strategic sessions, further developing cluster activities and discussing the challenges in the cluster market. Co-ordinated communication with the potential partners or clients that provide queries also creates added value. ”
According to G. Vilda, the Plastics Cluster is developing rapidly, therefore, its members has ambition to seek the Bronze, and later Silver Cluster Label. In addition to the label, the Plastics Cluster also plants to strengthen its potential for innovations, to train specialists in preparations for the 4th industrial revolution. All that – to ensure the competitiveness of the Lithuanian plastics industry. “Today the entire Lithuanian plastics cluster’s production capacity equals only one medium-sized enterprise in the European context. In order to be an equal partner in the European plastics industry, it is necessary to master new technologies and innovate”, said G.Vilda. He revealed that the need for research, experimental development and innovation is actively reminded and emphasized by the MITA cluster development coordinators during the “InoLink” project. Together with MITA it is planned to carefully identify the potential of R&D&I in the Lithuanian Plastics Cluster.
The Lithuanian Plastics Cluster is currently one of the 14 participants in “Innovation Networking Promotion and Development” (InoLink) project. InoLink is an Inogeb LT project measure which is coordinated by the Agency for Science, Innovation and Technology (MITA) and is being implemented jointly with the Lithuanian Innovation Center. The project is funded by the European Regional Development Fund and started in July, 2016 with the purpose to promote the merger of companies into clusters, increase clusters’ maturity levels, promote growth and international cooperation.