September 09 d., 2020

Cluster Infoday: discussed the new directions of cluster transformation

This week, Lithuanian cluster community gathered for the information event Cluster Infoday. More than 40 representatives of Lithuanian clusters, teams of Agency for Science, Innovation and Technology (MITA) and the Lithuanian Innovation Center (LIC) implementing the project Promotion and Development of Innovation Networking (InoLink) and guests from Sakartwell participated both live and remotely.

“In preparation for the new financial programming period of the European Union long-term budget (2021 – 2027), it is necessary to pay attention to the currently relevant directions of cluster transformation. The growing internationality of Lithuanian clusters and their integration into international value creation networks will help strengthen the position of Lithuanian businesses in international value chains”, says MITA acting director Gintas Kimtys.

The clusters continue their work and successfully carry out R&D activities

Jolita Razumienė, Head of InoLink project, emphasized that despite the coronavirus, the work did not stop: 26 maturation sessions took place, and cluster coordinators were regularly provided with information on ongoing calls. Presenting the relevance of the project, publicity and partner search opportunities, she invited to identify the need for business trips in 2021. and also hinted at the upcoming major cluster community event. If the restrictions on the spread of the virus do not change, the Baltic Cluster Christmas Forum will take place on December 10.

Reviewing the lists of projects financed by one of the largest EU investment instruments – the measure Experiment promoting research and experimental development, J. Razumienė stated that 32 applications from 22 clusters that received funding once again confirm that the clusters participating in the project successfully carry out R&D activities.

Clear new directions for cluster transformation

During the meeting, Chairman of the Lithuanian Cluster Network Giedrius Bagušinskas reminded of the conditions that led to the establishment of the Lithuanian Cluster Network this year. It was the desire to represent all Lithuanian clusters at the national level and the common need for Lithuania’s voice in the European Clusters Alliance. According to him, at the European level Lithuanian clusters are still very small (the average of cluster members is 13 companies when 100-300 members are recommended), so they need to decide on consolidation directions and concentrate on forming clear axes of activity.

Kristina Šermukšnytė-Alešiūnienė, the newly appointed head of the Lithuanian Cluster Network spoke about the European Union-wide approach to clusters as one of the most powerful tools to help implement the double transformation in the field of green exchange and digitization in the new programming period. The necessary directions of transformation were emphasized: close cooperation with digital innovation centers (they are expected to help digitize the value chains created by clusters) and interregional cooperation, as in 2021-2027. Incentives will be provided for the creation of pan-European clusters based on smart specialization.

According to the head of the association, both research and the activities of the European Cluster Alliance show that the knowledge accumulated by clusters is the basis for ensuring the existence of businesses even in times of crisis. Therefore, they should be involved in the development of a national economic recovery strategy. During the event, the results of the cluster community survey were presented, based on which the goals and objectives of the association for the new programming period will be formed.

The list of opportunities from the Lithuanian DNA plan to MITA tools

Head of LIC Innovation Support Services Department dr. Artūras Jakubavičius presented the possibilities of financing according to the Lithuanian DNA plan and the priority directions of the new programming period relevant to the Lithuanian business. Cluster facilitator Deividas Petravičius introduced to MITA’s support: renewed calls for InnoStart, Commercialization and Internationalization of R&D Results, InnoVouchers, InnoPatent and Norway grants for business development. Relevant international calls and upcoming events were presented as well.

Sakarwell’s clusters are looking for partners

Representatives of Sakartwell’s clusters, who are actively looking for partners, also took part in the Cluster Infoday. Ana Akopashvili from Savvy business consulting company presented Qvevri wine, furniture, information technology, film and packaging clusters and their situation. She identified the lack of professional staff, funding sources and limited access to new markets as the most serious challenges. The Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (DCFTA), a favorable tax system, and a good value for money for goods and services were discussed among the available options.

Event slides:

InoLink is a project of the EU measure Inogeb LT, which the Agency for Science, Innovation and Technology (MITA) has been implementing together with the Lithuanian Innovation Center since 2016. The project aims to promote the merging of companies into clusters, increase the maturity of clusters, promote growth and international cooperation.

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