The “Clusters meet Regions” workshop dedicated to digitalisation, cybersecurity, AI, clean technologies, 3D printing and the VR industry took place on the 23 & 24 October 2023 at the Institute of Physics of the Czech Academy of Sciences, Prague, Na Slovace 1999/2, Praha.
Details of the first day
Participants were welcomed by representatives of the European Cluster Collaboration Platform, the National Cluster Association (NCA) and the Institute of Physics of the Czech Academy of Sciences. The representatives of the Prague City Council, Jaromir Beranek and the European Commission, Jitka Vocaskova, presented the cluster environment and focused on the main objectives of cluster organisations in their respective sectors and the RIS3 strategy of the City of Prague.
The moderators of the event were the President of the National Cluster Association, Jiri Herinek, the Vice-chairman of CEDEG, Lubos Komarek and the Executive Director of the Cluster MECHATRONIKA, Katerina Podana.
An overview of cluster organisations in the Czech Republic and the supporting role of the National Cluster Association was presented by Jiri Herinek, President of the National Cluster Association, in the section Cluster Environment in the Czech Republic: Supporting Cooperation and Innovation.
The National Cluster Association awarded the Golden Cluster Award and other awards for 2022 to the following cluster organisations:
Golden Cluster 2022: Czech Optical Cluster, for long-term support of the optical ecosystem in the Czech Republic
Czech hemp cluster- for promoting development and innovation in companies
Cluster of Czech Furniture Manufacturers – for the development of internationalisation and promotion of the Czech Republic
CLUTEX - Technical Textile Cluster – for the promotion and development of education
Cluster MECHATRONIKA – for the development of the innovation environment
Young Manager Talent of the Year Kristian Cely, manager of international projects of the CREA Hydro&Energy cluster, for the successful creation and implementation of the action plan for the development of the innovation ecosystem of the South Moravian Region in the field of water management - iWATERMAP project, Interreg Europe and other achievements in the development of the internationalisation of the cluster.
More on the NCA web.
Lennart Galdiga from the European Cluster Collaboration Platform (ECCP) / Prognos AG presented an Input paper analysis of the economic profile of the Czech Republic, national innovation, regional competitiveness and the importance of Czech clusters.
The morning panel discussion focused on regional and national cooperation:
"Be brave enough to win." - Lukas Benzl, Czech AI Association
"Share and learn."- Petr Prikryl, Czech Optical Cluster
"The Knowledge Transfer Partnership is one of the most successful projects in the Czech Republic" - Robert Wenzel, Ministry of Industry and Trade of the Czech Republic.
Session two was dedicated to modern digital solutions and cutting-edge technologies: The use of artificial intelligence and cybersecurity in the manufacturing sector. This section was led by Lubos Komarek, Vice-Chairman of CEDEG:
Lukas Benzl from the Czech AI Association shared a bittersweet view of computer vision.
Ales Roman z IdStory emphasised efficient access to IT services.
Zdenka Dolezalova introduced the project EDIH NORTHEAST and its services.
Kristina Sermuksnyte-Alesiuniene from AgriFood Lithuania explored artificial intelligence and cybersecurity in the production of agricultural and food products.
The third session was dedicated to Real Examples and Implementation of Clean Technologies, 3D Printing and the Virtual Reality industry. This session was moderated by Katerina Podana, Executive Director Cluster MECHATRONIKA:
Thomas Ramming from Bayern Innovativ GmbH shared insights into the flourishing cross-border cooperation between Bavaria, the Czech Republic, Upper Palatinate, and Lower Bavaria.
Michal Zemko from COMTES FHT delved into the myriad benefits of metal printing within the industrial sector.
Alena Lochmannova from XR Institute underscored the impactful utilisation of virtual reality (VR) across various medical and emergency service disciplines.
The concluding panel discussion on Enhancing Collaboration Among Clusters and Innovation Stakeholders at Regional, National, and Global Scales sparked a compelling dialogue on diverse topics. These included international cluster initiatives, the advantages and potential enhancements of the ECCP platform, and strategies for clusters to bolster the global expansion of their member companies, among other pertinent matters. Thank you to all the panellists who joined us!
Details of the second day
On the second day of the event, there was a Pitching session and the official EU Matchmaking. During the Pitching Session, ten cluster organisations from the Czech Republic, Poland, Italy and Finland presented their needs and requirements. Afterwards, thirty productive meetings took place where the participants clarified their needs and offers and discussed possibilities for joint cooperation.
CONTEXT AND OBJECTIVES
15 regional workshops are being organised in those EU regions that expressed an interest in hosting such a workshop in the period 2022-23 as part of the “Clusters meet Regions” cycle. These events bring together clusters and policymakers of the EU at the national, regional, and local levels to learn from each other how to better use clusters to strengthen industrial ecosystems, serve national/regional economic development and liaise with other regions facing similar transition challenges.
|| We live in a contemporary and ever-evolving world where clusters play a vital role.
The cluster landscape in the Czech Republic continues to flourish each year. The National Cluster Association registers over 100 clusters and technological platforms in the Czech Republic, representing 14 EU Industrial Ecosystems. In recent years, the cluster environment witnessed rapid progress, fostering collaboration among Czech clusters at regional and international levels. Czech clusters and their members serve as exemplary partners for innovative projects and lucrative business prospects, with the potential to significantly benefit the European industry and value chains.
|| Regional focus
The regional focus of clusters in the Czech Republic varies depending on their specific objectives and areas of expertise. While some clusters may concentrate their activities within a particular region, others have a broader national or even international focus. These clusters aim to promote collaboration, innovation, and economic development within their respective regions or across the entire country.
Given the size of the Czech Republic, the regional focus of these clusters extends beyond a specific region, encompassing the entire nation. These clusters drive advancements in digitalisation, cybersecurity, AI, clean technologies, 3D printing, and the VR industry, along with their synergistic impact on other industries. Their influence extends to sectors such as healthcare, finance, manufacturing, and transportation, amplifying the transformative potential of these key areas. By fostering collaboration and knowledge exchange on a national scale, Czech clusters propel the country´s progress across various industries, positioning it as a leader in the digital economy and sustainable development.
The event united 60 attendees, including representatives from Czech and European clusters and companies, along with national and regional public authorities and business support organisations from the Czech Republic and various EU regions.
This event presents a valuable opportunity to establish business relationships among Czech clusters, companies, and other partners from the EU. It is also an ideal platform for identifying suitable project collaborators.
The event aims to bring together EU clusters and companies specialising in the Digital and Additive Manufacturing sectors, renowned for their extensive expertise in the field. They will have the opportunity to share their knowledge and best practices with a diverse audience. The participating companies will not only showcase their capabilities to cluster organisations but also extend an invitation to other European partners seeking potential collaborations.
The event centred around the themes of AI and Cybersecurity in the Manufacturing Sectors, Clean Technologies, 3D printing, and the VR industry. It aimed to provide comprehensive insights into each sector and company while also facilitating the exchange of best practices among participants.