The project ClusterFY has successfully started. The partners’ kick-off meeting was held on the 13-15th of March in Vilnius, Lithuania. During the three days’ meeting 8 partners from 8 countries had a chance to get known each other and to discuss on important questions about future cooperation.

“The interregional workshop was a huge success, because we’ve managed to attract the best experts in this event from European Commission, Cluster Excellence Denmark and a wide audience from Lithuania and abroad, interested in this initiative. I am very satisfied with the results of three days meeting. All partners are very responsible and keen on to cooperate. I believe that the joint efforts will lead to excellent results”, - said Rima Dijkstra, ClusterFY project initiator from Lithuanian Agency for Science, Innovation and Technology (MITA).

On the first day of kick off, the Steering committee meeting together with Communication manager meeting were held in MITA. During the round table discussions, the partners agreed on strategic questions regarding the project management activities.

On the second day the interregional workshop “Empowering and exploiting Key Enabling Technologies, other cross-cutting technologies to enhance cluster collaboration” was organized, which attracted more than 70 participants from public sector, industry, clusters’ and academia.

Kęstutis Šetkus, MITA director, welcomed the participants and expressed his support for this impressive initiative. He emphasized the importance of ClusterFY project results and partners’ expectations to identify the future trends of clusters policy employing KETs for the development and prosperity of our regions and countries.

The conference was moderated by Tadas Tumėnas, Attaché for Economic Affairs, Permanent Representation of Lithuania to the European Union.

During one-day conference the policy officials and experienced experts were invited to make presentations. Lina Stanionyte from European Commission Smart Specialization Platform, delivered a presentation about Smart Specialization impact on Industry Modernization (KETs).

Merete Daniel Nielsen, a director from Cluster Excellence Denmark shared the good practice experience on cluster internalization and interregional cooperation in Denmark and the Baltic Sea Region.

The president of Engineering Industries Association of Lithuanian (LINPRA) Gintaras Vilda, presented a case of Lithuanian plastic cluster and LINPRA development in the future.

Head of MITA Innovation Policy division Ričardas Valančiauskas explained about clusters as a tool to facilitate cross-sectorial cooperation and integration into value chains. He presented Lithuanian innovation policy, cluster initiatives, as well as policy implementation through different national programmes and measures.

During the conference ClusterFY project partners delivered presentations about the regional or national innovation policy and cluster developments in their own country. The conference provided a good basis for the start of the ClusterFY and lots of ideas and thoughts which direction the project can move forward.

On the last day project partners went to the Study visit to gain knowledge about the Lithuanian best practice examples in the implementation of the clusters and innovation policy. They visited the Integrated science, studies and business center “Santara Valley” and its innovative enterprises: the solar company “Soli Tek”, the biotechnology company “Biotechpharma”, and Laser & Engineering Technologies Cluster LITEK.

The next project partners meeting will be held in Groningen - the Netherlands, in 2017 autumn.

For more information, please contact us: [email protected]