The renewed system made it possible to support clusters only with improved cooperation and international activities and capacities
The main problem behind the issue was the non-efficient support for clusters with minimized cooperational capacity/activity, limited innovation and economic impact. Applying the new system, more and more strict entry rules have been defined for applicants defining the basic requirements for clusters aiming to be accredited. Compared to the earlier accreditation system, instead of measuring economic data there is stronger emphasis on cooperations within the cluster and the activity of cluster members. More focus is put on the performance and services of cluster management organisations and examining the internationalisation issues of the cluster is also a significant issue. Specifically the following themes are covered by selection criteria of the accreditation scheme: cooperation inside the cluster (20 points), cluster management and the composition of the cluster (30 points), international focus of the cluster (24 points), innovation potential and performance (26 points). Last but not least, the existence of the cluster strategy is evaluated as a qualitative issue. The main beneficiaries are the clusters and their management organisations.
Activities provided by the International and Cluster Department of the Ministry of Finance (earlier Ministry for National Economy) with a staff of 5; 2 of them responsible for contacting clusters/operating the system; the system includes the Accreditation Body (8 government/private sector experts).
Evidence of success
Although instead of the earlier number of accredited clusters (34 at the end of the 2007-2013 programming period) only 21 clusters have been awarded accreditation (Oct 2017,18 renewal, 3 new ones) while another 4 clusters is renewing their accreditation. The income of entrepreneurships taking part in the clusters is about 25 billion EUR (about third of this sum originates from export). These clusters coordinates the work of 908 entrepreneurships.
Expected administrative burden, progress level of a region/country to be considered, criteria need to be defined according to latter one (starting clusters: economic potential, selection of sturdy clusters prioritised; advanced clusters: role of activities within cluster to be increased/emphasized.
Potential for learning or transfer
The Hungarian cluster accreditation system can serve as a good practice for regions and neighbouring countries intending to map their own clusters. Considering their peculiarities and their clusters’ specific character, the Hungarian accreditation scheme can provide a good base for the elaboration of their own evaluation system with special regard to the experience gained during the 10-year operation of the Hungarian accreditation scheme.
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