The Cluster Programme is co-financed by ERDF - supporting the capacity of SMEs to engage in regional, national and international markets & innovation processes.
"Cluster program" is financed by European Union ERDF fund, total budget of the program is 6,2 mil.EUR. It is planned to split the budget for 14 projects, redirecting aprox.415 000 thousand euro to each project.
The aim of the program is to encourage businesses and research, education and knowledge transfer organizations and other institutions for cooperation at local and international levels, thus contributing to the competitiveness of economic operators, by increasing export volumes and the share of high value added products and services in export, as well as innovation and new product development.
Main cluster activities supported by program are promotion of export and innovation, creation of new products, cluster internationalization, integration of RIS3, cluster excellency, etc.
Cluster program takes form as an open call during which associations or other legal entities submit their cluster project proposals.
Right now the call is closed and the Ministry of Economics in cooperation with Central Finance and Contracting Agency has evaluated 17 projects of which 14 projects has been approved.
Currently there are 2 tourism related clusters under this program:
1. Sectoral tourism cluster ENTER Gauja,
2. Health tourism cluster.
Main stakeholders and beneficiaries are mainly the stakeholders themselves – tourism enterprises and institutions – as well as tourists and the destinations in general.
"Cluster program" is financed by European Union ERDF fund, total budget of the program is 6,2 mil.EUR. It is planned to split the budget for 14 projects, redirecting aprox.415 000 thousands of euro to each project.
Evidence of success
Various joint marketing activities carried out, materials produced and markets expanded by the members of the clusters. For tourism related clusters there are indications of growing numbers of tourists because of the increased accessibility of the members of the clusters. The net turnover has increased by 30% and the export growth – by 45%.
The only challenge encountered while designing the program was related to tourism specifics. Tourism industry differs from other export industries, therefore the criteria developed for applying for the program were more difficult to meet for tourism related clusters than other industries. This shoul
Potential for learning or transfer
A program that financially supports clustering and creates networks can be implemented on a national, regional level or even cross-sectoral level. The “Cluster program” gives tourism SMEs the opportunity to be noticed on the tourism map. By clustering it is also cheaper for them to perform various marketing activities, create materials and attract more tourists. It is also easier for the cluster to participate in various projects, because the cluster represents all the SMEs involved. In destinations with high contrast between city and regions, this approach is a good way to foster regional development and increase tourism activities in less known areas.