On 29-30 March, the Clusters meet Regions event and the 1st National Cluster Conference took place in the premises of Kulturpark in Košice, where the Slovak Smart City Cluster was also present.

The event was kicked off by the 1. National Cluster Conference, covered by the Union of Slovak Clusters, of which the SSCC association is also a member. The Chairman of the Board of Directors, Mr. Igor Wzoš, in the introductory part of the conference, when individual Slovak clusters were presented, introduced the SSCC association and its activities to the participants present in Košice as well as online.
In the discussion part of the programme, Mr. Daniel Ács, President of the Union of Slovak Clusters (ÚKS) and Mr. Vladimír Borza, representative of the Slovak Innovation and Energy Agency (SIEA) discussed the opportunities offered by clusters to regions and, together with representatives of Ministry of Economy and Ministry of Investment, Regional Development and Informatization, also the opportunities for clusters within the national programme OP Slovakia as well as transnational programmes (Interreg Central Europe).

Proposals for cluster support, possibilities of cluster participation and cooperation in calls and support instruments focused on projects of applied research, innovation, energy, use of renewable resources, etc. were discussed.The conference was also a space for networking of clusters among themselves as well as greater promotion towards the public.

The representative of the Ministry of Economy was also handed over the Message of the participants of the 1st Slovak National Cluster Conference to the Prime Minister of the Slovak Republic and the Minister of Economy of the Slovak Republic, in which the clusters expressed suggestions for improving mutual cooperation, which includes greater use of cluster organizations in the creation of calls, but also as recipients of grants in the field of applied research and other support instruments in which cluster organizations would apply their expertise.

The afternoon programme was dedicated to the international event Clusters meet Regions, organised by the European Cluster Collaboration Platform on behalf of the European Commission in cooperation with SIEA. The event brought together over 200 representatives of European and Ukrainian clusters and companies, representatives of the European Commission, representatives of Slovak and Ukrainian national and regional public authorities, researchers and other related actors. The main topic was the integration of Ukrainian clusters and companies into the European value chain.

The international event continued on 30 March with a presentation of Slovak and Ukrainian companies and mutual networking and panel discussions. SSCC member company ANTIK Telekom, represented by Mr. Peter Blaas, presented at the event.

A short video clip from the event:


More information about the event as well as a live stream from both days of the international event can be found on the ECCP platform: