Challenges and our Approach

In order to address the identified common challenges and enforce the growth capabilities and employment and innovation potential of local SMEs, a stronger cross-border industry-government-university-civil society cooperation (“Quadruple Helix”) will be established and formalized through the creation of two joint cross-border clusters – one in the sector of agriculture and applied new technology in agriculture, located in the city of Sombor, and another one in the sector of paper industry and mechanical engineering, located in the town of Belišće.

The two clusters will gather stakeholders (SMEs, institutions and organizations) from Croatia, Serbia and beyond with an interest in aforementioned industries. In order to ensure greater knowledge and skills transfer and stimulate cross-border B2B cooperation online joint education tools for the cluster companies will be developed and trainings (including on-site trainings) and study tours organized. This will facilitate present and future B2B sharing of technological know-how, skills, competencies, resources, access of logistics and labour force supply. Also, to attract potential labour force and new entrepreneurs to the industries, basic business training and specific vocational retraining will be organized.

Two newly founded clusters will support existing and new local SMEs from the two sectors in overcoming production, R&D and marketing obstacles and further improving their overall competitive capabilities. Finally, the established form of cross-border interorganizational relations, in which private business activities are complemented and stimulated by local governmental initiatives and supported by universities and civil society actors, aims to provide an example of a successful good practice for other relevant industrial sectors in Serbia and Croatia.