Realization of project objectives will underpin EU efforts to achieve overall targets set in the Europe 2020 Strategy, particularly in the area of education, employment and climate change/energy.
Creation of 2 joint CB clusters which will create a more favourable business environment and enhance growth and employment capabilities of SMEs will contribute to achieving EU targeted employment rate of 75%. Through organization of educations and on-site trainings for SMEs, entrepreneurs, graduates and students, the project will boost productivity, innovation and competitiveness of those target groups contributing to benchmarks set in the EU Strategic Framework for Education and Training 2020 in the area of adult participation in learning and quality of training. Finally, the project also aims to contribute to increasing the share of renewable energy in gross final energy consumption of 20% through elaboration of studies on possibilities of using renewable resources in agriculture and encouraging producers to introduce those practices.
Additionally, the project reflects the commitment of all project partners to tackle challenges inherent to their local business environment, contributing in that way to achieving pillar-specific targets set for the New Development Model of the South East Europe 2020 Strategy: Integrated growth – (IV) increase SEE intra-regional trade in goods, Sustainable growth (X) increase the overall employment rate and Governance for Growth (XI) improve government’ effectiveness.
Finally, the project will contribute to greather functional territorial integration and cooperation diminishing in that way economic and social fragmentation, building mutual trust and social capital, as prioritised through the Territorial Agenda of the EU 2020.
Macroregional Strategies Contribution
EU Strategy for the Danube Region
The project contributes to the goals of EUSDR Priority Area 8: Competitiveness of Enterprises, and Priority Area 9: People and Skills.
Through support to business support organisations, fostering cooperation of SMEs in the CB area, focus on the agricultural sector and overall facilitation of economic exchange in the CB region, the project directly contributes to goals of EUSDR PA 8. Also, Croatia is a managing country in the EUSDR priority area 8. Competitiveness of SMEs in the Danube region and increased competitiveness of SMEs in the narrower CB region are part of the same goal.
The project also contributes to achieving targets of EUSDR PA 9 – namely to alleviating effects of youth unemployment and contributing to higher employment rate in the CB region. It also directly ties into the target of “contribution to a closer cooperation between educational, training, labour market and research institutions, in particular on transnational, regional and bilateral levels” having in mind the quadruple helix approach applied in the project. Work areas of the PA 9 (WG2 Cooperation in labour market, WG3 Creativity and Entrepreneurship) and activities of this project are thus closely aligned, which increases the relevance of the project.
EU Strategy for the Adriatic and Ionian Region
The project contributes to priority axis 1. Innovative and smart region, specific objective 1.1. Development of a regional innovation system for the Adriatic-Ionian region of the EU Stragegy for the Adriatic and Ionian Region as it aims, through establishing CB clusters as innovative forms of SME cross-border cooperation, to improve the framework conditions, enhance competencies and skills of SMEs in the field of agriculture, mechanical engineering and pulp and paper industry and help them identify emerging market opportunities.
National/Regional/Local Strategies and Policies Contribution
This project is in accordance with Strategy for support of small and medium enterprises, entrepreneurship and competitiveness for the period 2015-2020, adopted by Serbian Government, and with Program for smart specialization in research and innovation of the Autonomous Province of Vojvodina for the period 2015–2020, adopted by Assembly of the Province of Vojvodina.
Also, the project follows the City of Sombor Sustainable Development Strategy where establishing an innovative technology center is listed as one of key actions.
The project is in compliance with the objectives stated in the Strategy of cluster development of the Republic of Croatia for the period 2011-2020, namely to strengthen clusters and cluster associations through their capacity building and networking on both national and inter/transnational level.
Cluster formation is also recognized as a key measure for creating business friendly environment at the regional and local level in the Regional Development Strategy of the Republic of Croatia for the period until the end of 2020. and Development Strategy of the Town of Belišće for the period 2015-2020.
The project builds on the sectoral knowledge of the project partners, since the consortium is made up of different profile institutions.
The project is not a direct follow-up of previous actions, but it builds on the priorities laid out in development strategies of Sombor and Belišće. As such, it leans not only on consortium members, but also on a wider field of actors from the metal, paper and agri-food industries.
The project will also use wider international experiences gathered through commissioning studies and conducting study visits, since the challenges it tackles have previously been tackled across the region and Europe.
This project is aligned with priorities of the EUSDR and will look to examples from the Danube countries since they are similar to the CB area.