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In Brussels: Clusters from North-East Region of Romania and from Belgium started cooperation

12/05/2015

In between 7th and 8th of May, 2015, the North-East Regional Development Agency of Romania - Enterprise Europe Network Center, together with the Romanian Embassy in the Kingdom of Belgium and the Brussels Office of North-East RDA, have jointly organized a economic mission that was targeting the innovative regional clusters, from both Romania and Belgium, in order to promote, to engage and to intensify the economic and research cooperation in the fields of health, information technology and communication, textiles and constructions.

Considering that, the Commission, through DG Grow and DG Regio, claims that approximately 85% of the registered patents, within the EU, were registered by clusters, and that the financial crisis was impacting less the companies that were part of a cluster, especially when sharing resources at the time of maximum market tension, the event that was organized in Brussels was a prompt and a clear message, especially that it was just one week away from the Comission’s trend setting event, Grow your Region – Delivering Smart Specialization and Economic Transformation through Clusters, that summarized all the tendencies of future developments of SMEs and clusters, in between 2014 – 2020.

The Brussels economic mission had two components, the first one was represented by the international seminar Innovative clusters: a solution for economic development of the North-East Region of Romania, held on the 7th of May, in Meeus Room at the House of Cities, Municipalities and Regions, in Brussels, and secondly, a study visit, that was organized the next day, to ICAB – Business and Technology Incubator, a satellite facility of VUB University of Brussels.

The host of the event, Ms. Gabriela Macoveiu, Director of Communication, Cooperation and Business Development at North-East Regional Development Agency Romania, together with H.E. Mr. Stefan Tinca, The Ambassador of Romania in the Kingdom of Belgium, have addressed a welcoming message to all participants, while reminding again the importance of the cluster cooperation in between the Romanian and the Belgian parts.

The Seminar was divided into four sections, each delegation having a contribution within every panel:

- In the construction panel, Ms. Dora Morhan, Communication Manager, Breasla Constructorilor Ieseni, and Ms. Sibylle Cavalier, Financial and Administrative Coordinator, Cluster Eco Construction;

- Textile panel, Ms. Luminita Ciobanu and Ms. Manuela Mihailiasa, Astrico Nord Est, and Ms. Isabelle Weiler, Trade and Industry Manager, Euratex;

-In the eHealth and eCare panel, Mr. Vasile Fotea, President, Mr. Lucian Nita, Project Manager, Ms. Alina Capitanu, Regional Contact Point Coordinator and Ms. Cipriana Stefanescu, Scientific President, all from Imago-Mol, together with Mr. Frederik Horemans, Project Coordinator, DSP Valley;

- in the ITC panel, Ms. Alina Popa, Vicepresident, Euronest, and Ms. Gudrun Denhaen, Internationalization Coordinator, Flanders Smart Hub.

Apart from the panelists, among the audience were: Mr. Serban Stratila, President of Astrico Nord Est, Ms. Lieva Van Langenhove, Professor at Faculty of Textile, University of Gent, other representatives of business associations, companies and foundations, Mr. Luc Francis Jacobs (Director, Nixxis), Mr. Jozef Goebels (President, ADR-Vlaanderen) and representatives of other Romanian offices (Romanian Municipalities Association, National Union of Romanian Districts), or from Republic of Moldova (Moldovan Office for Science and Technology), or foreign (Neemo/Belgium and Magellan/Portugal). After the networking lunch the discussions intensified in small groups in order to identify as many as possible collaboration opportunities.

In the same day, starting at 14:00, a working meeting in between Flanders Care and Imago-Mol was planned, the Belgian delegation being formed of: Mrs. Carine Boonen, Flanders Care Coordinator, Mrs. Lieve Apers, Flanders Care Instruments Coordinator, on behalf of the Flemish Government, Mrs. Karen Degroote, Center for Medical Innovation, Mrs. Inge Taillieu, Care Economy Coordinator, West Flanders Province, Mr. Thomas Van Langendonck, Flanders Government and last but not least, Mr. Gaston Pulinchx, Policy Officer for Central and Eastern Europe, External Relations Department of Flanders.

The second day, on the 8th of May, during the study visit at ICAB – Beussines and Technology Incubator, a VUB University of Brussels facility, the Romanian delegation was welcomed by Ms. Tania Genel, Programme Manager, that had a short introduction of the campus.

The next presentations fallowed, Ms. Sonia Haesen, Director of TTI, and Mr. Francis Berghmans, giving insights of joint projects with Romanian institutions, and Professor Bram Vanderborght, targeting DREAM project (FP7). At the end, a presentation and a visiting tour was offered by Mr. Marnix Housen, the manager of ICAB.

In conclusion, for two days, North-East Regional Development Agency of Romania has offered a complex framework of dialogue and collaboration in between the North-East Region of Romania and the Belgian clusters, and not only, by promoting the Smart Specialization Strategy of the region to the Belgian and foreign counterparts, presenting as well the investment opportunities and fostering collaboration on economic and research and development levels.



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