The National Cluster Conference “Innovations and Clusters to a Knowledge-driven Economy” took place on March 26 – 27, 2019 in the John Atanasov Hall at Sofia Tech Park. The event was organised by the Association of Business Clusters in Bulgaria, under the patronage of the Ministry of Economy and with the partnership of the Bulgarian Small and Medium Enterprises Promotion Agency (BSMEPA) and ARK Consulting at the Enterprise Europe Network-Bulgaria. The National Cluster Conference was held within the framework of the European Cluster Weeks.
The major goal of the event was to create prerequisites for new opportunities for the Bulgarian clusters and businesses. Another goal was to start the tradition of holding an annual cluster conference, similar to the ones established in countries such as Romania, Serbia, Hungary, Poland, Estonia, Norway, Denmark and Spain. The event included representation of good practices that make clusters an alternative response to the globalisation of the markets and the economy of knowledge.
The Conference gathered experts from different industries. The specialists were from the Automobile industry, Informatics and Digital Technologies, Creative Industries, Healthcare and Healthy way of life. They presented practical case studies and know-how based on their experience, as well as possible opportunities for growth. There were representatives of more than 10 countries among the delegates. As a result, the Conference transformed into a platform for the establishment of international contacts and positioned Bulgaria strongly on the European stage.
During the conference Nikolai Minkov, CEO of the Srednogorie Industry Cluster, presented the BASE program – a public-private partnership for business achievements and social entrepreneurship.
Mr Alan Hutchison, a specialist in international business development, had an interactive session on the ‘Innovations in Future’ topic.
During the second day, Helmut Kergel, Director of the European Secretariat for Cluster Analysis, presented the current status and future prospects of cluster management excellence labeling, as well as the excellent achievements in cluster management.
At the National Cluster Conference, Sofia Investment Agency also presented its activities and services in support of local or international development of the companies.