About CC project

Project name: Strategic project for support of Cluster Competitiveness Initiatives (Project CC)

User: Ministry of Economy, Entrepreneurship, and Crafts

Partner: Croatian Chamber of Economy (CCE)

Project co-financing: European Regional Development Fund (85%)

The project has been initiated with the aim to contribute to the competitiveness increase and the specialization of the Croatian economy according to its transformation and the structural changes of the industry as well as to foster innovation commercialization and the internationalization of the business sector through the build-up of smart skills.

One of the main instruments that will contribute to the competitiveness increase of the Croatian economy through networking of all key stakeholders are competitiveness clusters, 12 of which were established in 2013. (under jurisdiction of Ministry of Economy). The dynamics of the clusters represent the engine of the economic, industrial and technological specialization of the Republic of Croatia. Competitiveness clusters provides the formal cooperation structure for different actions and projects focused on the stakeholders of the defined industrial sectors of the Croatian economy. The 12 Croatian competitiveness clusters have been involved in the development and the definition of thematic and sub-thematic priority areas within the entrepreneurial discovery process. Based on the defined global trends, strengths and potential in Croatian business R&D sector and according to the results of the entrepreneurial discovery process and main S3 criteria, thematic priority areas that have were recognized as the highest added value potential segments have been chosen as the primary S3 focus in Croatia, and with that in mind they will predominately contribute to the competitiveness increase of the Croatian economy. They are the following:

  1. Health and quality of life
    (1.) Pharmaceuticals, biopharmaceuticals, medical equipment, and devices
    (2.) Health services and new methods of preventive medicine and diagnostics
    (3.) Nutrition
  2. Energy and sustainable environment
    (4.) Energy technologies, systems, and equipment
    (5.) Environment-friendly technologies, equipment, and advanced materials
  3. Transport and mobility
    (6.) Added value manufacturing of road and rail vehicles parts and systems
    (7.) Environment-friendly transport solutions
    (8.) Intelligent transport systems and logistics
  4. Security
    (9.) Defence technology and dual-use products
    (10.) Cyber security
    (11.) Mine action programme
  5. Food and bio-economy
    (12.) Sustainable food production and processing
    (13.) Sustainable wood production and processing

In order to increase the competitiveness within the S3 thematic and sub-thematic priority areas, the Ministry of Economy, Entrepreneurship, and Crafts, in cooperation with Croatian Chamber of Economy, has decided to give their support to the implementation of cluster initiatives through this Project.

Goals
The main goal of the Project is to support the efforts of the competitiveness clusters to increase the competitiveness and the position of the Republic of Croatia within the global value and supply chains through the implementation of cluster initiatives that are focused on innovation encouragement, productivity increase, smart skills build-up in the business sector, introduction of structural changes in the Croatian economy, business internationalization, proactive attraction of FDIs, territorial and product branding of Croatian economy, implementation of monitoring system and the evaluation of cluster initiatives as well as supporting the implementation of other cluster initiatives.
In order to enable the achievement of the main Project goal, three specific goals have been set up:

(1) Strengthening the position of Croatian competitiveness clusters in the selected global value chains (GVC) and initiating the development of smart skills in the business sector.

(2) Initiating internationalization of business sector through a proactive approach to foreign direct investments and creation and implementation of the Export strategy for defined strategic segments and emerging industries within S3 sub-thematic priority areas.

(3) Initiating territorial and product branding of Croatian economy and promotion of competitiveness clusters concept.

Also, special care will be taken of the local self-government areas with a lower development index in order to improve some existing segments of the economy and that the entrepreneurs from those areas could enter the national and global value and supply chains.

Implementation plan

Project will be implemented through four elements:

Project element 1: Development of the strategic framework for cluster initiatives and support for capacity strengthening and smart skills development

• Activity 1.1.   Strengthening the capacities and development of experts for competitiveness within User and Partner
• Activity 1.2.   Strategic analysis and evaluation of the competitiveness of Croatian competitiveness clusters within global value and supply chains, identification of needed activities for improving the position of Republic of Croatia within global value chains and strategic segments for industry upgrade
• Activity 1.3.   Preparation of collaboration and partnership for joint investments for the improvement of positions within global value chains
• Activity 1.4.   Action plan development through public-private dialogue with the measures to strengthen the Croatian position in the selected GVCs
• Activity 1.5.   The Croatian value chains gap analysis and identification of specific niches and market with the aim to proactively approach foreign direct investors
• Activity 1.6.   Action plan development for promotional activities and implementation of marketing tools to attract investments (including aimed ‘’outreach’’ campaigns)
• Activity 1.7.   Export strategy development (including the unified EU market) for priority sectors/manufacturing niches within the competitiveness clusters and industries in the making, as well as Action plan preparation for export initiatives and aimed promotional activities
• Activity 1.8.   Identification of possible Croatian brands and development of the Action plan for territorial and product branding
• Activity 1.9.   Monitoring and evaluation of cluster initiatives effectiveness
• Activity 1.10.  Preparation of guidelines for the establishment and proportion of AID and Competitiveness summer school, program and education modules development as well as comprehensive teaching materials and development of accreditation system and teacher training.

Project element 2: Implementation of cluster initiatives

• Activity 2.1.   Implementation of the Action plan for strengthening the position of the Republic of Croatia in the global value chains
• Activity 2.2.   Other activities that contribute to strengthening the Croatian position in the selected GVC and are aligned with the purpose and goal of the Project
• Activity 2.3.   Implementation of the Action plan with the aim to enhance the position of Croatia as a convenient investment destination to attract investments in high-tech sectors and industries in the making as well as the Action plan for promotional activities and marketing tools to foster investments (including aimed ‘’outreach’’ campaigns)
• Activity 2.4.   Implementation of the Action plan for export encouragement and aimed promotional activities
• Activity 2.5.   Implementation of the Action plan for territorial branding as well as product and pilot projects branding
• Activity 2.6.   Implementation of AID and Competitiveness summer school and support for their functioning during the Project duration
• Activity 2.7.   Implementation of other cluster initiatives

Project element 3: Promotion and visibility

• Activity 3.1.  Project promotion and visibility

Project element 4: Project management and administration

• Activity 4.1.  Project management and administration is under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of economy, entrepreneurship, and crafts

Expected results

Expected results of the implementation of the strategic project for support of competitiveness cluster initiatives are:

• Implemented competitiveness cluster initiatives aimed at competitiveness enhancement (15 implemented initiatives)
• Securing non-financial support to organizations through the development of smart skills linked to global value chains and competitiveness enhancement (support offered to 100 organizations)
• Participation of organizations in the internationalization initiatives (fairs, exhibits) (Participation in 12 initiatives)
• Identification of new brands in sub-thematic areas (13 new brands identified).