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1 Creating strong sector connections with
Open Days 2007 Creating strong sector connections with emphasis on the created cluster : the experience of Opolskie in Poland. Joanna Boguniewicz, PhD Eng. Director of the International Relations Office Opole University of Technology

2 Clusters concepts Clusters definitions by Michael Porter (1990)
A business cluster is a geographic concentration of interconnected businesses, suppliers, and associated institutions in a particular field. Clusters are considered to increase the productivity with which companies can compete, nationally and globally. Cluster today A cluster is defined better by its functions than by its products. Instead of only relating companies of one specific economic or industrial sector located in a geographical area, today these companies cluster around suppliers of prime matter, type of technology, strategy, type of buyers and even because of competitors from other industries.

3 Clusters concepts The concept of clusters is not a new one, however in Poland it has been discussed for only few years. The cluster approach became popular for the reinforcement of regional policy development. The University shall support cluster development with regard to regional conditions. Cluster analysis should be based on evaluation of local patterns and pointing out: relative strengths and weakness. Types of business clusters: Technological clusters and Historical clusters based on the know-how.

4 Clusters in Opolskie Opole University of Technology - OUTech (comprising of 6 Faculties, over 950 employees and students) follows rapid development, attaches great importance to the cooperation with commercial institutions and actively promotes research in order to increase industrial growth in the region. Considering the importance and complexity of cluster creation, the OUTech supported the idea in the Opolskie Voivodship. OUTech has identified the requirements for cluster implementation, the development of methodoology and training. Project „Regional Cluster Projects Promotion Office” is coordinated by Academic Entrepreneurship Incubator at OUTech and supported by Integrated Operating Programme for Regional Development - ZPORR, action 2.6.

5 Clusters in Opolskie Objectives of the training project:
train a group of institutions (local governments, business support centers, chambers of commerce and industry) to promote and popularize the idea of industrial clusters, as well as to set them up and coordinate their co-operation - present the knowledge on how to establish and manage a cluster. Teach beneficiaries how to work in groups, facilitate business meetings, control stress, negotiate and moderate discussions - show the real-life and specific examples of business co-operation, thus abolishing beneficiaries' negative stereotypes about sectoral competition

6 How do clusters develop ?
There is no universal method for cluster development. All over the world different methodologies originate, simply because there are several cluster classifications possible and each one is unique. Surrounding of industry* Industries Cluster *Institutions for collaboration eg. financial institutions, transport etc. Research Community

7 Clusters in Opolskie Background of cluster development in Opolskie:
Silesia region is compised of the Opole Voivodeship and neighbouring districts of Lower Silesia and the Silesia Voivodeship The forest area in the Opole Voivodeship is 219,6 thousand ha including ha of forests owned by the Treasury The proximity of the western border creates great export possibilities (both, of goods and services) The latest woodworking technologies and training centres for numerically controlled machines (CNC) The region is famous for its long tradition of furniture production

8 Clusters in Opolskie „Silesian Carpenter” („Stolarz śląski”) is the existing cluster in Opolskie voivodship.The cluster formed by the group of 45 enterprises consists of three main circles of cooperation. The first one is comprised of closely connected entrepreneurs from the woodworking industry (forestry, production of wood and wooden articles, furniture production, woodwork, production of pulp and paper). The second circle is composed of companies connected with woodworking industry: as transport companies, machine industry (producers and importers), chemical industry (producers of paint, varnish etc), service companies (assembly services) etc. The third circle is created by institution indirectly connected with the industry, such as financial, research and development institutions and associations.

9 Why do clusters work? Gathering in clusters allows to capitalize economic relations between specific industrial sectors and provides the way to help define the economic development strategy for a region. Better access to employees, suppliers and specialized information. Access to public goods (universities). Importance of cluster for small and medium size companies and regional promotion. Location is self-reinforcing – increasing returns.

10 What problems exist? The following issues concerning clusters have been arisen: general (organizational) lack staff ( human factor), rules of law, raw materials, cooperation within clusters of the same branch, documents’ circulation; marketing  market research, the promotion of the cluster of products, coordination of marketing activities, logistics, craftmanship prestige improvement; financial difficulty of gaining the working capital, difficulties with financial services, professional drawing up of proposals, technological barrier, industrial design of goods

11 Which issues must be solved?
No specific programs for clusterisation exist Lack of undestable information for company owners Un-traited staff promoting and consolidating cluster High costs of consultants specialised in clusterisation Thera are no standard criteria for promotion Frequently, the companies representing the same branches see each other as competitors and consequently, the cooperation between them is difficult, or even impossible The experience of Opolskie region proves that the barriers can be broken down

12 Success factors in Opolskie
Force behind cluster formation: Universities: regional strategies to create clusters based on the research institute that managing in areas of common interest Leading Companies and Entrepreneurs’ Attitude: the collaboration and partnership being not only needed on the companies‘ level but also among R&D and the local authorities' organizations, Active Government Support (Voivodship, Chamber of Commerce): the cluster can benefit from the founds for the regional development strategy as important issues in the region’s growth. Competitive Intelligence & Networking In our case, the wood cluster has been created and there is a promising perspective for the food processing industry to develop new cluster.

13 Opolskie region Contact details : Opole University of Technology
Thank you for your attention ! Contact details : Opole University of Technology Joanna Boguniewicz

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