Specialized Cluster and Institute for Apparel and Textile - Danube

Bulgaria: North-Central (Bulgaria)
Petia Miluscheva, PhD


100% completed

About us

SCIAT-Danube is a non-profit employers organization for companies of the Textile & Clothing industry in Bulgaria. Currently the cluster members are 28 - 22 small and medium enterprises, operating in the textile and apparel sector and in related sectors, 3 educational and research institutions: Technical University of Sofia - Department "Textiles Technology", University of Ruse – Angel Kanchev, Professional Vocational School for Apparel – „Nedka Ivan Lazarova" in Ruse and 3 NGO-s: Regional Center for training of personnel for the garment and leather industry in the North central planning region, Scientific-Technical Union of textile, clothing and leather and “Practice Association - professional realization, adaptability, creativity and social initiative” - Ruse. A high percentage of our member companies come from the region of Ruse in Bulgaria which happens to be the region with the highest concentration of enterprises engaged in the garment and textile industry. The entities participating in the cluster are mainly export oriented - 17 of the 22 member firms export mainly to EU countries. The total number of employees in the cluster is about 3000, which represents about 4% of total employment in the Textile &Clothing industry.

SCIAT main object of activity is to help and to assist its members in raising their competitiveness and to contribute to the development and promotion of textile and clothing sector by: protecting and defending the economic, professional and legal interests of its members; contributing to the creation of normal market environment; supporting effective national and international cooperation. SCIAT is committed to offering consultancy services in the field of the textile and tailoring industries.

The organization provide consultation of textile and clothing companies in Bulgaria and Macedonia, with an emphasis on waste management, organization, rationalization, optimization of production, engineering technology, better productivity, quality control, quality improvement, job fairs and staff training. As proof of the quality of the work that we have achieved, in 2013 SCIAT was awarded the Bronze Level of Excellence.

SCIAT-Danube assists its members to reach new international markets through fair participations, organization of B2B meetings, access to and participation in a number of international projects.

Some of the main goals and scope of work of SCIAT are following:

  • To assist in the process of combining resources, incl. highly educated and motivated young staff, among its members in order to increase the sector’s export capacities.
  • To assist in the interaction among businesses, non-governmental organizations and research centers in order to support the production and technological development of the textile and clothing industries as well as new job creation.
  • To provide guidance on projects for technological renovation and implementation of innovations, incl. study innovations
  • To promote the development of a favourable environment and to assist in the establishment of a favourable environmental setting, incl. development of staff by acquisition of appropriate professional competencies and skills.
  • To improve the system for enhancing education and qualification for its members
  • To implement programs and projects for improving labor conditions in member companies
  • To establish connections and cooperation with related national and international organizations, associations and business companies in order to fulfil mutual objectives; to realize opportunities for exchanging experience in the tailoring and textile field so that all achievements can be studied and effectively used.
Formalised strategy
Strategy focus on internationalisation
Support services for upskilling and reskilling of companies workforce
  • Lifelong learning
  • On-the-job training
  • Vocational training

Cluster composition

  • 28
    Cluster Members
  • 22
  • 0
    Large Companies
  • 3
    Research Organisations, Universities, Technology Centers
  • 0
    Other Ecosystem Actors


2019 the "Specialised Claster and Institute for Apparel and Textile - Danube"(SCIAT-Danube) started a partnership project " Open and responsible partnership management between citizens, the business and the Employment Agency for the improvement of the socio-economic environment in the textile and clothing sector"BG05SFOP001-2.009-0027-C01 with the Employment Agency Agency under the procedure BG05SFOP001-2.009 "Increasing citizen participation in the processes offormulation, implementation and monitoring of policies and legislation " Operational Program "Good Governance" 2014-2020.The total value of the project is BGN 89 982.57 and the grant is provided to the partners in the following proportion: 85% from the European Social Fund and 15% from the national co-financing.

In the frame of the project SCIAT-Danube  established an active partnership with the Employment Agency (EA), which in its capacity as an executive agency at the MLSP is responsible for the implementation of the state policy on employment promotion.

The project proposal aims to overcome the existing imbalance in demand and supply of working force at the national level. Through their partnership, SCIAT-Danube and the EA tryed to stimulate the Bulgarian business in the textile and apparel industry to overcome existing structural mismatches, namely labor shortages. The project proposal have been based entirely on analyzing the labor market situation in the sector through a set of activities - survey, analysis, training, round table and publicity of project results.

The SCIAT-Danube team studied the needs of the sewing and textile industry by analyzing the labor market problems and formulating proposals for solving them. The project aimed to support the Employment Agency by issuing recommendations for improving its activity and regulating the labor market processes in the contemporary conditions.

Result of the implementation of the project:

- achieving partnership between citizens, SCIAT-Danube, the EA and the textile and apparel sector - increasing the activity of SCIAT-Danube and the business in the implementation of the policy for employment promotion in the industry - improving the socio-economic environment in the textile and apparel sector as a result of the synergies achieved between the public and the EA.

Management team

Cluster Manager
Petia Milusheva
Cluster Manager

Sectorial and industrial focus

Sectoral Industries
Manufacturing:C13 Manufacture of textiles - Manufacturing:C14 Manufacture of wearing apparel
Technology fields
A\: Human necessities:Wearing apparel
S3 EU priority areas
Cultural & creative industries:Development of regional cultural & creative industries
Cross-sectoral industries
Creative Industries


Support services provided

Development of human resources, such as staff mobility, access to training
Other (please specify)

Further information

Accesses to public support

Through their participation in various SCIAT projects, members gain access to public funding. In addition, members receive regular information from the cluster management on upcoming projects funded under the various OPs.

Access to international market

  • Participation on fairs
  • Organizing fairs visits
  • Organizing B2B meetings
  • Presentation of the cluster and its members to international partners

Direct advisory services - consultation of textile and clothing companies in Bulgaria, Romania and Macedonia, with an emphasis on organization, rationalization, optimization of production, engineering technology, quality control, quality improvement and staff training.

The experts of the cluster consults cluster members and other apparel companies for accordingly increasing performance in production lines (as pilot projects) with the aim of reorganizing the production in order to reduce costs.

Support of knowledge transfer

SCIAT is part of the KNOWLEDGE ALLIANCE “ICT IN TEXTILE AND CLOTHING HIGHER EDUCATION AND BUSINESS”. The aim of the project is to develop a curriculum and syllabuses that meet the requirements of the business to the specialists working in the field of textile and clothing design and production. The project responds to the tremendous need for industry executives, especially those who can work with CAD, CAM, CAE and PLM systems requiring a higher level of ICT proficiency. The curriculum of "Information Technology in Design of Textile and Clothing", aims precisely at providing knowledge and skills for engineering design and production of textiles and clothing on programmable machines

Provision and facilitation of accesses to training of members

Implementation of the dual education in the textile and clothing industry for the first time in Bulgaria as a leading partner in the Erasmus Project Erasmus+ KA2 Strategic Partnership 014-1-BG01-K201-001515 - Excellence Practices of Dual Education in Clothing Industry. The project is aimed to explore the good practices from Germany and Austria in the Dual Education that could improve not just the youth inclusion on the labour market but also could help the clothing businesses to find high motivated and well prepared young workers.

The basic project’s impacts are:

  • Modified teaching programs combining State educational requirements and Business Practice’s requirement in Textile and Clothing;
  • Improved international business and social cooperation;
  • Better recognition of dual education and its impact on pupils, labor force and business in Textile and Clothing.
  • Establishment of business-training European cooperation;
  • Promoting transparency, international mobility and business cooperation.

The long-term benefit of the project is the start for the first time of the dual education in apparel industry in Bulgaria at PGO "Nedka Ivan Lazarova" at the beginning of the school year 2017/2018 on curricula developed within the framework of the project. Another long-term benefit is the start of a project for introduction of dual education in the apparel industry through the transfer of good practices from the project to a country outside the European Union - Albania.

Developing a center for adult education in Ruse

The VET center provides a professional training for adults in order to be prepared for work in textile and clothing business in Bulgaria. Experience with adult training is a good starting point - cluster members use the center to train new hired employees or to increase the competence and skills of their workers. Trainings are held both in the VET center and in the factories.

Organizing, promoting and implementing of questionnaire surveys, analyses, researches, statistics and prognoses, associated with the development of clothing and textile business in the country.


Research and development

As a NGO combining the interests of business, public bodies, school and training bodies and research centers, SCIAT promote not just new production approaches to the business but also to the professional schools and universities. In addition the feedback loop that provides connection between professional school bodies with the quality of professional competencies and skills of trained pupil and the business needs of high quality staff is also important activity of SCAT

Seminars and Trainings

SCIAT provides different weekend’s seminars and practical trainings of managers of its members. The work during the seminars and training helps the best applied practices in textile and clothing to be discovered. Most of them promote best business practices used by EU-member states, mostly Germany and Austria.

Support services for upskilling and reskilling of companies workforce

Lifelong learning - On-the-job training - Vocational training

Examples of training materials/events designed/organised by your organisation

Handbook for training of workers in the apparel industry


Support programmes

EU Programmes

European Programmes

Name & description

Erasmus +

Good Government

Human Ressource Development

Competitivenes of the Bulgarian Economy

Project name


BG05SFOP001-2.009-0027 - Open and responsible partnership management between citizens, the business and the Employment Agency for the improvement of the socio-economic environment in the textile and clothing sector

014-1-BG01-K201-001515 - Excellence Practices of Dual Education in Clothing Industry

BG051PO001-7.0.07-0032-C0001 - Transnational cooperation for transfer of German experience and best practices for adaptation of human resources in garment industry to the changing economic environment”

Cooperation activities

International cooperation

Targeted countries

Republic of Korea (South Korea)

Transnational cooperation

Targeted countries

North Macedonia

Transnational support activites

Support to collaborative activities/etc.

International support activites

Participation at missions/events/study visits/fairs

Further information

Since 2005 our cluster organisation undertook the following international and trans-national activities to support our members:

  • Organization of fair participations of the members on fairs in Germany, Poland, Russia and Turkey
  • Organizing fairs visits for the cluster members to fairs in Germany, France, Italy, Poland, Hungary, Russia, Turkey, Tunisia
  • B2B meetings and matchmaking events organization and participation on B2B meetings and matchmaking events with companies from Macedonia, Serbia, Albania, Turkey, Kosovo, Bosnia, Germany, Austria, Italy, Holland
  • Presentation of the cluster and its members to international partnersorganization of missions and presentation of the cluster organization and its members for textile unions and clusters from Germany, Austria, Italy, Turkey, Netherlands, Albania, Macedonia, Serbia, Belgium and at European level vor the European Textile Association Euratex
  • study visits in Germany and Austria in conection with the implementation of dual education
  • organisation of company visits in Germany, Austria, Turkey vor example Indupress Ltd., ASS Ltd., different fabric producers in Turkey

Upcoming events

Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday

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