Ukrainian Food Valley participated at the EU-Ukraine Cluster Policy Learning and Matchmaking Event in Kyiv 27-28th of March 2018

Submitted by Nataliia Maievska on 30 March 2018

Public Union "Ukrainian Food Valley" (UFV) have shared its experience of International co-operation during the EU-Ukraine Cluster Policy Learning and Matchmaking Event.

Event was organised in the context of the High Level Industrial Dialogue between the EU and Ukraine by PwC in close collaboration with the European Cluster Collaboration Platform the 27th and 28th of March in iHUB building (Kyiv, Ukraine).

The event consisted of several parts. The first part was a Round Table on Cluster Policy developments and exchange of good practices, where representatives from ministries, embassies and clusters shared best cases of cluster policy development in their countries; European Cluster Collaboration Platform services and the EAP+ H2020 Project was introduced; Selected clusters from Ukraine and the EU presented success stories of their co-operation. From Ukrainian Food Valley, Mariia Makhnovets, a member of the Board of Directors and Responsible for international cooperation, delivered a speech (presentation is attached). Together with Mr. Giedrius Bagusinskas, the Head of the Lithuanian Smart Food Cluster (LitMEA) they shared with participants their experience of international co-operation and their own observations on the strengths and weaknesses of the creation of agri-food clusters in Ukraine.

Ms. Makhnovets emphasized: "Such activties in Ukraine are essential for the promotion of cluster development in the process of decentralization and European integration, introduction of Ukrainian organisations to clusters from EU together with building a whole country image", adding that - "Only a few years ago, when we visited such events in the EU, we could only dream of such an event in Ukraine, and already in December 19th, 2017 Ukrainian Food Valley, together with the Reforms Delivery Office and the Council for Innovation Development (Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine), with the support of the German-Ukrainian Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Ministry of Economic Development and Trade, acted as a co-organizer of The Round Table called "Prospects for the Cluster Initiatives Development in 2018. Clusters criteria and experience of its establishment in EU countries", and today we are already welcoming the International cluster community in the same building, sharing experience and discussing possible cooperation"

Here important to add that Ukrainian Food Valley is an active participant at International cluster events and together with representatives of clusters from Lithuania, Latvia, Poland and Ukraine become a co-founder of the Eastern Europe Food Cluster Network, united to improve cross-sectoral innovation, opening new markets and providing SMEs with access to world markets.

Important speakers of this events were H.E. First Vice Prime Minister – Minister of Economic Development and Trade Stepan Kubiv and H.E.  Commissioner Elżbieta Bieńkowska.

For Ukrainian Food Valley such Cluster Matchmaking Event became full of new meetings with foreign and Ukrainian clusters, among which there were separate meetings organised and opportunities for cooperation discussed with Omnipack First Hungarian Packaging Cluster (Hungary), Lithuanian Clusters Association (Lithuania), iTech Transilvania cluster by ARIES (Romania), Packaging Cluster (Spain), iPARK (Ukraine) and others. In total, around 50 cluster organizations participated in meetings during the Matchmaking session, of which only 6 clusters (2 Ukrainian and 4 EU) represented agricultural and food sector.

During the second day of event, on March 28th, a delegation of several agri-food clusters from the EU together with Ukrainian Food Valley  visited the GreenGarden Group Company, which is engaged in the production of greenery, berries and vegetables in greenhouses. This visit was organised for establishment of business contact with a local producer and exchanging best practices in greenhouse agroprocessing.

Ukrainian Food Valley contributes to the development of agri-food clusters in Ukraine and aims at the creation and development of sustainable agri-food development ecosystems in Ukraine, whose players will, through effective interaction, create, store, move, promote and market innovative products and solutions that are relevant and competitive at global markets.

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