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The European Cluster Collaboration Platform, on behalf of the European Commission and in partnership with the Slovak Innovation and Energy Agency, the Union of Slovak Clusters, the Ukrainian Cluster Alliance and the Enterprise Europe Network, organised the “Clusters meet Regions” workshop on EU-Ukraine Business Partnership.  

The event aimed to integrate Ukrainian clusters and companies into the EU value chains and took place in Kosice, Slovakia, on 29-30 March 2023. The workshop brought together more than 200 representatives from EU and Ukrainian clusters and companies, as well as national and regional public authorities, business support organizations, researchers, and other related actors.  

The event included speeches from high-level officials from the European Commission, Slovakia, and Ukraine, panel discussions, pitching sessions, business-to-business matchmaking, and site visits. The workshop aimed to build EU-Ukraine business relations and to find partners to trade and invest with, improve the diversification of markets and suppliers for EU and Ukrainian companies, and establish resilient cross-border networks to promote collaboration and understanding between stakeholders. 

🔴 Watch the live stream: 


DAY 2 - morning

DAY 2 - afternoon

Matchmaking Event

To learn more about the hybrid matchmaking event, we organized a preparatory webinar on 28 February 2023. Slides are available here and will guide you through the registration process on B2Match platform. You can also watch the recording:

Context and objectives 

15 regional workshops are being organised as part of the “Clusters meet Regions” cycle, in EU regions that have expressed an interest in hosting such events during the 2022-23 period. These events bring together clusters and policymakers of the EU at national, regional and local levels to learn, from each other, how to better use clusters to strengthen industrial ecosystems, serve national/regional economic development and liaise with other regions facing similar transitional challenges. 

We need to further boost the collaboration between EU and Ukrainian cluster organisations and companies in Ukraine.  

Given the current conflict, the event cannot be organised in Ukraine. However, the Slovak Innovation and Energy Agency and the Union of Slovak Clusters will co-organise this workshop with the Ukrainian Cluster Alliance.  

Seeing an increasingly contested geostrategic environment, intra- and extra-EU supply chains are facing unprecedented pressures and shortages. The EU and Ukrainian (UA) companies have lost their markets and suppliers in Russia, and many EU business linkages have resultantly been disrupted. UA companies are looking for new orders and business opportunities and could become interesting partners for the European industry. Despite the Russian aggression toward Ukraine, Ukrainian companies are continuing their business operations. 

Regional focus

Slovakia, in recent years, has seen a very dynamic development of its cluster ecosystem. Since 2017, in just 5 years, it has seen an increase of over 100% in established clusters. Currently, there are 35 industrial clusters in Slovakia, out of which, one is a gold ESCA-labelled cluster, and another is silver, with several others also looking to achieve this level of certification very soon. The majority of Slovak clusters are focused on IT, I4.0 (including automation and robotization), energy, and circular economy. 

Read the Input Paper to learn about economy, trade flows and cluster landscape in Slovakia, Ukraine and the wider EU-neighbourhood.


Target Group 

On-site, the event will bring together over 200 representatives of EU and Ukrainian clusters and companies, as well as national and regional public authorities and business support organisations from Slovakia and other EU regions, researchers, civil society members, financial intermediaries, innovation agencies, industrial associations, investors, and other related actors. 



This event was an opportunity to build EU-Ukraine business relations and to find partners to trade and invest with. 

The event helped improve the diversification of markets and suppliers for EU and UA companies, which is key for all whilst in the process of reshaping value chains. Previous bilateral exchanges between Ukrainian and EU clusters have shown business opportunities for both sides, e.g., in the agri-food, construction, advanced manufacturing, automotive or textile sectors. Clusters will be used as the integrators and facilitators of this collaboration. The event provided a basis to establish resilient cross-border networks, promoted the exchange of information and resources between different stakeholders involved in the clusters. It also promoted cross-border recognition, helping to foster a spirit of collaboration and understanding between stakeholders.


Agenda overview 

The agenda included speeches of high-level officials from the European Commission, Slovakia, and Ukraine. 

Panel discussions on economic development and intra-EU business and business support organisations followed by pitching sessions from clusters and enterprises, business-to-business matchmaking and site visits in industrial ecosystems relevant to the EU-UA cooperation in building autonomy and resilience, such as utilities, health, agri-food, textiles, industry 4.0, defence and ICT.  

29 MARCH 2023

Morning sessions: 

·        1st Slovak Cluster Conference (only Slovak clusters)

·        Site Visits

13:00-13:45    REGISTRATION 

13:45 – 14:00 Introduction by the organisers

  • Teodora Jilkova - Master of ceremony, the European Cluster Collaboration Platform
  • Renata Magulova - Host, Deputy Director General, Slovak Innovation and Energy Agency

14:00 14:15 Welcoming address

  • Jakub Boratynski - Director Networks & Governance, DG GROW, European Commission
  • Matej Ovciarka - Deputy Director and Head of regional development, urban plan and Environment at Representative of Kosice Self-governing Region
  • Alexander Duleba - UA Advisor for Prime Minister of Slovakia
  • Taras Holub - Advisor for vice-Prime Minister of Ukraine

14:15 – 15:15 Regional Economic Development 

  • Dr. Jan-Philipp Kramer - European Cluster Collaboration Platform - download presentation
  • Lucian Jega - Policy officer, Slovakia Unit, DG REGIO - download presentation
  • Martin Svoboda - Director General, Section of Competitiveness, Ministry of Economy of the Slovak Republic
  • Denys Shemyakin - Director of the Reform Support Team of the Ministry of Economics of Ukraine
  • Daniel Acs - President of Union of Slovak Clusters
  • Maria Radvanska - Head of EEN, Kosice
  • Krzysztof Krystowski - Vice President of European Clusters Alliance
  • Alexander Yurchak - Head of Ukrainian Cluster Alliance - download presentation

15:15 – 16:00 High-Level Session 

  • Eduard Heger - Prime Minister of the Slovak Republic 
  • Denys Shmyhal - Prime Minister of Ukraine 
  • Peter Švec - Deputy of Minister of Economy of the Slovak Republic
  • Maive Rute - Deputy Director General DG GROW, European Commission

16:00 – 16:30 Break 

16:30 – 17:30 Interregional collaboration 

  • Marek Przeor - Team Leader Cluster Policy, DG GROW, European Commission 
  • Krzysztof Ciecióra - Deputy Minister of Agriculture, Poland
  • Peter Keller - Ministry of Finance, Hungary - download presentation
  • Marlene Rosemarie Madsen - Cluster Director Košice IT Valley
  • Johan Magnusson - Team Leader, EU Strategy for the Danube Region and for the Baltic Sea Region, DG REGIO, European Commission - download presentation
  • Miriama Hučková - Cluster Director Košice IT Valley
  • Olga Trofymova - Head of Internationalization program of the Ukrainian Cluster Alliance, CEO of UAMC - download presentation

17:30 – 19:00 Practical aspects of doing business with Ukraine  

  • Martine Diss - DG GROW - senior expert 
  • Volodymyr Panchenko  - Head of Analytic Center of the Ukrainian Cluster Alliance
  • Gennadiy Chyzhykov  - Head of EEN Ukraine - President of the Ukrainian Chamber of Commerce and Industry
  • Andrii Lytvyn - Deputy director of the Entrepreneurship and Export Promotion Office - download presentation
  • Svitlana Mykhailovska  - Deputy Director at European Business Association - download presentation
  • Sergiy Tsivkach - CEO of UkraineInvest - download presentation
  • Oksana Ocheretyana - Member of the Management Board, ECA Ukraine - download presentation
  • Lukáš Parízek - Chairman of the Council of Slovak Exporters
  • Diana Polonyi - International Relations Director, EXIMBANKA SR - download presentation
  • Pawel Kurtsz - President of Polish Investment Agency
  • Alexander Duleba - UA Advisor for Prime Minister of Slovakia

30 MARCH 2023 

8:30 – 9:00     REGISTRATION 

9:00 – 10:00   Funding for investments and interregional collaboration 

  • Marek Przeor - Team Leader Cluster Policy, DG GROW, European Commission 
  • Johan Magnusson - Team Leader, EU Strategy for the Danube Region and for the Baltic Sea Region, DG REGIO, European Commission
  • Martine Diss - DG GROW - senior expert, European Commission - download presentation
  • Natalija Dolya - Policy Officer, DG RTD
  • Janis Aizsalnieks - Policy officer DG NEAR 
  • Anna Haiduchok - Project Manager GIZ - download presentations
  • Dr.-Ing. Christian Bölling - Director EIT Manufacturing Central - download presentation
  • Alessandro Tappi - Chief Investment Officer, European Investment Fund - download presentation
  • Olena Voloshina - International Finance Corporation Ukraine - download presentation 
  • Andriy Dligach - CEO, Advanter Group/Co-founder, Ukrainian Wooden Houses Cluster

10:00 – 10:30 Pitching session (utilities, health, agri-food) 

10:30-11:00    Break 

11:00-12:00    Pitching session (textiles, industry 4.0, defense, ICT) 

12:00-12:30    Break 

12:30-13:30    Matchmaking (Round 1)

13:30 – 14:30 NETWORKING LUNCH 

14:30 -16:30  Matchmaking  (Round 2)

16:30 – 17:00 Wrap up, closing, next steps

  • Marek Przeor - Team Leader Cluster Policy, DG GROW, European Commission - download presentation
  • Daniel Acs - Slovak Cluster Association
  • Alexander Yurchak - Ukrainian Cluster Association
  • Antonio Novo Guerrero - President, European Clusters Alliance

The agenda is also available here.

Find out all the practical information in the participant’s booklet.

Watch the highlights of the event:

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