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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 are jointly organising the EU-Ukraine Business Partnership workshop and matchmaking, within the framework of “Clusters meet Regions” cycle on integrating Ukrainian clusters and companies into the EU value chains. 

 The “Clusters meet Regions” workshop on EU-Ukraine Business Partnership will take place on the 29 & 30 March 2023, in Kosice, Slovakia.


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. 


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 will be an opportunity to build EU-Ukraine business relations, and to find partners to trade and invest with. 

The event should 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. In the past weeks, 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 should provide a basis to establish resilient cross-border networks, created to promote the exchange of information and resources between different stakeholders involved in the clusters. It will also promote cross-border recognition, helping to foster a spirit of collaboration and understanding between stakeholders.


Agenda overview 

The agenda will include 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 will be 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.  



Morning          SITE VISITS  

13:00-13:45    REGISTRATION 

14:00 – 14:15 Welcoming address 

14:15 – 15:15 Regional Economic Development 

15:15 – 16:00 High-Level Session 

16:00 – 16:30 Break 

16:30 – 17:30 Interregional collaboration 

17:30 – 18:30 Practical aspects of doing business with Ukraine  

19:00  Dinner 


30 MARCH 2023 

8:30 – 9:00     REGISTRATION 

9:00 – 10:00   Funding for interregional collaboration 

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

10:30-11:00    Break 

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

12:00-12:30    Break 

12:30-13:30    Matchmaking 

13:30 – 14:30 NETWORKING LUNCH 

14:30 -16:30   Matchmaking  

16:30 – 17:00 Wrap up and closing 


More information on the agenda, as well as the registration process, will follow soon. Stay tuned. 

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