The Lithuanian Clusters Association takes initiative in the area of Lithuanian clustering development. The association looks to the future – creates plans for the period up to 2021 and pursues ambitious goals: not only to create favorable environment for clusters’ operation, to develop clusters‘ administration competences, to encourage internationality, but also to ensure rational and effective use of European Union structural funds‘ finances for development of clusters.
“Grouping of companies and organizations into clusters and common activities in areas of innovations, scientific research and development, export and marketing – currently one of the most advanced and modern tools of economic activity in Europe and many other western countries. However, clustering in Lithuania does not yet have deep traditions in the context of both business and legal base creation and process administration”, said the Executive Director of the Lithuanian Clusters Association Marius Pareščius.
The Lithuanian Clusters Association implements not only cluster’s self-regulation, communication and representation functions. One of its objectives – not only to follow, but also to participate actively in the process of discussion and acceptance of issues important for cluster development. Particularly relevant issue for Lithuanian clusters: update of provisions of Lithuanian cluster development concept approved by the Minister of Economy, allocation of European Union funds’ investments for cluster development: creation of funding tools, their publication and implementation as well as solutions of various ministries and their departments.
Initiatives of the association do not go unnoticed: on 31st of May 2017 the Letter of Intent On Collaboration in the Area of the Lithuanian Clustering was signed between the Ministry of Economy of the Republic of Lithuania and the Lithuanian Clusters Association, and on 16th of June the Minister of Economy Mindaugas Sinkevičius implemented one clause of his Letter of Intent by signing the order On Working Group’s Suggestions Concerning Formulation and Implementation of the Lithuanian Cluster Policy and Conclusion for Cluster Monitoring and Evaluation Ensuring Provision.
The Lithuanian Clusters Association continuously cooperates also with agencies of the Ministry of Economy: Lithuanian Innovation Center (LIC), Public Institution Versli Lietuva. The association shows great interest in activities of Agency for Science, Innovations and Technology (MITA), and especially in Clustering Study performed under its order, also constantly consults with Lithuanian Business Support Agency (LBSA) on new funding tools for cluster development.
“We strive for a coherent and sustainable development: that cluster-related solutions would meet provisions of the clustering policy, good international experience and realistic clusters’ needs. We also invite responsible institutions to follow the appropriate approach. For example, due to the concept of Lithuanian cluster development currently considered in the working group of the Ministry of Economy, in order to receive an updated version of the document, on the proposal of the association, LBSA postponed a repeated call for proposals according to the relevant tool for cluster Inoklaster LT supported activities “announcement of Investment Cluster MTEPI infrastructure creation”, said M. Pareščius.
The working group formed in the Ministry of Economy for solving Lithuanian clustering issues actively considers update guidelines for the Lithuanian cluster development concept even during the holiday season. Meetings of the working group are held almost every week. The Ministry of Economy assigned 7 representatives from 13 members of the working group, the Lithuanian Clusters Association – 4, one representative was delegated by the Lithuanian Innovation Center (LIC) and one by the Agency for Science, Innovations and Technology (MITA). The Chairman of the working group – the Vice-Minister of Economy Ramūnas Burokas. The working group plans to present an updated Lithuanian cluster development concept to the Minister of Economy for approval at the end of October 2017.