On the 19th of October Ukraine was a key subject on the EU Clusters Talks: The bi-weekly meeting point for the cluster community.
This was the 3d time since the full-scale Russian invasion, when Ukraine was the focus of the discussion in the European Cluster Collaboration community. The discourse started in March and was about the impact of the war on the European Supply Chains. And in June the conversation changed to the business challenges and opportunities with Ukraine.
Now, as pointed out by Jakub Boratynski, Director, DG Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs (GROW), Networks and Governance, the European community brings its focus to the future and the potential of Ukraine, raising a question and providing opportunities on how the clusters can support business integration and recovery of Ukraine.
So far the EU has done and is doing a tremendous effort to support Ukraine. By this time, over 19 billions of euros have been mobilised in direct budget support to Ukraine. This month, in October, the EU has approved the 8th packet of sanctions against Russia. And now the EU is looking to drop regulation on steel export – both to support Ukrainian economy and provide europeans with much needed steel. All in addition to have granted Ukraine candidate status to the EU.
And we see results. For example, now the export of grain is back to the pre-war levels.
Jakub has also mentioned the EU Single Market program, with its plan to have Ukraine as a part of it.
“We look for Ukraine to become a part of the European value added chains”Jakub Boratynski
And Ukraine is looking to be integrated into the EU market, as stated by Alexandre Yurchak, the head of the Ukrainian Cluster Alliance.
Ukrainian business community has been very active in the previous 7 months. Just being 6 months old, the Ukrainian Cluster Alliance is intensively building trust and relationships with global partners. From the active participation in the ECCP events to building partnerships with business associations across the globe, the Alliance is now settling plans for common participation and partnership with Belgium, Czech Republic, France, Finland, Lithuania, Poland, and many more.
This cooperation is vital short-term with business matchmaking, common cluster participation in the EU calls, as well as long-term plans for recovery of Ukraine.
“The economical question is a big question for us – how to continue working in this situation?” – said Taras Holub, advisor to Vice Prime Minister for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration, Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine, as a part of the panel debate also featuring Monica Matusiak, Team leader on Smart Specialisation – Global Outreach, within the Territorial Development Unit, Joint Research Centre and Tereza Šamanová, Member of the Board and CEO, CzechInno.
And the EU is giving us opportunities to partially answer this question.
Throughout the conversation the following opportunities available for Ukraine were mentioned:
- First call for proposals from Danube Region Program open till th 21st of November, with focuses on smarter, greener and low-carbon, more social and better governance of the Danube Region.
- Funding opportunities from the Horizon for Ukraine.
- Cluster Booster Academy – a 4-day intensive series of trainings for cluster managers offered by the European Cluster Collaboration Platform – with online first part in December and in-person training in March in Strasbourg.
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