Representatives for BSEC were invited to the international conference on “Eco-Clusters: Drivers for regional growth & internationalisation”, held in Brussels on 10.10.2012 within the “Open Days 2012 – the European Week of Regions and Cities”.

The forum was attended by two representatives of the BSEC: Administrative Secretary of the cluster – Mr. Dobromir Dzhikov and Expert International Relations – Mr. Anton Antonov

Participation in the “Open Days – the European Week of Regions and Cities” in Brussels was in order to increase the capacity of the administrative body of the cluster. The main idea for the visit was to adapt foreign know-how and best practices from the experinced cluster managers participating in the conference as one of the project activities “Black Sea Energy Cluster – effective model sustainable business development.

Clusters are key instruments in driving regional development and employment. The eco-innovation sector is recognised as one of the economic sectors with the largest potential for growth in Europe and globally.

The conference informed more than 60 experts and decision makers from the regional and local level about economic opportunities offered by energy and environmental clusters. It also offered an opportunity for exchange among cluster managers from all over Europe and beyond. In addition to EU strategies in this field, the event presented successful cluster activities and their contribution to energy and climate targets as well as to economic growth, employment and internationalisation.

The conference was supported by the Europe INNOVA programme and was a side event to the “Open Days 2012 – the European Week of Regions and Cities”.

Main conference topics included:

• Cluster policies in the field of eco-innovation
• Presentation of the main results of the EcoCluP project
• How to develop a successful eco-cluster on a regional level
• Showcasing innovative and successful eco-innovation cluster activities and programmes
• Exchange of experience among eco-innovation clusters from all over Europe and beyond

The conference was organised in the framework of the “Eco-Innovation Cluster Partnership for Internationalisation and Growth (EcoCluP)”, the first pan-European partnership of cluster organisations focusing on the eco-industries, mostly in the fields of sustainable energy, water, waste, environmental services, sustainable transport and construction. The initiative is supported by the Europe INNOVA programme.

The partnership represents most of Europe’s key clusters with a strong environmental portfolio of 13 cluster organisations from 10 countries. EcoCluP is supporting cluster organisations to create better opportunities for the cluster companies to grow and internationalise.

The event was organised by the O.Ö. Energiesparverband/Oekoenergie-Cluster.