The AgroTransilvania Cluster initiative was born from the 20 founding members’ wish to create a nonprofit, independent, non-governmental organisation, with public benefit, that would promote the development of the agro-industrial sector. The initiative gained a legal framework, with the help of the Agro-Food-Ind Napoca Cluster Association, on the 21st February 2013. The idea was solidified long before the Cluster itself was formed. Sectoral meetings, formal and informal alike, between future members were held, dedicated to discovering a common ground amongst future members and possible actions that can be taken in order to facilitate the formation of the Cluster. The Territorial Administrative Unit – Cluj County was the common actor that moderated points of views and gathered around the main actors that were interested in investing in the idea of AgroTransilvania Cluster, actors such as Hygia Consult SRL, Tehnical University of Cluj Napoca and the University of Agricultural Sciences and Veterinary Medicine in Cluj-Napoca.
The first step in the cluster’s development cycle was the efficiency at which the bonds between the different value chains facilitated by the pre-existent relationships amongst the cluster’s members were to be operated. At this stage, the cluster span across the following sectors: primary producers, producers, equipment providers, research, innovation and development, (RDI – for short) providers of intermediate services and providers of public services. Thus, the value chain created by the associative structure did not limit itself to only products, it integrated the entire agro-industrial business plan on a local and regional level.
The second step consisted in making the cluster more visible to the public, thusly facilitating the integration of more members over the course of its existence. The cluster’s mission is to become central point of research, innovation, technological transfer and sustainable development of the Transylvanian agro-industrial sector (by supporting the sustainable competitivity of the sector).
The third step involved the creation of the “Center for Advanced Research for Innovative Food Products and Processes”, which fostered the development of the cluster’s capacity of RDI in bioeconomy and solidified its image on the national and international scene as an innovative cluster.
Increasing the visibility of the cluster and its members is a goal from which the management of AgroTransilvania Cluster does not deviate. By fructifying the resources that were available on a locale scale, the association managed to set up successful collaboration networks with local, national and international partners alike. AgroTransilvania Cluster is an active member of different organisations and associations such as: Romanian Cluster Association–CLUSTERO, The Romanian network for agro-food clusters, Northen Transylvania Clusters Consortium, Danu4AgroInd (Danube Agro-industrial Clusters Network), Monitoring Committee of the National Rural Development Plan 2014-2020, National Networks of Agri-Food Clusters, working groups for the National Rural Development Strategy, Master Food Identity Consortium, Food in Eco Network, Danube Bio-economy Network, and European Cluster Alliance, whilst also developing strong collaboration partnerships in the commercial, development, research sectors, to remind a few, with partners not only from Romania and the European continent (Italy, Spain, Germany, Portugal), but from others as well (USA, Iraq, South Korea, Japan, Morocco).
CLUSTER REPRESENTATION ORGANIZATION
The association is registered under the name of AGRO-FOOD-IND NAPOCA CLUSTER ASSOCIATION, or it’s Romanian counterpart “Asociația Clusterul Agro-Food-Ind Napoca”, proof of naming released by the Justice Ministry – Communication and Public Relations Service, number 3765 from 18.02.2013. For a better visual identity, the association registered the AgroTransilvania Cluster trademark at the State Office for Inventions and Trademarks (“Buletinul Oficial de proprietate Industrială”, Mărci și Indicații Geografice section, nr. 05/2014, page 219).
As the name suggests, the association was formed with the desire to support the development of the agro-industrial sector, with the purpose of growing its, alongside of its members, competitivity on the national and international markets based on a shared development strategy. In the management team’s vision, this can be achieved through involving the cluster’s members in shared multi-disciplinary activities, such as research, development, innovation, technological transfer, providing services, production, visibility growth and so one, with the purpose of creating an innovative cluster.
The territorial relevance of the cluster does not limit itself to Cluj County alone, it spans across regional, national and transnational markets and sectors with the help of different actors. The association developed connections with the local and national business sectors, with Romanian Clusters, with administrative & educational structures, and the business sectors from Europe and other continents.
We aim to become the main technology transfer center for research, development and innovation in the agro-industrial field at national level.
To be an active and viable partner for research, development and innovation in the agro-industrial field for economic actors at national level and a model of good practices for international collaboration.
STRATEGIC OBJECTIVES 1
Improved bioeconomy RDI capacities and reinforce the image of an innovation driven cluster at a national and international level
STRATEGIC OBJECTIVES 2
Improve and diversify the current RDI infrastructure
STRATEGIC OBJECTIVES 3
Capitalize on the existent extensive scientific-innovative competencies and knowledge by involving SMEs in the innovative process
STRATEGIC OBJECTIVES 4
Develop national and international partnerships that lead to an increase in quality for the cluster’s, and its members implicitly, current and future activities
STRATEGIC OBJECTIVES 5
Direct involvement in improving scientific competencies and quality of the workforce
STRATEGIC OBJECTIVES 6
Enhancement of the qualitative and quantitative representation of the cluster and affiliated members