First online information event

The war in Ukraine has brought together Ukrainian clusters and SMEs in a unique alliance, the Ukrainian Cluster Alliance. Starting in March as Clusters4Ukraine, it grew fast, renamed itself to Ukrainian Cluster Alliance (UCA) and has grown ever since. EIT Manufacturing is honoured to collaborate with UCA and welcomes the organisation as a network partner.

As a union of Ukrainian clusters, UCA has a focus on industrial and high-tech clusters. “Our mission is to develop the cluster movement in Ukraine in line with the principles of cluster policies of the European Union and in collaboration with European clusters,” explains Alexandre Yurchak, Head of UCA. Activities at national level cover all main Ukrainian industries and are strongly oriented towards internationalisation.

“Initiatives of smart specialisation, better integration into European values chains, innovations as well as the digital and green transition are at the core of our activities.”

Alexandre Yurchak, Head of UCA

Initial online meeting as a starting point

“One of the differentiating factors of EIT Manufacturing is the community,” elaborates Dr Christian Bölling, Director EIT Manufacturing Central. “We are glad that we can support Ukrainian SMEs and start-ups by creating connections and establishing new relations between members of our respective ecosystems.” In a first online meeting with 25 participants from innovation and automation manufacturing companies, Mr Bölling had the opportunity to introduce EIT Manufacturing to the audience. There was a big interest from participants. After this initial meeting, there will be another at the end of August, so that questions can be answered.

Network partnership for win-win situations

The agreement of the network partners involves a number of activities such as joint events, communications as well as collaboration in identifying funding opportunities for projects. “Despite the current unstable situation, we should not forget that the Ukrainian people and companies have best practices to share that we as EIT Manufacturing and our community can learn from,” Mr Bölling emphasises. “We are convinced that our collaboration will create many win-win situations.”

Partnership started with networking in Vienna

Olga Trofymova, Cluster Manager of Ukrainian Automotive and Mobility Cluster, joined the UCA and took the responsibility for internationalisation and international relations. “Having networking and common projects with Austrian clusters and Peter Kuen for more than 15 years gave me the opportunity to make a speech at Manufacturing Day in Vienna,” she says. Peter Kuen is Manager Austria and Government Relationsin the Vienna office of EIT Manufacturing.

“A good professional network always gives better trusted results and fruitful relations. Being a contact point for EIT Manufacturing is a big honour for me. I am sure, that our collaboration is the way to become real partners in innovations and technologies for Ukrainian organisations.”

Olga Trofymova, Cluster Manager of Ukrainian Automotive and Mobility Cluster