MEET THE BUSINESS SUPPORT ORGANISATIONS - NCA
The National Cluster Association – CZ (NCA) brings together cluster organisations and other pro-cluster institutions with the purpose to coordinate the sustainable development of the cluster concept in the Czech Republic. It creates a competent and long-term platform for the development of cluster organisations in the Czech Republic and an active interface for their internationalisation.
The NCA was established in 2008 and currently associates twenty leading cluster organisations (representing altogether some 450 members, i.e. enterprises, educational and research institutions) and eight cluster supportive institutions, such as university, regional development agencies, innovation infrastructure bodies and consultants. The NCA strives for creating conditions for effective utilization of cluster merits in accordance with the development policy of the European Commission (cluster management excellence, intelligent specialization of regions, inter-cluster cooperation support for the EU competitiveness, etc.) and provides promotion, education, consultancy and awareness building activities for the member cluster organisations.
The aim of the NCA is the high-quality development of cluster organisations and their success in the field of R&D, innovation, human capital development, internationalization, export, SMEs support and image building of the Czech Republic as a partner for strategic cluster initiatives and projects. The NCA offers its unique know-how in the field of cluster identification and starting up cluster initiatives to Regional Authorities of the Czech Republic and internationally.
The NCA acts as:
- the national cluster information, communication and knowledge centre,
- the partner for policy makers in the cluster policy development and implementation,
- the advisor and facilitator for new cluster initiatives,
- the promoter of the cluster concept helping to raise the efficiency both of the cluster governance and cluster management by awareness building and training,
- the project partner in national and international cluster innovation and development projects.
Benefits of the NCA:
- strengthening the role of clusters in innovation processes and development strategies within the Czech Republic,
- boosting dynamic development in key sectors and emerging technology-based clusters,
- providing institutional support for cluster organizations and initiatives – helping to strengthen the foundations of developing knowledge regions,
- helping to raise efficiency and quality in cluster management,
- harnessing the potential offered by social capital and innovation based on shared knowledge and relationships of trust among SMEs, industry leaders, the public sector and universities,
- promoting effective, proven solutions on an international scale.
Participation of the NCA in international projects:
- V4Clusters Go International (2016-2017), co-financed by International Visegrad Fund.
- The Importance of Clusters for the Trade and SMEs Development (2016). Aid for Trade – Serbia, co-financed by state budget within ODA Czech Republic.
- Gender in Innovation - Innovation in Clusters (2014 – 2015), co-financed by Norway Grants.
- V4Clusters (2013-2014), co-financed by International Visegrad Fund.
- CluStrat (2011-2014), co-financed by OP Central Europe.
- DanuBioValNet (01/01/2017 - 30/06/2019) - Cross-clustering partnership for boosting eco-innovation by developing a joint bio-based value-added network for the Danube Region, co-financed by Interreg Danube Transnational Programme.
- KETGATE (01/07/2017 - 31/08/2020) – Central European SME Gateway to Key-enabling Technology Infrastructures – Sparking a new Transnational KET Innovation Ecosystem, co-financed by Interreg Central Europe.
The membership of the NCA in other organisations:
- Association of Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises and Crafts of the Czech Republic
- Association of Non-governmental Non-profit Organizations of the Czech Republic
- The Competitiveness Institute (TCI global cluster network)
- The European Cluster Collaboration Platform