Opening of 3rd Cluster Support Center marks end of BACAR project

After two centers were opened in Kotor and Buna near Mostar, the third and final Cluster Support Center was opened in Kaštel Sućurac near Split on 29 November 2019.

The BACAR project aims to strengthen the competencies of entrepreneurs by establishing three cross-border clusters. These clusters are providing expertise in the field of creative industry, tourism and local food, in order to foster innovations and transfer new technologies. Because of BACAR, entrepreneurs and their cross-border network will become active members of the European Network of Entrepreneurs.

More than 50 entrepreneurs attended the opening of the Kaštel Sućurac center, and it was a great opportunity to showcase achievements of the project to representatives of tourism, local food and creative industries.

“The BACAR project is an outstanding example of strengthening cross-border cooperation, good neighborly relations and pooling of knowledge and experience in all three countries. We are grateful to all national and cross-border partners, businesspersons and other participants in the project for their exceptional cooperation during 30 months of implementation. Trainings, advisory services, targeted events, trade show presentations and study visits aimed to raise awareness and benefits of SMEs clustering. This facilitated the path to the creation of three clusters and their cross-border networks as carriers of innovative activities in the region.” said Jelena Stjepčević, project manager of BACAR.

The newly opened Cluster Support Center in Kaštel Sućurac and cluster forum

Attendees of the event were also addressed by the mayor of Kaštel Sućurac  Mr Denis Ivanović , the deputy mayor Ms Jadranka Matok Bosančić on behalf of the Lead Partner – Municipality of Kotor, as well as representatives of project partners: Public Institution RERA SD for Coordination and Development of Split Dalmatia County, Mr Srećko Radnić, representative of the Ministry of Economy Herzegovina-Neretva Canton, Ms Simić Skutor and Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Trebinje Region, Mr Veselin Savić. The event was also attended by representatives of the Joint Secretariat and National Authority of Montenegro.

Day before the opening a cluster forum was organized in Kaštel Sućurac to present three clusters to the local community and stakeholders. On this occasion, two memorandums on cross-border networking and cooperation were signed between representatives of the creative industry and local food clusters, while the memorandum on tourism cluster was signed at the Mostar Fair in April 2019.

The BACAR project is implemented by five partners from Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Montenegro within the Programme Priority Axis 4: Enhancing competitiveness and developing business environment in the programme area. The total budget of the project is 1.019.843,87 EUR and the total EU co-financing is 866.867,28 EUR of ERDF and IPA II funds. The project started on 1 June 2017 and finished on 30 November 2019.

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