Fruitful exchange meeting between Saxony-Anhalt and Észak-Alföld
Publication date: March 9, 2012

Fruitful exchange meeting between Saxony-Anhalt and Észak-Alföld

In the last month the German and Hungarian regions have been working on exploiting as much relevant information about each other’s good practices as they can in order to improve their services by exchanging good practices.


In the last month the German and Hungarian regions have been working on exploiting as much relevant information about each other’s good practices as they can in order to improve their services by exchanging good practices.


The 1st bilateral meeting took place in October 2011 as a two day event with the objective to exchange profound knowledge and experiences concerning the practices “Funding of participation in foreign trade fairs” and “Cluster management services”. Based on the knowledge gained on the first meeting, and from back up information provided in advance, the 2nd bilateral meeting was organised to continue the process of the 1st one. The main focus was on the transfer opportunities of the practices, by deepening the knowledge about the particular practices, creating a platform for discussion not only for project partners, but for external stakeholders as well.

The first day was dedicated to the funding programme which empowers companies to participate in foreign trade fairs that is offered by the region of Saxony-Anhalt. The practical details of the funding programme were showed by Marina Volkmar (Investitionsbank) and to ensure a good base of comparing, the Hungarian system was presented by Edit Bács (Hungarian Investment and Trade Agency). The Hungarian Investment and Trade Agency (HITA) is involved in managing funding programmes for SMEs in order to support their marketing actions abroad. To provide a good look for the Hungarian circumstances regarding the possibility of the transfer process, the Chamber of Commerce and Industry held a presentation about the Enterprise Europe Network system, and their experiences in this topic. The presentation session ended up with an active discussion with the involvement of the participants. The information HITA got from the representatives of Saxony-Anhalt seemed to be quite useful, and important. Representatives of HITA stated that they would like to make a benchmark study regarding the topic, and this meeting provided a good base for this. The experiences of Saxony-Anhalt, the transparency of their funding system, the flexible, quicker and smoother process of there is worth to study, and HITA is willing to integrate their good methods into the Hungarian system, however it is not only depends on the decision makers of HITA due to the high influence of national policy.

The 2nd day was dedicated to the practice of Cluster management services offered by INNOVA. The presentation of Gábor Zahuczky (Pharma cluster) introduces the Pharma cluster of the region, and their cooperation with INNOVA, followed by the presentation of Zsigmond Kovács (IT Cluster) in the same topic. After having a picture from the regional clusters Norbert Grasselli (INNOVA) shortly presented the whole cluster supporting system of INNOVA, and an active, fruitful discussion was established with the involvement of the participants. Saxony-Anhalt got new information from different Észak-Alföld clusters. In Saxony-Anhalt no funding for cluster management support existed yet, however Saxony-Anhalt has already an analysis on regional clusters from 2008. As a matter of fact the renewal of this analysis is under tendering and based on the good practice of Észak-Alföld, Investitionsbank is able to support their Ministry with information gained during the bilateral meetings in order to ensure using Észak-Alföld’s experiences in the strategy.

The study visit in Debrecen covered both discussed areas. The venue was the Innovative-shop, locally it is the part of the Agricultural Faculty of University of Debrecen. This shop is run by József Prokisch, a researcher, professor and he also represents the Innovative Food Cluster of the region. There is an active cooperation between the cluster and INNOVA, furthermore the cluster was promoted on foreign trade fairs with the support of INNOVA for several times as well. Beyond the presentation of the cluster manager about the services they accept from INNOVA, guests could taste some innovative food products like gluten free cake and new varieties of teas, rich of polyphenols. The products are presented by the Debrecen Innovative Food Cluster in the „I-shop“. This innovation shop is constantly opened at the Debrecen University where the Food Cluster conducts research. The „I-shop“ is running as a consumer laboratory to test new food products.