EU Interreg Clusterix 2.0

EU Interreg Clusterix 2.0

Contributing to the implementation of the Smart Specialization Strategies through clusters and value chains

EU Interreg Clusterix 2.0 addressed the improvement of regional innovation policies by making a better use of clusters. The evaluation was based on benchmarking that explored the role of the regional cluster excellence portfolio to provide inputs for development and testing innovation models. Assignment included documentary review and analysis of key features of Smart Specializations Strategies and cluster programs. It also involved analysis of the policy making process, the program development and the implementation process against regional economic objectives and benchmarking of selected clusters. Additional activities consisted of preparation and implementation of interviews, peer review workshops and identification of good practice and tools for the S3 implementation via clusters.

Date: 2016

Project’s website

Bridge to Boston: cross-Atlantic value chains in medical technology clusters

Helping Boston based businesses in medical technology to identify value chain opportunities related to intermediate and final markets.

With this project, Anteja assisted DELIVER, Business Development Office of the Mannheim Medical Technology Cluster in its international outreach. With DELIVER and selected companies in the Mannheim cluster being well-positioned to pursue opportunities for technology development collaborations, inward investment and US market access, Boston was identified as one of the priority cities with which to establish reciprocal relations. Focused on Boston-based businesses in the medical technology area to identify value-chain opportunities associated with intermediate and final markets. Assignment included documentary review, elaboration of value proposition for companies in the Mannheim Medical Technology cluster. Additional activities included analysis of the cluster environment and institutional settings in Mannheim and training for cluster members on how to successfully initiate business in the Boston area.

Client: DELIVER, Business Development Office of the Mannheim Medical Technology Cluster

Date: 2016

Poly4emI, developing innovation policies for biopolymer industry

The project contributed to Slovenian innovation policy with a new policy model for a more systemic approach to stimulate the development of the biopolymer industry. 

Poly4EmI was established in 2013 and it became a cluster coordinating and supporting entity in Slovenia, working closely with the Ministry of Regional Development and Ministry of Science in Slovenia. Poly4EmI tested and applied the Cluster Management Excellence approach for clusters in emerging Industries and new value chains. It developed a variety of new services to be offered by cluster organizations to support industrial transformation.

Poly4EmI also indicates that Slovenia has been excluded from cluster development related initiatives at EC level and globally for a decade. Consequently, dedicated attention has been given to internationalization of clusters and proactive participation at EC cluster excellence initiatives. Poly4EmI successfully evolved in Poly4EmI cluster internationalization platforms that bundled and coordinated effort of traditional and new clusters and operated at a macro-regional level, such as Alpine Space, Danube and Adriatic regions, EU, US and Africa. Poly4EmI supported the implementation of SRIPs – Strategic Research and Innovation Partnerships in Slovenia. SRIPs are key institutions for implementation of Smart Specializations Strategy. All of them put clusters and cluster excellence in the core of industrial transformation and creation of new value chains. Poly4EmI promoted Cluster Excellence and ECEI approach and was nominated by the Ministry of Science to act as a regional partner for ECEI.

Poly4EmI addressed the challenges of Slovenian innovation policy through developing a new policy model for a more systemic approach to stimulate the development of the biopolymer industry. The existing policies and policy instruments do not provide the framework conditions for the biopolymer industry and clusters to develop at scale and speed required to address the bio-based material needs of bioeconomy. This calls for policy makers to play a more active role than in the past in setting suitable framework conditions to support cluster dynamic and new forms of international and cross-regional cooperation models.

The Slovenian Ministry of Education, Science and Sports led the consortium composed by:

Anteja worked with the Automotive Cluster in Slovenia and provided the following services:

  • advice on overall project design and implementation
  • design and implementation of peer review and stress test with peer regions/clusters
  • conducted the benchmarking of clusters, and facilitated cross-cluster cooperation to create new business opportunities
  • international cross-cluster platform
  • inputs for road mapping.

Partners: ​​Slovenian Ministry of Education, Science and Sport, Center of Excellence POLIMAT, Polymer Competence Center Leoben, Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Slovenia

Client: Automotive Cluster Slovenia

Date: 2014 – 2016

Global Biopolymer Network (GBN)

A project that builds on the transformative power of biopolymers that hold the potential to tackle global challenges and contribute to solving major environmental problems in developing countries.

One of the most pressing global challenges we are facing today is how to leverage the power of new knowledge spread over the globe and regions to help to address the global economic and environmental challenges. New forms of international innovation networks are required, since no single place or a single cluster could  possibly host all necessary competencies to assure regions and companies to stay at the forefront of the new global value chain.

The Global Biopolymer Network builds on the transformative power of biopolymers, since they hold great potential to tackle global challenges and at the same time contribute to the efforts of solving major environmental problems in developing countries. Biopolymer applications emerge from scientific, technological and engineering approaches, which require new forms of international science and technological collaboration.

The Global Biopolymer Network supports cross-sectorial linkages and brings together scientific and technological know-how of developed countries and abundant resources and talents from developing countries around the idea of transformative power of biopolymers and biomaterials.

GBN’s members were:

These institutions provided support for the development of a biopolymer based platform. Two biopolymer workshops (Biopolymer workshop at JKUAT – Jomo Kenyatta  University for Agriculture and Technology, Nairobi, Kenya, Biopolymer workshop at CBBR – Centre for Biomedical and Biomaterials Research (CBBR), Mauritius). Additionally, various multilateral meetings were organized by GBN, in which many diplomatic community representatives took an active role.

Services provided:

  • enabling leadership in biopolymer development initiatives
  • identification of biopolymer potential in addressing  global challenges
  • identification of research and innovation fields with potential for transnational collaboration
  • design biopolymer workshops and facilitation  of first such workshop  at the JKUAT, Nairobi Kenya and second one at ANDI, Mauritius
  • facilitation of the design of research and innovation agenda: Biopolymers for Human Well Being program.

Project’s publication:

CE PoliMaT. (2013). Biopolymer Workshop Mauritius,

Improving innovation and competitiveness in Mauritius

Setting up innovation policy and improving competitiveness of scientific industries in Mauritius.

This project was a follow-up activity of the Biopolymer Workshop ‘Setting-up of a bio-based industry in Mauritius’ organised by CBBR in May 2013. The need to establish an innovation policy was recommended as a top priority for Mauritius. The main aim of the ANIS Workshop is to provide a neutral screening of the current status of the entire Mauritian Innovation System and its main determinants for the emergence of “Knowledge- Based Industries” (ex: Agricultural Biotech, Ocean Industry, Life Industry…). A sufficient understanding of these determinants and how they can be addressed in the future for further improvements is very important in order to assure long-term competitiveness and innovation capability of all the key stakeholders and actors of the Mauritian innovation system. 

Partners: VDI/VDE-IT, Centre of Excellence for Biomedical and Biomaterials Research (CBBR)
Client: The World Bank Group
Date: 2014

Final publication:

World Bank Group. (June, 2015). Mauritius, a systematic country diagnostic.

Establishing a biopolymer Center of Excellence at JKUAT

Establishing a biopolymer Center of Excellence at Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT)

Development of strategy and action plan to harness the power of biopolymers to improve human wellbeing and enhance global competitiveness.

Project was conducted in cooperation with COMESA, Nairobi Kenya, involved the development of a strategy and action plan involving mentors, collaborative teams to select areas of engagement, biopolymer workshops, consultation and finalization of specific actions and budgets. A strategy was developed titled: “Harnessing the power of biopolymers to improve human wellbeing and enhance global competitiveness”. The biopolymer workshops were implemented. Experts from Anteja’s global network helped to enable the formation of ABCe.


Client: JKUAT

Date: 2013


Project’s website reference

Analysing horticulture products’ value chains in Azerbaijan

As part of the IFC’s Azerbaijan Investment Climate Project, the project aimed to improve the business and investment environment in Azerbaijan’s high potential agribusiness sub-sectors.

The overall objective of the project was to contribute to the improvement of the business and investment environment in Azerbaijan’s high potential agribusiness sub-sectors in a manner that enhances development, competitiveness, employment and business opportunities in these sub-sectors. The approach involved  assessing present performance and revealing key binding constraints present along the value chains that prevent growth and further development of these sub-sectors. The project contributed to the overall objectives of the Azerbaijan Investment Climate Project (AZIC II), which broadly aims at supporting the diversification of the Azerbaijan economy and improvement of the regulatory framework, focusing on areas of strategic importance for both the government and the private sector.

Services provided:

  • Rapid analysis of the horticultural sector in Azerbaijan in order to assess the horticulture products or product groups and select two to three high-potential ones for a detailed exploration in the following stages of the project. Pomegranate, tomato and hazelnuts have been selected as the most promising products.
  • Value chain analysis of selected products: the main objective was to assess how well pomegranate, tomato and hazelnuts value chains perform in order to identify segments and activities where poor performance or inefficiencies severely undermine the competitiveness of the entire value chain.
  • Identification of key binding constraints, ranking the constraints and in-depth analysis of the binding constraints.
  • Recommendations for specific actions (first and high priority actions for short and mid-term period) to remove the identified binding (sector-specific) obstacles and enhance the value chains’ ability to improve performance, productivity and investment.

Client: The World Bank Group, IFC

Date: 2013 -2014

Center of Excellence PoliMat

A centre specialized in polymer materials and technologies.

The PoliMaT Centre of Excellence is specialized in polymer materials and technologies with 85 researchers and professional staff with HQ in Ljubljana, Slovenia. PoliMaT was founded as a joint initiative of main science and research institutes and industry in the fields of polymer materials and technology in Slovenia for the purpose of undertaking innovation, development and research projects on polymers in order to facilitate technological breakthroughs and the transition to a low carbon society.

Services provided:

  • management of the center of excellence
  • advice on governance structure, evaluation and monitoring mechanisms
  • assessment of the trends, end markets and opportunities
  • assessment of new materials innovation system, identification of global best practice
  • setting up a strategy framework and formulation of recommendations for future actions of the center
  • development of international innovation network: Global Biopolymer Network.

Date: 2011 – 2013

PoliMat’s website

iCon, improving competitiveness of Slovenian and Italian companies

Strengthening the competitiveness of micro, small and medium-sized enterprises at the border area between Slovenia and Italy through innovation and collaborative entrepreneurship.

The iCon project was aimed at strengthening the competitiveness of micro, small and medium-sized enterprises in the border area between Slovenia and Italy. The main purpose of the project was the integration of SMEs, business support organizations and other business actors by the transfer of knowledge and technology, promotion of innovation and development of common services. This led to the improvement of the cooperation and performance of the SMEs in the border area, increasing the awareness and interest for investing in the border area.

 Services provided:

  • capacity-building and training for innovation and business support organizations to train them on tools and approaches for innovation and technology policy , clustering and cross-border networking
  • strategic advice for establishment of regional network of clusters and other networks
  • strategy and action plan preparation; guidelines for iCON Business Networks
  • revision of 8 network strategy papers and actions in order to ascertain if they support the successful and sustainable development of the networks
  • set up monitoring concept of iCON Business Networks
  • guidelines for sustainable development of iCON networks.

Project’s website

Date: 2011 – 2014

CluStrat, improving cluster competitiveness in Central Europe

The CluStrat project strived to develop a joint strategy on how to enhance the innovation capacity and competitiveness of clusters in Central Europe.

Maintaining and improving the competitiveness in innovation capacity of clusters in Central Europe, regarding changing and emerging market demands and fostering the inclusion of cross-cutting issues, such as internationalization, technology-transfer and gender equality in innovation processes.

The CluStrat project reinforced the proposition that clusters play an important role in  facilitating innovation and contributing to development of industrial sectors to exploit today ́s emerging markets. The project provided a  policy framework to support the development of emerging industries by enhancing the innovation capacity and competitiveness of the clusters in the Central Europe area. The aim was to develop policies that enable existing clusters in established or emerging branches and technologies to exploit new markets. To achieve this, Key Enabling Technologies (KET) and Emerging Industries (EI) had  to be cross-linked with the established and traditional technologies / industries.

Services provided:

  • mapping of existing clusters and clustering programmes
  • analysis of sectors and research activities and specification of action areas of Smart Specialization Strategy and emerging industries
  • inputs on Slovenian position and future possibilities in national/regional cluster policy development
  • policy advice on cluster role in emerging industries
  • policy advice on strategy, policy tools and mechanisms to support emerging industries
  • review of evaluation reports on pilot actions for Advanced Materials, Smart Ambient/Housing and Zero Energy Building
  • developing action plans for pilot actions in Advanced Materials, Smart Ambient/Housing and Zero Energy Building.

This project was implemented through the Central Europe Programme co-financed by the ERDF, considered as part of the EU Strategy for the Danube Region.

Client: Tehnološka agencija Slovenije

Date: 2007 – 2013