Developing and sustaining the new wave of business clusters


April 2012

On 5th April our project manager - Dilyana Stoyanova gave an interview for Bulgarian National Radio regarding the use of cluster model in Bulgaria. On 10th April in Hall Musala, Hilton a round table discussion was held on "Bulgaria's progress in the development of competitive clusters." The meeting was organized by the Association of Business Cluster (ABC) and the Ministry of Economy and Energy. The aim of the forum was to discuss the existing incentives and barriers to development of business clusters in Bulgaria, and in particular, the advantages, disadvantages and opportunities for improvement of the existing scheme of OP Competitiveness "Support for cluster development in Bulgaria." The meeting was attended by some 60 representatives of clusters, individual businesses and organizations that work in such a structure or have an idea to create a cluster. The meeting was attended by Deputy Minister Julieta Hubenova and Julian Nikolov - Director "Economic policy" MEET who actively responded to issues raised by the audience. Genoveva Hristova, Chairperson of ABC presented international trends in cluster development and the situation in Bulgaria. Ilse Atanasova (Sea cluster) and Elijah Levkov (Electric Industrial Cluster) presented their experiences and practices such as implementing projects under the scheme "Support to cluster development in Bulgaria." The round table was covered by media such as BTA, Darik radio, newspaper Business Review, Capital newspaper, The Standard newspaper, Investor BG,, Ikonomika magazine.

March 2012

GrowthClusters’ members visited BioAgra exhibition - exhibition for organic crops and livestock, which took place from 6th to 10th March in the International Fair - Plovdiv. We also moved back our office to its previous location: 8-12A Hajdushka gora str., Sofia, Bulgaria.

February 2012

Team GrowthClusters actively involved in developing a project on Cross Border Cooperation between Bulgaria and Serbia. Lead partner is the College of Applied Professional Studies - Vranje (Serbia). Other partners are Bulgarian Furniture Cluster, University of Forestry - Sofia and Development Centre of the Serbian areas Yablanitsa, Pcinja River. On 22 February GrowthClusters participated in the National ecosystem for supporting innovation and competitiveness, organized by the ICT cluster, Foundation for New Bulgarian University, BAIT, BASCOM, Telecommunications Association, and Bulgarian Web

January 2012

John Murray and Dilyana Stoyanova visited Serbia, where they had series of meetings with various partner organizations and discussed future joint projects and plans for cooperation this year. In the future a Case Study of the NICAT Cluster will appear here. The Advanced Technology Cluster now has 22 paying Members.

December 2011

Growthclusters developed 2 projects for furniture companies, as part of OP Competitiveness, related to the technical modernization of production. These 2 Companies are members of the Bulgarian Furniture Cluster. A Case Study of the BFC is now here.

November 2011

A representative of Growthclusters visited Bulgarian exhibition Franchasing Expo on 11-12 November in Sofia. The exhibition was held for the third consecutive year and presented the possibilities of starting a new business from 57 Bulgarian and international franchise companies.

October 2011

On October 26, Dilyana Stoyanova, a project manager in Growthclusters participated in the partner meeting in Bologna (Italy) as part of the Adriatic Danubian Clusters project, funded under the South Eastern Europe Programme. The event included match-making meetings between companies from 7 countries in the field of Mechatronics.

October 2011

Clusters Project, Turkey

The 30 month Contract in Eastern Turkey is looking now for International Short Term Experts with direct B2B expertise in the following sub-sectors:

  • Samsun – Medical equipment
  • Corum – Agro-Machinery
  • Trabzon – Boat-Building
  • GaziAntep – Shoes
  • Kahramanmaras – Kitchen equipment

Send names of interested people to, CVs very welcome.

September 2011

Growthclusters’ Team continues the work on Operational Programme "Black Sea 2007 - 2013" with participation of organizations from Bulgaria, Romania, Turkey, Greece and Georgia. Lead partner in this project is the Economic Development Agency of Varna.

September 2011

New Staff Member

The Growthclusters’ Team has a brand new member! Her name is Dilyana Stoyanova and she has just came back from maternity leave. Her previous working background includes the Municipal Administration in Rudozem and Foundation for Local Government Reform in Sofia. She will be our new Executive Project Manager and her first job is to develop a project application for the Black Sea Operational Program. Jumping in deep waters from the start!

August 2011

Clusters Project,Turkey

In the typical holiday’s month – August – Growthclusters is working hard on the SME development in Turkey. So far the Project has:

  • Studied the Potential sectors and sub-Sectors in the 5 Cities of Eastern Turkey
  • Opened 5 Cluster Info Spots with the Local Chambers
  • Officially launched the project at an Event in Ankara with 3 Ministers!

July 2011

Office in Samsun

Growthclusters BG and our Director John Murray is a Team Leader of 30 month Project in Turkey called Technical Assistance for Empowering SMEs for Networking and Inter-Regional Cooperation. He is now resident in Samsun on the Black Sea and we hope to open "GrowthClusters Turkey" there in early 2012.

June 2011

Adriatic-Danubian Clustering

Elena Barakova represented the Association of Business Clusters in Bulgaria on a Partnership Event in Maribor, Slovenia and later this month – in Sofia, Bulgaria. The events were part of the activities for the Adriatic-Danubian Clustering project for which the Association is a sub-contractor. On the events were presented the project’s progress in Furniture Industry and Agro-Food sector development. All the partners signed an Agreement for future partnership.

May 2011

Meeting new partners

In the end of April – beginning of May there were four Partnership Building Events organized under the cross-border project with Romania. Two of them were in Topola village in the beautiful Kaliakra resort on the Bulgarian Seaside and the other two were in Constanta. Growthclusters team members together with Ligna-Consult were the organizers of the events.

John Murray attended Clusters 2011 event in Opatija, Croatia. Meetings were held with partners on submitting a South East Europe Clusters application (with 14 SEE Partners) and an EU CIP with 9 Partners. More details will follow.

April 2011

Keep on travelling

The team continued the work on the Economic analysis of the Dobrudzha region.

Within the Cluster Awareness Campaign for the cross-border project with Romania another workshop on clusters promotion was held in Constanta with John Murray as one of the lecturers, which had a great success.

John Murray will be based in Turkey for the next 2 years in Samsun – a key part of the Black Sea. Therefore the company will have two bases on the Black Sea facing each other (one in Varna and one in Samsun).

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