WASTen, z.s. – Internationalization of the cluster

Operational Programme Enterprise and Innovation for Competitiveness – Cooperation (clusters) – Cluster Internationalization

Eligible expenses:
CZK 2 500 000,00

CZK 1 250 000,00 (50%)

The WASTen cluster was established on 23 December 2015 as an association of innovative Czech companies, suppliers of cutting-edge technologies for the processing of municipal and industrial waste, and leading R&D institutes.

The WASTen Cluster had a total of 19 members, including 3 R&D organisations, as of the date of submission of the Preliminary Application for Subsidy. The members of the WASTen cluster are universities from the most environmentally affected regions – UJEP Ústí n.L. and VŠB TU Ostrava as well as VŠCHT Prague. The activities of the cluster will be directed to projects in the whole territory of the Czech Republic, but with special attention to the territory of the Ústí and Moravian-Silesian regions.

The aim of the cluster is to become a centre of excellence for research and development and transfer of cutting-edge innovative technologies with a focus on material and energy processing of industrial and municipal waste in the Czech Republic.

The characteristic element of a developed society is not only the waste production per production unit or per inhabitant, but also the way of waste management. All efforts should be directed towards waste-free technologies, but these are not achievable for many reasons. The waste that is generated is to be recovered or recycled, used for material recovery and the unusable residue used for energy recovery in order to minimise the proportion of waste going to landfill.

The activities of the WASTen cluster fully respect these principles of waste management and are aimed at supporting research oriented towards solving waste management problems in the field of material and energy recovery.

The internationalisation project of the WASTen, z.s. cluster focuses on the cluster’s involvement in cooperation in the European research area, the cluster’s involvement in cross-border networks of excellent clusters and joint marketing and business activities of cluster members on foreign markets.

Objectives of the WASTen cluster in international cooperation:
– To enable cluster members to enter foreign markets for waste treatment technologies and at the same time to support technology transfer from abroad to the Czech market.
– To support the involvement of cluster members in international cooperation in research, development and transfer of waste management technologies.

International cooperation activities included in the cluster strategy:
As the vision of the cluster is to become a centre of excellence for R&D and transfer of top innovative technologies with a focus on material and energy processing of industrial and municipal waste in the Czech Republic, it is necessary for the cluster to establish partnerships abroad. For further development, it is necessary to strengthen and develop cooperation with clusters of a similar nature operating abroad. It is important to gain experience and information from clusters abroad that have been operating in the field for a long time. This will also help to expand the membership base with other enterprises involved in joint projects.

WASTen has already established cooperation with Energy Saxony, an energy cluster in Saxony. The aim of the cluster is to strengthen the competitiveness and export strength of Saxon-focused companies in the energy sector. One of the areas targeted by the Energy Saxony cluster is the recovery of resources from waste. This activity is the primary objective of cooperation with the cluster.

A Memorandum of Cooperation between the WASTen cluster and the Energy Saxony cluster has now been concluded. The German cluster was purposely selected to be the first to cooperate with European countries. The technology in Germany is more sophisticated than in the Czech Republic and the aim is, among other things, to gain information about these technologies. This opens up the possibility of transferring cutting-edge waste treatment technologies to the Czech market. Another reason is the location of the WASTen cluster headquarters, which is close to the German border, so any joint conferences, meetings and seminars are easily accessible. Due to the fact that WASTen is currently an immature cluster organisation, it will first focus on nearby markets within the EU. Apart from Germany, France, Belgium, the Netherlands and Poland are prospective targets. The plan is, of course, not only to actively cooperate with foreign clusters, but also to support the joint business and marketing activities of its members.

Any cross-border or supra-regional cooperation within clusters brings with it new opportunities for cluster development and is an aspect that allows new incentives to be drawn upon for all involved. At the same time, it is important to recognise that such cooperation entails a lot of effort and increasing demands on coordination and management. Therefore, it is essential that the cluster membership is staffed and able to organise and deal with situations as they arise. The strategy of the WASTen cluster is based on proven project management principles with clearly defined objectives, organisational structure and common interest. Regular general meetings, workshops and seminars on key issues are a matter of course.