Lviv/Lemberg, Ukraine, June 5-7, 2023 – Conference “Cluster Collaboration in the Sustainable Regional Development”

At the beginning of June 2023, Composites United e. V. (CU) followed an invitation to participate in the conference “Cluster Collaboration in the Sustainable Regional Development”, which was organized by the “Ukrainian Cluster Alliance” in Lviv (Ukraine) and supported by the Polish Cluster for Composite Technologies (PKTK) and the Lesser Poland Voivodeship.

The conference’s main purpose was to discuss the role of technology and industry clusters for the regional development of Ukraine focusing on its rebuilding as well as the potentials in the field of research and industry cooperation that arise in this context through cooperation with established European clusters.

Due to the close cooperation between CU and PKTK, our colleague Martin Kretschmann was able to participate in the Polish delegation. The delegation was accompanied by representatives of the regional administration, national technology clusters, universities and research institutes, the Krakow Technology Park and various companies.

Already during arrival, the delegation visited the “Industrial Park Global Development” in Horodok, which is located not far from the Polish-Ukrainian border and offers all infrastructure necessary for industrial settlements, such as halls, construction areas, logistics terminals and residential complexes. Managing Director Sergiy Badyak and Mayor Vladimir Remenjak presented the current status during a tour of the site. In a subsequent presentation, they highlighted the potential of the site due to the most important logistics routes between Poland and Ukraine and talked about their long-term vision beyond the rebuilding of Ukraine.

Both emphasized the enormous opportunities for investors who have already made a decision in favor of Ukraine, despite the obvious risks in connection with Russia’s war against Ukraine. It should be mentioned here that Western Ukraine is classified as relatively safe. For geographical reference: From Lviv’s perspective, Berlin is geographically closer than Donetsk. Subsequently, during a warm welcoming and dinner, there was the opportunity to network with the Ukrainian and Polish colleagues.

The conference on the following day (June 6, 2023) was hosted by the Lviv Polytechnic University, which opened its historic auditorium as a conference venue. A guided tour gave the guests an insight into the eventful history of the region and thus also of the university, which was founded during the Austro-Hungarian Empire, then became one of the most important technical universities of the Second Polish Republic after the First World War, and was able to maintain its important position in the Soviet Union and, for the last 32 years, in independent Ukraine.

The conference, moderated by Alexandre Yurchak (Ukrainian Cluster Alliance), included keynotes, pitches, panel discussions and workshops, which provided both an overview of the current state of rebuilding the war-torn territories and related key subjects, as well as an opportunity to discuss the role of Ukrainian, Polish and German clusters in providing technological and economic support. To Ukraine, also in this regard, sustainable development plays a key role across sectors. This is reflected in the strong orientation of policy makers towards the EU’s Green Deal and the corresponding activities and ambitions of Ukrainian actors from science and industry.

During the conference, Martin Kretschmann (CU) presented the CU and its internationalization activities with a focus on Poland, inviting to expand them also in a trilateral way to support Ukraine.
The conference on June 06, 2023 was hosted by the Lviv Polytechnic University, which provided the historic auditorium as the venue for the conference.
Workshops held parallel to the conference in the historic library of the Lviv Polytechnic University provided space for specific pitches and discussions.

The Ukrainian representatives pointed out that, in addition to the much appreciated technological support, it is equally important for them to attract investors to their country as quickly as possible. Corresponding special economic zones and industrial parks, such as the one visited in Horodok, are already in the implementation phase. In addition to the reconstruction and retrofitting of damaged residential buildings and civil infrastructure, they see further priorities in healthcare technology, defense sector and circular economy.

During the conference, Martin Kretschmann (CU) presented the CU and its internationalization activities with a focus on Poland, inviting to expand them also in a trilateral way to support Ukraine.
Dr. Andrzej Czulak (PKTK, Poland), Alexandre Yurchak (Ukrainian Cluster Alliance), Irena Łobocka (Sustainable Infrastructure Cluster, Poland)

Your contact for cooperation with PKTK and for all activities in Poland and Ukraine is:

Martin Kretschmann:

Phone: +49 (0) 30 9599888-14
Mobil: +49 (0) 175 7353436

In his presentation, Martin Kretschmann introduced the CU and its internationalization activities with a focus on Poland, while offering to extend these activities in a trilateral way in order to support Ukraine. Established concepts for events and business development can serve as a blueprint to efficiently identify potentials for cooperation, to intensify contacts and to initiate concrete projects. As a participant in a panel discussion titled “Clusters 2 Clusters”, Martin Kretschmann also outlined the relevance of clusters as a central point of contact and supporter of regional value chains, as well as the supraregional role of technology networks as cross-sector enablers for the synergetic use of existing resources and competences. In concluding discussions, the Ukrainian participants showed great interest in cooperation in the field of composites, while also discussing the benefits arising from a corresponding technology network in Ukraine.

Despite the serious background, Martin Kretschmann assesses the delegation mission very positively: “It is impressive and at the same time encouraging that such a conference can take place despite the shocking acts of war in Ukraine. For German players in the field of composite technologies, various participation potentials can be identified. These range from funded cooperation in the research and development sector with the participation of universities and institutes up to export opportunities for urgently needed components, systems and technologies. Furthermore, settlement opportunities with tax benefits and access to qualified labor at competitive wage costs are offered in this potential future market.”

A continuation of the cooperation initiation is planned for the Kompozyt Expo trade fair, which will take place in Krakow from October 4-5, 2023, to which Dr. Andrzej Czulak (PKTK), Paweł Niklinski (Krakow Trade Fair) and Jerzy Kopeć (Marshal’s Office of the Lesser Poland Voivodeship) invited Ukraine as a partner country. The rebuilding of Ukraine has already been defined as the leading theme of the fair. Also for CU members there are – as last year – participation opportunities. Once again, the CU is a co-organizer of the PKTK joint booth and thus also of the accompanying conference. The trade fair in Krakow, which due to its location also offers itself in the long term as a hub for Ukraine support, thus represents the next opportunity to identify specific needs and potentials and to derive adequate international projects. Moreover, plans are already underway to integrate the Ukrainian partners into European network formats in the field of lightweight technologies.

The program of the conference “Cluster Collaboration in the Sustainable Regional Development” can be viewed here.


Martin Kretschmann (CU), Alexandre Yurchak (Ukrainian Cluster Alliance), Dr. Andrzej Czulak (PKTK, Poland), Jerzy Kopeć (Marschallamt Woiwodschaft Kleinpolen), Marta Czulak (PKTK)
Florian Andrews (Grüner Hering, Agentur für Circular Economy), Dr. Andrzej Czulak (PKTK) und Martin Kretschmann (CU)
The participants of the conference "Cluster Collaboration in the Sustainable Regional Development" in June 2023 in Lviv, Ukraine.

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