Introduction into the clusters

Nowadays we often hear the expression of cluster, but what does it mean exactly? The word got into the public consciousness only in the past few years. The word „cluster” has an English origin, its meaning is: a group, a set, a bunch. In the business world the clusters are groups of geographically near-by firms, which dealing in the same professional domains and collaborate in the interest of the achievement of similar business interests and aims. Thought the cluster means synergy among associated companies.

In fact, only the expression is new, this kind of associations have been existed for a long time. Let us think of Silicon Valley working since decades, the North-Italian fashion industry or even Hollywood, the media's citadel. Today the clusters spread on all continents, though undoubtedly, they are most frequent in Europe, especially in Germany and UK. Furthermore, the clusters are more vigorous in EU's older member countries, but this process has accelerated in the Central and Eastearn regions since 2004.

But what does the popularity of the clusters reside in? The starting point of this kind of cooperations is that the efficiency can decrease in the case of rivalling companies' cooperation. This form is especially beneficial for the small and medium enterprises, because they are not competitive independently on the European market due to the capital failing. But joining each other and to bigger companies they may be capable of important innovations, even a new market may be opened, which procures all the participants to remain in the business competition. Even the European Union realized the advantages of the clasters, and it promotes their formation.

In Europe the Via Donau is the best-known cluster of the riverine traffic and his environment. The Austrian organization deals with several domain concerning the Danube, such as ecological, hydrological, nautical, logistical or water-level questions. It is an association, with so many member companies, and profound knowledge, being capable to accomplish even European level projects.

With a similar aim, but in a different way the InterDanube Network has started. The network based in Hungary tries to combine the traffic sections in the interest of the optimal economic efficiency along Lower Danube. The aim of the network is to promote the traffic cooperation along the Danube and his surroundings. IDN would like to achieve his aims in a limited sphere and by a wide collaboration.


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