BIO DANUBIUS is a well-individualized cluster. Established in February 2015, as a cluster of the Danube Delta region and wetlands along the Danube, for those who believe in bioagriculture, bioeconomy and sustainability, it is an emblematic brand of the Danube, the confluence of the river and the Black Sea in its form unique offered by Delta. By joining the cluster, it has in fact joined the sustainable development on the principles of bioeconomy and agro-ecology, for the region that we proudly keep in our souls, the Danube region.
The Bio Danubius Cluster was created at the initiative of local authorities and business environments in Tulcea County, an important catalyst, having USH ProBusiness, university entrepreneurship center of Spiru Haret University, a center that catalyzed local actors around the idea of cluster the level of European practices.
The Danube is the main navigable, fluvial and maritime route of Romania. The abundance of fluvial, deltaic and coastal lakes are as many natural water resources, with fish importance, as a means of communication and as bases for leisure or water supply of the population.
The Danube Delta is one of the largest wetlands in the world - as a habitat for waterfowl, the largest area of compact reeds on Earth and a true museum of biodiversity. The universal value of the Danube Delta Reserve was recognized by its inclusion in the universal network of biosphere reserves, within the "Man and the Biosphere Programme”, Launched by UNESCO in 1970. The uniqueness of the Danube Delta in Europe requires that all activities of the cluster be focused on nature protection, preservation and continuation of local multicultural traditions, all aimed at sustainable economic development of the Southeast Region.
The largest area of arable land certified ecologically is in Tulcea County. The Danube Delta is ideal for organic farming, along with fish farming and tourism, representing non-polluting economic activities. Currently, in Tulcea County, about 100 thousand tons of ecologically certified cereals and oil plants are produced annually, which are destined for export.
Starting from the vision of the cluster focused on organic food, it will create positive synergies between the sectors: eco-tourism, creative and cultural.
In addition to the development of sustainable organic agriculture, the Bio Danubius Cluster also aims to:
- Developing the competitiveness and sustainability of the primary fisheries sector through the establishment of specialized farms and traditional occupations of local fishermen. The development of the competitiveness and sustainability of the primary fisheries sector encourages the establishment of fish farms, as well as the construction of micro-units of primary processing using traditional ecologically certified methods.
- The minimally invasive, ecological tourism represents the field of activity with the most important potential for economic growth. The Danube Delta is a special destination, due to the originality of the landscape (relief, water, vegetation, fauna, population and human settlements), giving it an international tourist value. The capitalization of tourist attractions in the area through an ecological cluster can contribute to the economic growth of declining rural and urban centers, by attracting investors and, implicitly, favoring the emergence and development of local companies, transforming areas with low economic competitiveness into attractive areas for investors.
- Development of a 53-hectare industrial ecopark, which will target processing, research, warehousing, logistics, export and re-export activities. This park will be integrated in an intermodal transport area offering maximum efficiency to international transactions. This park will capitalize on the interest of foreign investors in creating modern processing and research units in the field of organic farming.
Purpose and objectives of the BIO DANUBIUS cluster
The Bio Danubius cluster has emerged as a need for collaboration for regional competitiveness in the regions bordering the Danube, being unique in the diversity and specificity of its activities. The cluster aims to harmonize and represent the interests of enterprises, research, administration and catalyst entities in order to increase economic competitiveness and job creation, sustainable development, internationalization of members, professional development of managers and employees, database management participation in national and European networks, increasing the innovation potential of enterprises in the following sectors:
- Organic and precision agriculture
- Logistics & transport
- Environmental protection and conservation
- Renewable energies
- Creative and cultural sectors
The main objectives of the Bio Danubius cluster are:
- Development of innovative, processed products and services and their marketing
- Internationalization, marketing, networking promotion
- Developing a brand as a quality brand based on an advanced certification system
- Participation and / or initiation of projects for SMEs, research, administration, cluster, with funding from public and / or European funds
- Collaboration with other clusters in the country and abroad in order to achieve strategic partnerships
- Cross-border and transnational collaboration (EU Strategy for the Danube Region and other international programs)
- Participation in national and European networks
- Elaboration of legislative proposals regarding the production of ecologically certified agricultural and food products, environmental protection, especially the Danube Delta Biosphere Reserve, etc.
- Managerial improvement of members and employees
- Attracting new members in the cluster with common interests to the founding members
- Representing the interests of members before local and central public authorities
- Creating a professional association for organic product chains.
In terms of rural development, the cluster supports:
- Training to improve the level of knowledge of agricultural workers and technicians and to attract more people to organic farming
- Activities of young farmers or Romanians who return from abroad and want to start agriculture or aquaculture
- Development of infrastructures of different types for the agricultural sector (roads, storage centers, cooperatives, cans or packaging)
- Expanding organic livestock farming and the use of organic fertilizers
- Extending the period of sustainably managed aquaculture and fisheries
- Sustainable organic farming in protected areas with permitted activities
- Creating jobs in organic production and processing, improving the conditions of workers in organic farming
- The combination of rural development with the development of the Danube area, for example Eco-tourism with farm inns, shops selling organic products, excursions in the Danube Delta guided by farmers, services such as renting bicycles or boats, etc.
- Implementing renewable and clean energy sources
- Assessing the impact of tourism activities on the environment
Services offered to cluster members:
- Supporting the competitiveness of companies within the cluster;
- Supporting innovation, research and development in the areas of interest of the cluster;
- Supporting technology transfer;
- Joint development of products and services and their marketing;
- Organizing meetings and activities to establish collaborations within the cluster and increase their cohesion;
- Access to data and information resulting from internal analyzes and reports, benchmarking;
- Providing information on programs and opportunities relevant to the cluster's areas of interest;
- Import of good practices and know-how;
- Identifying and attracting funding sources;
- Joint project implementation;
- Participation in fairs, exhibitions, conferences, business-matching events, study visits, exchanges of experience;
- Participation in training and long-life-learning programs;
- Creating a dedicated section on the site for communication between cluster members and easy and fast access to information;
- Promotion at regional, national and European level;
- Supporting participation in national and European networks.
The priority measures that the cluster is considering are:
- Supporting innovation, research and competitiveness of cluster members;
- Supporting and promoting organic agriculture and food, development of eco-bio products, services and technological processes;
- Development of its own private standard;
- Development of an industrial park;
- Promoting, capitalizing on and supporting the sustainable growth of tourism potential, especially ecological;
- Supporting energy efficiency and the use of renewable energy, combating climate change;
- Protecting the environment and biodiversity;
- Sustainable and competitive development of the primary fisheries sector;
- Increasing connectivity, accessibility and mobility;
- Capitalizing on local heritage, culture and art;
- Supporting the integration into the labor market of the population from disadvantaged areas;
- Improving access to and participation in training programs.
There are complementary relationships between the measures proposed in the strategy. For example, the aspects included in the measures to support innovation and competitiveness, protect the environment and biodiversity, as well as support energy efficiency / combating climate change will be found in most of the activities and projects carried out under the other measures.