Dear Guests,

A decisive step in the changing of the world economy during the past decades has been the appearance of network economies and enterprise co-operation. Network members realised that they can massively benefit from co-operations; a significant profit growth can be reached by economies of scale growth realised by common distribution of capacities, networking flexibility and expenditure distribution.

Establishment and effective operation of network-co-operations and clusters are of utmost importance, especially for SMEs, as vast majority of them is unable to enter the extra-regional or the international market individually, however, having formed network co-operations they have a better chance to enter the global arena.

Successful clusters can be decisive factors in a country's competitiveness as such clusters manage to establish a synergy of competing enterprises, educational institutions and other relevant actors under the umbrella of local economic development. Successful clusters are perfect channels for state and municipal organisations for efficient implementation of economic development strategies.

During the past couple of years Central European countries, including Hungary as well, have taken important steps to facilitate efficient enterprise co-operation. To reach these objectives, the European Union provides significant support under the auspices of programme Horizon 2020. This initiative incorporates numerous far-reaching measures to elevate European clusters and co-operation to a much higher level.

While working to promote networking, one faces constant challenges, and as a result, we believe that sharing our experience with our fellow colleagues is of vital importance. In order to promote this goal, Hungary has organised a conference for the third time with the title Clusters in Europe III – On the way to bridging the innovation gap in Europe.

We trust that you will attend this event to be held between 11-12 April, 2013, at the seat of 14th century Hungarian kings.

Barta E. Gyula