Level IV "Creation and Integration at the Organizational Level"

Activities undertaken by ArchEnerg Cluster are most aligned with level IV of cluster cooperation, as the goals of the CO are primarily expressed in the economic dimension. The operations of ArchEnerg Cluster are targeted at supporting the economic potential of cluster companies and raising their production capacities and project-based operations, which in principle should translate to raising employment, growing domestic sales and export and, in consequence, strengthening the competitiveness of the regional economy. ArchEnerg Cluster also plans to expand its activities (tied to the development of the energy sector) to other regions, in order to create a euroregional “supercluster” in the long-term perspective.

At the discussed level, the dominant role of ArchEnerg Cluster is that of an “Organization integrator”, particularly with respect to cooperation in the value chain and the joint development of product pathways. Cluster entities create a value chain with several links created by companies and institutions specializing in the following: heat pumps, heating technology, renewable energy, biomass, biogas, education and research, business consultancy, technical consultancy in the area of energy technology, construction, the metal sector, mechanics sector, ICT and telecommunications, and logistics.

Within the above areas, ArchEnerg Cluster develops two fundamental value chains: services in the area of renewables and energy efficiency for the construction sector, as well as ecological hemp-based products for construction. The first value chain is tied to the development of services with respect to renewables and energy efficiency in construction. It is designed with developers in mind, who must face challenges tied to attaining energy efficiency and meeting requirements in this regard. The beginning of the chain consists of producers of solar solutions, solar panels, power inverters, heat pumps, energy-efficient lighting devices as well as commercial companies and consulting companies (consultants in the areas of energy-sufficient buildings, energy auditors, etc.). The last link of the value chain consists of entities offering end products and services tied to the implementation of solar systems and heat pumps, as well as companies offering energy consulting services and services pertaining to the measurement of the energy performance of buildings. Furthermore, the value chain also includes supporting services in the scope of i.a. logistics and sales (suppliers, packaging companies, sales), financing (financial intermediaries, investors) and promotion (fair and exhibition organizers). The flow of the final products and services to end users is facilitated by members of ArchEnerg Cluster, as well as external companies offering logistical support.

The second value chain is based on the processing of ecological hemp- based products for construction. The above value chain is a reflection of current market trends tied to environmental protection, as well as an answer to climate change, which at present is one of the main global challenges. In accordance with these trends, products are increasingly being made from natural ingredients. Industrial hemp is one of the most versatile natural plants; one with multiple different uses. It is used in the production of eco- friendly clothing, cosmetics, and fuel. It is also used in construction (in the form of, e.g. hemp bricks), which leads to higher energy efficiency in buildings and the reduction of costs. The beginning of the value chain rests on producers of industrial hemp - agricultural companies and individual farmers, as well as producers of agricultural machines and farming equipment and hemp processors. Hemp processed in the form of an intermediate product is sent to production companies, which handle the production of end products (such as hemp bricks, hemp fiber, hemp textiles, fuel, cosmetics). A considerable role in the process of supplying final products is played by companies dealing with packaging, shipping and handling. The end products are introduced to the market by companies and stores selling construction materials. The discussed value chain includes entities executing actions supporting lobbyists, law-making institutions, advocacy groups, suppliers, sellers, exporters, and construction companies. Cooperation in the scope of both of the abovementioned value chains is facilitated by the geographic proximity of the partners. ArchEnerg Cluster prefers members located at a distance no longer than 150 km. Nevertheless, the location of ArchEnerg Cluster in the northern part of the Great Hungarian Plain does not discount cooperation with Romanian and Serbian entities.

ArchEnerg Cluster also offers help in the scope of obtaining and executing external contracts (in accordance with the demand model), as well as developing and implementing a shared offer on the market (in accordance with the supply model). Services offered by the CO in the main categories pertain to supporting multi-dimensional cooperation in the area of the joint development of products and technologies, as well as motivating the cluster members to undertake joint investments. ArchEnerg Cluster supports cluster companies in obtaining commissions by searching out sources of financing for projects, monitoring tendering possibilities, preparing offers, and subsequent project management.

On the basis of the potential of its cluster members, ArchEnerg Cluster offers joint services on the market, an aspect of its operations which also qualifies under level IV. In the scope of energy efficiency and renew- ability, these services pertain both to the design and installation of specific solutions (e.g. the design and installation of solar collectors and solar systems, the design and construction of heat pumps, the installation, servicing, and reconstruction of biomass boilers, the design and installation of biogas systems, isolation work, the purchasing and installation of energy-efficient lighting systems), as well as services with respect to planning and executing investments (e.g. planning and implementing investments in the area of renewable energy and energy efficiency, feasibility studies). In its portfolio, ArchEnerg Cluster also includes services tied to consultancy, training in the area of renewable energy and energy efficiency, services pertaining to holding energy audits, energy consumption analyses, and energy-efficiency tools.

ArchEnerg Cluster also undertakes actions which are harmonious with the remaining two roles. In the case of the first mentioned role - that of the “Common resource creation platform” - ArchEnerg Cluster supports its members in the scope of project cooperation. It engages in activities tied to networking entities in accordance with specific similarities (e.g. operational profile, areas of interest), both within the CO itself, as well as with external entities, particularly institutions from the R&D sector. In cooperation with other COs and the Szeged University, it holds R&D works and executes joint innovative projects, drawing on best practices developed by other teams and COs (both domestic and foreign). ArchEnerg Cluster also offers tools to manage projects and processes which support the development of cooperation. To this end, it prepares innovative projects from the area of the development of intelligent public lighting, resources for hemp cultivation, as well as other high-tech solutions pertaining to energy. In the group of completed projects, the nature of which allowed for their inclusion at stage 4 of cooperation, three projects should be mentioned. The first, KASSETTS - Knowledge-enabled Access of Central Europe SMEs to Efficient Transnational Transport Solutions, executed in cooperation with research institutions and universities from Italy and Poland, was aimed at the optimization of transport and logistical operations. Within this project, ArchEnerg Cluster gained the possibility to build a network of logistics brokers in Hungary within public procurement. The other two completed projects pertained to the creation of a system of solar collectors to produce hot sendee water, support heating, and prepare a water treatment station based on renewable energy (NETECOWAT - Network to Overcome Common Issues with Regard to the Management of Water Quality in the Cross-border Area) in cooperation with experts from diverse fields. At present, ArchEnerg Cluster is executing the project “Development of a cluster management organization and the creation of production capabilities pertaining to solar collectors”, which pertains to the production of an infrastructure essential in the production of an inexpensive solar collector. The execution of this project is tied to the creation of technology (in the form of know-how, as well as machines and devices) required to launch production. Another innovative project executed by ArchEnerg Cluster in cooperation with six cluster companies is “Implementation of solutions in the scope of environmental protection, energy, and recycling within the ArchEnerg Cluster”. The aim of this project is energy creation accompanied by the subsequent reduction of environmental strain through the development and application of technologies which would process waste into valuable and usable end-products, with minimal energy consumption. The third project - PASSHOUSE - Performance Assessment of Energy Efficient Houses through Monitoring - is oriented at designing and installing a passive house monitoring system.

With regard to the role of a “Mentor”, ArchEnerg Cluster plans to initiate, execute, and coordinate a Mentoring Program for its members. The program will include support for personal development, but it is primarily targeted at the development of skills pertaining to cooperation and communication within the CO, as well as the development of leadership qualities in its members, in order to free the maximum possible potential of cooperation within the cluster. The Mentoring Program is also intended to promote an attitude of openness to new knowledge.

The remaining plans of ArchEnerg Cluster are also tied to cooperation level IV. The CO strives to strengthen its position on the domestic market, as well as to enter international markets by way of the constant initiation and development of relationships among companies (Hungarian and international alike), cooperation in the scope of developing innovative solutions

(along with representatives of business and the R&D sector) as well as the development of the sales of cluster products internationally. In the future, ArchEnerg Cluster plans to center its operations on two strategic areas. The first are renewable energy products. This area foresees the execution of the projects Solar Farm, Hemp Laboratory (a cross-border initiative supporting the industrial cultivation, use, and processing of hemp), and Green Incubator House, which is aimed at the creation of a green incubator and a training center with a view of promoting and developing innovative ecological energy, including buildings with zero net energy consumption, as well as developing start-ups. The activities of the CO pertaining to incubation fall within its role as an “Organization integrator”. Incubation processes would enable the acceleration of the development of innovative companies and raise their efficiency. Within this project, the CO plans to create a high-tech, sustainable business infrastructure, which will allow to provide both hard services (tied to leasing space) and soft services (information technology services, consulting, training).

The second area of interest of ArchEnerg Cluster is associated with the development of energy-efficient and sustainable solutions. Actions taken in this area focus on enabling sustainable growth on the basis of high-tech solutions aimed at lowering carbon emissions in construction, as well as the amount of energy used to produce raw materials. The aim of ArchEnerg Cluster is to achieve stable long-term growth, particularly in the area of flexible production capabilities on the basis of cooperation among its members, the development and implementation of energy-efficient technological solutions (on the basis of hemp cultivation and cooperation in the value chain), as well as the development of human resources.

 
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