Level III "Impact on the Environment"

At cooperation level III, Green Energy Cluster primarily takes on the role of a “Lobbyist-visionary”. The above role stems somewhat from the activities undertaken within the two other roles assigned to this level: those of “Information tube” (Green Energy Cluster constantly monitors the external environment, which allows it to recognize the main trends and react to them) and “Connector with the environment” (by developing cooperation with external entities in order to achieve more bargaining power).

Green Energy Cluster undertakes lobbying activities to represent the interests of cluster members and contribute to relevant policies, which is in line with the strategic goal of improving the visibility of the cluster. Within such activities, Green Energy Cluster prepares promotional campaigns (e.g. a national campaigns: raising awareness about energy, willows, and snow fences) and is present in the media (national broadcast). Green Energy Cluster participated in an awareness-raising campaign to develop a research center for renewables, where the cluster members would have the possibility' to present and discuss their ideas on research and innovation.

Because the problems and challenge that await members of Green Energy Cluster are the same for the entire industry', the CO expresses the interests of the entire energy sector. In order to serve as a uniting force, Green Energy Cluster engages in the development of cooperation with other partners, particularly domestic and foreign COs. The creation of a network of relationships overlaps with another strategic goal of the CO - namely internationalization, which is achieved on the basis of intensifying international contacts and cooperation with foreign partners or clusters, networking and representation of the cluster abroad, as well as initiation of and partnership in international innovation projects with a view to transferring knowledge and exchanging best practices (which also overlaps with the role of a Common resource creation platform, assigned to cooperation level IV). Within the internationalization strategy, Green Energy Cluster cooperates with COs in the area of biomass, approached from different perspectives (social, ecological, economical). The cooperation is based on the exchange of ideas and best practices (in the scope of, e.g. legislation, financing, subsidies, promotion). Activities undertaken in the course of cluster cooperation pertain to the development of integrated biomass at the Community level and hearing plants powered by small-sized biomass systems (as a significant alternative to conventional fuels, one which also enables energy independence). Joint efforts in the abovementioned areas are expressed in projects executed in the form of co-partnerships, such as the project “Exchange of experience in the field of energy efficiency in rural areas” implemented by the Green Energy Association in partnership with Norsk Energi from Norway (a project supported by a grant from Norway through the Norway Grants 2009-2014, in the framework of the RO05 Energy efficiency program), or the above- mentioned COSMENERG (an EU со-funded project). Green Energy Cluster also supports public authorities by engaging in policy formation and shaping a regional development strategy (including a smart specialization strategy). It also contributes to creating awareness of promoting cluster policy in the region. The cluster also engages in the promotion of regional economic growth and ecological awareness, particularly in the field of renewable energy. Sustainable growth and environmental protection have become one of the priorities of modern economies. Interest in the use of biomass in energy production has grown in recent years because of the benefits to the environment. One expression of this sentiment is Green Energy Cluster’s parriciparion in the creation of the Consortium of Clusters Transylvania. Green Energy Cluster also gains knowledge and experience in education and awareness of activities on biomass as a sustainable energy by participating in projects such as “Respect of the environment”, funded by the Environment Fund Administration, Romania (2011-2012), or Salix Viminalis, within which Green Energy Cluster coordinated the promotion of a project of energetic willow cultivation technology as an alternative source of clean energy in Romania (2012-2015).

In the role of a “Lobbyist-visionary”, Green Energy Cluster also undertakes activities focused on strengthening a regional base of skill resources for the needs of the energy sector, which falls within the strategic goals of this CO. Green Energy Cluster supports the development of human resources in two areas. The discussed cluster cooperation level III includes the area of supporting education at different levels: vocational education, university education, as well as doctoral and post-doctoral education. With the support of its members, Green Energy Cluster offers training, study courses, and curricula. It engages in improving teaching courses from the perspective of vocational training, as well as organizes training for students and university teachers with a view to raising awareness on topics pertaining to biomass. Another activity undertaken by Green Energy Cluster in this role is the propagation of science through the development of various extracurricular forms of educating children and teenagers. Green Energy Cluster participated in EU Sustainable Energy Week (EUSEW days), during which cluster companies were able to share their experiences with students and scientists alike.

Green Energy Cluster also participates as a partner in projects focused on the development of teaching systems. The CO is a partner in a consortium in the project BioenergyTrain, which aims to create new postgraduate-level curricula in key bioenergy disciplines, as well as a network of tertiary education institutions, research centers, professional associations, and industry stakeholders encompassing the entire value chain of bioenergy from field/ forest to the integration of sustainable energy systems with buildings, settlements, and regions. The project will foster European cooperation to provide a highly skilled and innovative workforce across the entire bioenergy value chain, closely following the recommendations of the Strategic Energy Technology Plan Education Roadmap. It is also a partner in a consortium in the project Phoenix - People for the European bio-energy mix - an international, interdisciplinary, cross-sectoral project, the aim of which is to enhance collective research excellence and create new, postgraduate-level training in key disciplines supporting the provision of bioenergy.

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