BEYSAD visited the clusters in Iceland
30 September - 3 October 2013

As a result of the cluster comparison studies carried out by the Aegean Exporters’ Associations (Ege İhracatçıları Birlikleri) experts which are the first Turkish clustering experts accredited by the European Union, BEYSAD was awarded with bronze quality label by European Secretariat for Cluster Analysis-ESCA.

Within the scope of “Cluster Comparison Study”, the activities, processes and internal management mechanisms of BEYSAD were compared with other 350 cluster organizations which were reviewed on European scale. (For this study, BEYSAD Board of Directors member Besim Oktayer and Corporate Communication Manager Ayşegül Koç participated in a 2.5 hour meeting.) In consequence of the study, areas of development for our association were determined and with this first step taken for the cluster and service excellence, the operation and management mechanisms were compared with the good examples in Europe.

On June 4, 2013 at the gala dinner of “International Competition and Cooperation Conference” organized as a part of SME Cooperation and Clustering Project which was supported by the European Union and performed by the Ministry of Finance, BEYSAD was awarded as one of 20 cluster organizations that took the first step for the excellence of cluster management in Turkey. BEYSAD Board of Directors Member Atilla Eren took the quality certificate from Dear Mustafa Sever, Vice-Minister in the Ministry of Finance.

After this study, BEYSAD represented its members at “Study Tour and Clustering Conference” which was organized in Iceland as a part of Capacity Development Project for the Cluster Executives carried out by Aegean Exporters’ Associations with the financial support of the European Commission and assessed the cooperation opportunities. As a representative of BEYSAD, Corporate Communication Manager Ayşegül Koç attended the tour.

As said at the beginning, BEYSAD which was awarded with Bronze Quality Label by European Secretariat for Cluster Analysis-ESCA as result of “Cluster Comparison Study” visited the clusters deemed as good examples to empower its development areas on the way of reaching the excellence in the services provided to its members.

In the organization held between September 30 and October 3, 2013 that assembled 10 Turkish, 5 Polish and 9 Icelandic cluster executives in Iceland’s capital, Reykjavik, BEYSAD was the only corporation that represented the white goods sector. As Turkish participants, there were Eczacıbaşı representing the ceramic sector and Ege Plastik Sanayicileri Dayanışma Derneği (Association of Aegean Plastics Producers) representing the plastics sector. In addition to them, the authorities from Izmir Atatürk OSB (Izmir Atatürk Organized Industrial Zone), Izmir Ticaret Odası (Izmir Chamber of Commerce), Istanbul Hazır Giyim ve Konfeksiyon İhracatçıları Birliği (Istanbul Textile&Apparel Exporters’ Association), ODTÜ Teknokent (METU Techno polis), Inegöl Mobilya Sanayicileri Derneği (Inegol Furniture Manufacturers Association), Ege Soğutma Sanayicileri ve İşadamları Derneği (Association of the Aegean Industrialists and Businessmen of Refrigeration), OSTİM Savunma ve Havacılık Kümelenmesi (OSTİM Defence and Aviation Cluster) attended the organization.

When it is said Iceland, fishery is the first thing coming to mind, Icelanders are seeking for innovations and ways to increase competition in this area. The place visited on the first day was a fishery firm…Valka…This firm that produced innovative machines to be used for fish processing got some awards with these innovations. Following a short presentation before the meeting, this facility performing small but important operations was visited and then we were off to the next address.

As a second address, Reykjavik University (Icelandic Institute for Intelligent Machines) was visited. Its building has a modern architecture and we could see as a result of the presentations given there that the University is also successful in the area of industrial cooperation.

After that, we headed for another important place in the fishery field. Iceland Ocean Cluster…It is possible to show this place as the best cluster example among others that we visited in Iceland. The member firms can rent places in the building of the cluster. All of these members perform fishery-related operations that complete each other. 25 members are located in the building now and the cluster has nearly 75 members. The studies are rapidly done to enlarge the building.

Our next station was Innovation Center that has a close link with Aegean Exporters’ Associations, welcomed us as a guest and prepared our program there…Iceland Innovation Center… This is a special institution; it supports SMEs across the country and all clustering activities, it is like KOSGEB (Small and Medium Enterprises Development Organization) in Turkey.

There was a point attracted our attention during these meetings; clusters or private companies do not expect any help from the government, they create clusters on their own, develop themselves and their sectors.

As final address, we went to the thermal facilities which have a very deep importance for Iceland and visited Icelandic Geothermal Cluster that performs some studies on the use of geothermal energy. We had chance to see how they can grow mold by means of artificial sun light and keep their women so young and which products are used to have this kind of beautiful skin. Lava formation, earthquake, layers of the world, and sounds in the formation of the world… we both enjoyed and learned at this interesting center.

Finally, we reached a place known as Blue Lagoon that has thermal water with touristic reasons. At this place about which you can find detailed information on our Travel page, the degree of water is around was 45 and of weather was nearly 3, people can swim in the steams arising from the degree difference. We happily said goodbye to this place after the dinner that we enjoyed there.

On the following day, we participated in the Clustering Conference hosted by the Icelander partner of the project RANNIS and listened very beneficial presentations. The presentation given by Ekin Taşkın from Aegean Exporters’ Associations in the name of Turkey was very impressive. What was told in the presentation was not a success story but a reason behind being unsuccessful. Displaying an example from the street of bridal stores in Izmir, the presentation was highly enjoyable.

On the second day, we were lucky enough to attend Northern Lights tour as a team. We witnessed the dance of lights in the air. Honestly, it was very impressive moment.

Thanks to this organization, we had to chance to both review practices of different countries and form infrastructure to create new business opportunities. We thank Aegean Exporters’ Associations for this enjoyable and helpful organization.

Member Login