Bulgarian Railways (BDZ EAD), University of Ruse “Angel Kanchev”, Executive Agency for Exploration and Maintenance of the Danube River, Bulgarian River Shipping AD, Holleman Bulgaria Ltd., Donau Transit Ltd,. and other companies and organizations will join forces to establish Ruse intermodal transport and logistics cluster .
A cooperation agreement will be signed today during an official ceremony at Ruse University. Its aim is to enhance cooperation and to increase the efficiency of the participating organizations and companies in the emerging cluster.
The event is part of an international workshop on Infrastructure Development and Efficient Exploitation, part of INTRAREGIO project – (“Establishment of intermodal transport network through knowledge-based regional research clusters’).
As part of the workshop, current and future investment projects in rail infrastructure and intermodal transport in Bulgaria will also be presented.
The region of Ruse is among the most important ones on a national level in view of its geographical location and the available supporting infrastructure for development of the multimodality. Its administrative centre is the city of Ruse which is located at the Danube River (489 rkm) and is an important multimodal knot where two Trans European Transport Corridors cross, namely VІІ and ІХ. The biggest Bulgarian river port is situated there as well as the only bridge between Bulgaria and Romania so far, which gives it the unique privilege and favourable preconditions for development of the region and increasing its competitiveness.
The region of Ruse is a place where many road transport companies, both for passengers and cargoes, operate (tracks, busses, cars). With regard to the Danube navigation, there are few river transport firms, as the Bulgarian River Shipping Company is the dominating player.
About the railway firms – the Bulgarian State Railways (BDZ EAD) operates in Ruse area in a competition with other two railway firms – BULMARKET and BZC in a heavy competition with the road firms.
The airport in the region of Ruse is currently closed, but it is suitable for cargo and passenger flights, especially for low cost carriers. Some of the agricultural firms are still good market for agro aviation services. After considering its advantages and capacity the Bulgarian authorities initiated procedure for public-private partnership for the development of this airport which is not completed so far.
A variety of industries in the region of Ruse demand transport services – machine building, ship building, construction materials, chemical industry, agriculture, food production, metal production, textile, apparel, leather, furniture, bio-energy, etc.
And last but not least, the historical and cultural heritage of the region significantly contributes for the development of the tourism and hence the economical growth.
The InTraRegio project is a coordination action funded under the “Regions of knowledge” programme from the 7th Framework Programme.
The project brings together five clusters from different European regions: Canary Islands (ES), Bremen (DE), Marmara (TR), Calabria (IT) and Ruse (BG) with the aim to enhance intermodality in their regional transport systems, foster the economic developments of the regions and improve clusters’ capacities and performance.
Through mutual learning processes and collaborative relationships among the regional research-driven clusters, represented by 18 partners coming from governmental, research and industrial side, a transnational strategy will be established, directed at developing the take up of innovative measures that spin towards new collaboration among regional players and address as a joint force transport-related issues.
The project will be implemented during a 36 months period in three main consecutive and complementary phases while project management and dissemination will be horizontal activities:
- Establishment of the institutional cluster framework through an in-depth Analysis of the regions’ state of play and a Cross-regional Analysis of regional Research Agendas
- Joint RTD Strategy & Policy Formulation Event and building of a Joint Action Plan with integrated Business Plan;
- Mutual learning and mentoring through personnel exchanges/ trainings and transnational workshops, supporting the goals set in the Joint Action Plan.