What does cluster mean for us?
According to the official terminology a cluster is the economic network of companies working in the same branch or holding a sector together which have similar business goals and need joint representation.
This professional definition covers the bases of operation but a cluster is more than that. Our cluster members are in constant contact with each other, they spread and exchange information and experiences and this helps them to represent the Hungarian wood- and furniture industry as dynamically developing companies in accordance with their aims. The joint representation of this is one of our most important aims: promoting the advantages of wooden products and the popularization of wood as raw material.
A cluster is the scene of cooperation: the representatives of complementary areas have the opportunity to meet and can start mutual developments while reaching new target groups or while creating more competitive prices.
Why the wood- and furniture industry?
Wood industry in Hungary has significant industrial and scientific history and important industrial potential. The West Transdanubian region is especially important since one-fifth of the living tree stock of Hungary can be found here. Moreover, many forestry-, wood- and furniture industry business enterprises operate here. Furthermore, more than one-third of furniture production and more than half of upholstered seating production concentrates here.
The fundamental purpose of the cooperation has always been to produce competitive products (in composition, quality and price) and launch them on the markets in two key areas of the Hungarian wood industry: in furniture industry and in construction- and carpentry industry.
We should not forget that the wood industry has a fortunate position – due to its traditional origin – since its raw material is renewable and it does not harm the environment, on the contrary, it helps reducing the carbon-dioxide content in air and has other positive effects on the environments as well thanks to professional forest management.
Our short history:
The Pannon Wood- and Furniture Industry Cluster (PANFA) was founded in 2001 as the second such organization in Hungary with 15 founding members. The cooperation started in Zalaegerszeg supported by Zala County Business Development Foundation as work organization.
A period rich in various programs and joint activities followed: professional and promotional publications, study trips, education development together with the University of West Hungary, which is also a member.
The public could meet the PANFA Cluster in many exhibitions and fairs as exhibitors of supporters. An outstanding cluster project is the PANNON DESIGN Furniture-, Interior- and Living Exhibition and Fair which was realized by the cooperation of furniture producing cluster members for four years.
The cluster has been reorganized since 2011 with the active participation of EFFIX-Marketing Ltd, and the process includes the visiting of members and gathering their requirements together. As a result, the cluster has been freshened up. Although the number of members have decreased but it still has an active base.
2013 was an important milestone in the life of the cluster since it was the first cluster to win the Accredited Innovation Cluster title (according to the Hungarian cluster quality system) in the West Transdanubian Region and within the traditional sector.
Services of the cluster management:
- Providing the administration in connection with the cluster continuously (accounting, grant application documentation, public procurement procedures, keeping contacts, finding new members)
- Project generation, organizing research-development activities (product- and technology development), the preparation and further development of cooperative projects
- Organizing lectures, conferences, study trips and exhibitions, taking part in such events together, inland and abroad
- Tender writing and project management
- Supporting strategy building, generating innovation and development
- Managing innovation research in connection with industrial requirements, promoting technological transfer and supporting regional dissemination
- Marketing-, market analysis-, and market research activities (creating a common image, exploring requirements, publications, realizing trend analyses, graphical planning, corporate image design)
- Providing and organizing special training for cluster members in connection with their area of operation, elaborating syllabuses and training methods
- Mapping, recruiting and placing human resources, composing and operating a competence database
- Operating a system assisting capacity balance
- Creating tendering-, expert-, competence-, production-, innovation-, supplier- and logistic databases in connection with the cluster activities, and providing wide range of information for cluster members based on these databases
- Supporting sales, market acquisition and assisting inland trade
- Providing the internal communication among members
- Representing the cluster, lobbying, dealing with current requests, finding target groups