The Cluster was established as part of the project financed from the funds of the Framework Program 7 and its specific subprogram Regions of Knowledge titled Advanced and Integrated Medical Imaging for Europe (AMI-4EUROPE). The project was implemented over the period of three years and has gathered more than 20 institutions from Spain, Italy, Germany, Hungary, Romania and Bosnia and Herzegovina, with multiple goals, one of which was the establishment of clusters in Romania and Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Participants in the AMI-4EUROPE Project in Bosnia and Herzegovina are: The Agency for Economic Development of Prijedor (PREDA-PD), General Hospital Prijedor, The Faculty of Medicine at the University of Banja Luka and the Euro Project Center in Banja Luka, in cooperation with the University of East Sarajevo, Banja Luka Clinical Center and the PAROCO-B company - they are the founders of the Cluster, which has since been joined by the Faculty of Natural Sciences and the Faculty of Electrical Engineering at the University of Banja Luka.
The founding document was signed and an AMI-4EUROPE project workshop was held at a ceremony held on June 19, 2012 at the Monument Hotel on Kozara. The ceremony was attended by the European project partners, and the workshop was opened by the Minister of Science and Technology of the Republic of Srpska Professor Dr. Jasmin Komić. The Cluster, as a non-partisan, non-governmental and non-profit association, aims to strengthen research and development capacities in the field of healthcare, business networking and use of EU funds dedicated to research and development, education, exchange of information and development of businesses and professionals active in the field of healthcare and other related professions, as well as the advancement of conditions for research, technological development in the field of healthcare, keeping up with the technological and technical standards in the field and the harmonization of joint interests.
The primary objectives of the Cluster are related to the development of medical imaging, biotechnologies, nanomedicine and usage of ICT in healthcare and pharmacology. The overall objectives of the Cluster are: strengthening of the research and development capacities in the medicine and healthcare sector, support to innovations and technological improvement of the regional economy and raising competitiveness of products and services on the local and foreign markets; establishing of international cooperation for more efficient integration in global science, economical, social and cultural exchange and involvement in the European Research Area; establishing of links between the economy and science in the medicine, healthcare and similar sectors, Improvement of the general conditions for the research and technological development in the medicine and health sciences, and monitoring of the technical and technological accomplishments in targeted sectors and harmonization of joint interests.
The AMI-4EUROPE project produced a series of documents on the analysis of the medical imaging sector in the Republic of Srpska and other participating countries. It was determined that the Republic of Srpska still misses investments and partners of a strategic importance. The utilization of modern technologies in terms of medical imaging and advanced medical imaging is not on the satisfactory level and requires improvements. The main reason for that is lack of expensive and modern equipment, as well as the auxiliary infrastructure. On the other hand, there is a lack of available qualified experts and workers on the local labor market.
Commercial sector (suppliers of the equipment) is underdeveloped and not providing the direct support to the implementation of Medical Imaging and Advanced Medical Imaging. There is a very small number of enterprises active in distribution of the equipment for Medical Imaging and Advanced Medical Imaging. However, these enterprises are not in favor of serious support from the national and regional financial programs. Regional enterprises are also facing lack of cooperation with research institutions and universities.
The establishment of the Cluster is an effort directed towards development of projects and strategies with partner organizations from the EU, for improvement of the actual situation in targeted sectors.