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  • Author: Martin Horák x
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The role of cluster manager and his/her development is an essential element in order to gain a competitive advantage and to ensure sustainability of cluster organisation. Nevertheless, research on cluster management has hardly studied the scope of offered trainings with areas of developed skills for this position. Hence, the main objective of the paper is to analyze and evaluate content of current training programmes for cluster managers in Europe with respect to their focus on the development of hard and soft skills. Analyzed training programmes were chosen based on the consultations with members from National Cluster Association operating in the Czech Republic. Regarding the defined criterion, hard skills included terms related to specific cluster knowledge (tools/methods for cluster setting/development; cluster policy), knowledge in management area. Meanwhile, we understood soft skills as terms related to intrapersonal skills (one’s ability to manage oneself) and interpersonal skills (how one handles one’s interactions with others). The article was processed via desktop research involving collection of relevant information from secondary sources. The paper explores ten international programmes done across Europe. Based on the gathered data, we claim that analyzed programmes are overwhelmingly focused on developing hard skills (mainly specific knowledge and abilities required for success in the cluster manager position - such as knowledge about identifying cluster, tools and methods for development of clusters). However, based on the literature, it is clear that soft skills (intrapersonal and interpersonal skills) are crucial for sustainable development of organisation. Considering implications for the practice, our findings provide valuable point for organisations/initiatives offering training programmes for cluster managers.


The Smart City concept is a challenge for all levels of public administration. With a growing degree of urbanization socio-economic problems accumulate in urban agglomeration. The Smart City concept has the potential to effectively address those issues by implementing relevant projects. Our main objective is to analyze Smart City concept in EU with emphasize to Smart Governance. Specifically, we investigate four areas related to Smart City concept, such as: the importance of Smart City Governance including Smart City manager role, the position of Smart City concept in EU policies, tools for it's promotion among EU countries and good practices of municipalities in implementing Smart City concept. The article was processed using analysis of relevant information sources. Regarding our results, the paper brings in an useful insight into Smart City manager role, concerned EU policies (especially 5G, Big data, ICT innovation and Internet of Things), tools as Smart City Clusters, Smart City living labs and examples including comparison of municipalities representing good practices (Amsterdam, Helsinki, Barcelona, Copenhagen, Vienna). In addition, we claim that the current concept of the Smart City within the EU institutions as well as within identified Smart City clusters and cities as examples of best practice is predominantly technological. However, professional discourse has shifted in recent years to the dimension of municipalities as an organizational and management component which lead to the idea of Smart Governance. Gathered findings could provide an inspiration to municipalities and their management in order to face new challenges related to the Smart City area.


Recent studies show that biochar improves physical properties of soils and contributes to the carbon sequestration. In contrast to most other studies on biochar, the present study comprise a long-term field experiment with a special focus on the simultaneous impact of N-fertilizer to soil structure parameters and content of soil organic carbon (SOC) since SOC has been linked to improved aggregate stability. However, the question remains: how does the content of water-stable aggregates change with the content of organic matter? In this paper we investigate the effects of biochar alone and in a combination with N-fertilizer (i) on the content of water-stable macro- (WSAma) and micro-aggregates (WSAmi) as well as soil structure parameters; and (ii) on the contents of SOC and labile carbon (CL) in water-stable aggregates (WSA).

A field experiment was conducted with different biochar application rates: B0 control (0 t ha−1), B10 (10 t ha−1) and B20 (20 t ha−1) and 0 (no N), 1st and 2nd level of nitrogen fertilization. The doses of level 1 were calculated on required average crop production using the balance method. The level 2 included an application of additional 100% of N in 2014 and additional 50% of N in the years 2015–2016 on silty loam Haplic Luvisol at the study site located at Dolná Malanta (Slovakia). The effects were investigated after the growing season of spring barley, maize and spring wheat in 2014, 2015 and 2016, respectively.

The results indicate that the B10N0 treatment significantly decreased the structure vulnerability by 25% compared to B0N0. Overall, the lower level of N combined with lower doses of biochar and the higher level of N showed positive effects on the average contents of higher classes of WSAma and other soil structure parameters. The content of SOC in WSA in all size classes and the content of CL in WSAma 3–1 mm significantly increased after applying 20 t ha–1 of biochar compared to B0N0. In the case of the B20N1 treatment, the content of SOC in WSAma within the size classes >5 mm (8%), 5–3 mm (19%), 3–2 mm (12%), 2–1 mm (16%), 1–0.5 mm (14%), 0.5–0.25 mm (9%) and WSAmi (12%) was higher than in B0N1. We also observed a considerably higher content of SOC in WSAma 5–0.5 mm and WSAmi with the B10N1 treatment as compared to B0N1. Doses of 20 t biochar ha−1 combined with second level of N fertilization had significant effect on the increase of WSAma and WSAmi compared to the B0N2 treatment. A significant increase of CL in WSA was determined for size classes of 2–0.25 mm and WSAmi in the B20N2 treatment. Our findings showed that biochar might have beneficial effects on soil structure parameters, SOC, CL in WSA and carbon sequestration, depending on the applied amounts of biochar and nitrogen.