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European Digital Industry Alliance
ESCP-4i Status: 
Preparation Phase - Strand1
Start of Partnership: 
Previous initiatives: 
ESCP Pilots 2013: 
Partnership duration
24 months
Number of partners
Number of SMEs involved
Targeted third countries
United States

The main objective of the project is to build-up a partnership of world leading clusters to configure a “European Strategic Cluster Partnership – Going International” focused on internationalization of digital technologies applied to manufacturing and industry (also called “Industry 4.0”). This European Strategic Cluster Partnership (ESCP-4i) will lead clusters to increase their competitiveness and innovation potential for internationalization with a European coherence, fostering international cooperation among SMEs, and enhance innovation. The global value chain will be structured around an innovative transnational collaborative approach focused on cross-sectoral collaboration to commercialize the different technologies, product and services jointly in the field of digital technologies applied to manufacturing and industry developed by the clusters (and their SMEs) in international markets that will be identified in the project.

The project will provide a better understanding of the most effective ways to improvecross-sectoral collaboration between clusters at a European interregional level in order todevelop and commercialize frontline innovations internationally. Besides, although focused on digital technology in the manufacturing field, the universality of the method will allow developing other global value chain with other regions and in other technology domains, a very useful approach to build-up regional smart specialization strategies.


This communication tools  was funded by the European Union’s COSME Programme (2014-2020).

“The content of it represents the views of the author only and her sole responsibility; it cannot be considered to reflect the views of the European Commission and/or the Executive Agency for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (EASME) or any other body of the European Union. The European Commission and the Agency do not accept any responsibility for use that may be made of the information it contains.


Sectoral Industries: 
Production Technology and Heavy Machinery
Technology Fields: 
ELECTRONICS, IT AND TELECOMMSElectronics, MicroelectronicsDigital Systems, Digital Representation
S3 EU priority areas: 
KETSAdvanced manufacturing systems
Emerging industries: 
Digital Industries

DIA European Digital Industry Alliance  members belong to several technology fields like : The Internet of Things (IoT) and related components - Cyber-Physical Systems (CPS), Cloud Computing, artificial intelligence, Big Data analytics, Digital Security - improve efficiency and flexibility in production, fulfill customer needs better, and help save natural resources in manufacturing and logistics. 

Partnership planned events: 
Target GroupTypeEstimated DateCountryCity
Cluster Organisations
Open to SMEs
Study Visits
September 2018
Cluster Organisations
Open to SMEs
October 2018
Cluster Organisations
Open to SMEs
November 2018
Bilbao Basque Region)
Cluster Organisations
Open to SMEs
April 2019
Cluster Organisations
Open to SMEs
May 2019
Sophia Antipolis
Cluster Organisations
Open to SMEs
Study Visits
September 2019
Cluster Organisations
Open to SMEs
Study Visits
September 2019
Cluster Organisations
Open to SMEs
Matchmaking Event
October 2019
Partnership other activities: 

- assessment of the current situation of the digital industry value chain in each of the participating countries as well as to analyse current market and technology needs in this domain.

- initial assessment of clusters’ status (technology offer and demands, required skills, presence in foreign markets) and a strategic analyse of studies and market intelligence to better define target countries and relevant actions to include in the Joint Internationalization Strategy.

- strategic analysis, including a SWOT matrix, to better cope with weaknesses and threats and to how to maximize existing strengths and foreseen opportunities.

- preliminary identification of SMEs needs and willingness in what concerns to internationalisation, for instance, relevant markets outside EU area and detected gaps in the global value chain that can be tackled by jointly and cross-sector cooperate.

- study visits and mentoring activities will help less developed regions/clusters to share experience and knowledge with more mature initiatives, namely in what concerns to definition and implementation of regional/cluster Smart Specialization Strategies.

- organisation of regional workshops to increase cross-fertilization and cross-knowledge within each regional ecosystem, including all the triple helix actors.

- identification of other European clusters and relevant initiatives with whom it’s relevant to establish cooperation agreements.

- development of a communication strategy, including a common branding, with an important component of the Joint Internationalization Strategy

- preparation of the Joint Internationalisation Strategy, Business and Financial Plans as well as possible funding mechanisms that can contribute to ensure the Partnership Sustainability after project ends.

- dedicated website, social media pages and communication through the European Cluster Collaboration Platform website.

The results of this project will be the definition and implementation of a transnational model of collaboration “European Strategic Cluster Partnership” focused on cross-sectoral collaboration within Europe to develop and commercialize internationally the technological solutions, products and services provided by the SMEs of the partners of a global value chain in digital technologies applied to manufacturing and industry.

This model will be tested under real conditions through the study visits that will take place in the course of the project. These study visits will consist of ICT clusters and SMEs visiting industrial clusters, involving their industrial players (both SMEs but also large companies), to express their needs for modernizing their poduction tools, towards Industry 4.0, matching with the competences of the ICT clusters SMEs. These study visit will take place in Germany, Italy and Sweden.

Besides, the ambition of the project is to build upon the interactions that SMEs will have created with large companies in Europe in order SMEs to access and further expand their solutions outside Europe, using the existing sites and networks of such multinational players in foreign countries.

The results expected are thus the following:

- improve the existing relationships between the different clusters in the project (inside-inside and inside-outside collaborative approach) in order to generate a stable open innovation dynamics and knowledge-technology transfer that benefit to their main stakeholders, in particular SMEs, but also larger companies, Research and Technology Organisations (RTOs) and policy makers. - a Joint Internationalisation Strategy as a strategic roadmap for the partners of the project collaborating in it, with:    - defined technology domains, products and services to be developed by the partners together in the area of digital technologies for manufacturing and industry.    - defined joint commercialisation initiatives of these technology solutions, products and services worldwide.    - defined joint internationalisation initiatives for clusters (and especially their SMEs) in order to discover and reach new markets.    - up to 4 priority markets worldwide to be further explored and approached by the clusters and their SMEs.    - a defined set of support mechanisms for clusters to be implemented by regional governments in the project covering the other axes of the Joint Internationalisation Strategy. - a complete business plan to establish (and commit) the resources requires to run the Joint Internationalisation Strategy in the period proposed, and especially regarding the financial resources at regional, national and European levels. - a set of guidelines and recommendations for clusters on how to incorporate the Joint Internationalisation Strategy, the model of collaboration as mechanisms to support the implementation of Smart Specialisation Strategies (S3) at regional level, specifically in the participant regions of the clusters

Other key partners or networks your partnership is linked with in Europe and in third countries: 

Partnership composition

Name Sector/Technology fields Country Regions Total no. of members Total no. of SME
MITC - Malardalen Industrial Technology Center Automotive, Production Technology and Heavy Machinery

Machining (turning, drilling, moulding, planing, cutting), Manufacturing plants networks

KETSAdvanced manufacturing systems, ServicesScientific research & development

Environmental Industries
Sweden Östra Mellansverige 20 12
GAIA.-Association of Knowledge and Applied Technologies industries in the Basque Country Education and Knowledge Creation, Electric Power Generation and Transmission

Electronic engineering, Cloud Technologies

Energy production & distribution:Power generation / renewable sources, Information & Communication Technologies (ICT)Information service activities

Creative Industries, Digital Industries
Spain País Vasco 251 203
MESAP Innovation Cluster - Smart Products and Manufacturing Aerospace Vehicles and Defence, Automotive

Embedded Systems and Real Time Systems, Automation, Robotics Control Systems

Aeronautics & spaceAeronautics, KETSAdvanced manufacturing systems

Digital Industries, Mobility Technologies
Italy Piemonte 268 222
Associação para o Pólo das Tecnologias de Informação, Comunicação e Electronica TICE.PT Communications Equipment and Services, Education and Knowledge Creation

Electronic engineering, Automation, Robotics Control Systems

Digital AgendaICT trust, cyber security & network security, Digital Agendae-Inclusion (e.g. e-Skills, e-Learning)

Blue Growth Industries, Digital Industries
Portugal Centro (PT) 89 32
BalticNet-PlasmaTec e.V. Automotive, Lighting and Electrical Equipment

Coatings, Nanomaterials

KETSAdvanced materials, KETSNanotechnology

Advanced Packaging, Environmental Industries
Germany Mecklenburg-Vorpommern 73 31
Secured Communicating Solutions cluster Information Technology and Analytical Instruments

Artificial Intelligence (AI), Internet of Things

Digital AgendaICT trust, cyber security & network security, Information & Communication Technologies (ICT)Telecommunications

Digital Industries, Mobility Technologies
France Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur 305 200