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European Strategic Cluster Partnerships for Excellence

European Strategic Cluster Partnerships for Excellence (ESCP-4x) are transnational cluster partnerships selected under the European Cluster Excellence Programme as part of the European Commission’s COSME programme. The action aims at facilitating cross-cluster networking and learning, to support the professionalisation of specialised and customised business support services to SMEs. The action is will help drive the development of cluster management excellence and formation of strategic cross-regional collaboration between industrial clusters across Europe.

The third generation of European Cluster Partnerships for Excellence received the new “ESCP-4x” label. This aligns them with the other Cluster Initiatives of the European Commission, and highlights the new “ClusterXchange” activity of the action (more information on the two first generations of Cluster Excellence partnerships can be found here).

ESCPs-4x are tasked with the following activities:

  • Cluster management skills development to boost excellence in delivering SME support
  • Cluster strategy setting at individual and European partnership levels
  • Support to the implementation of these strategies (e.g. through twinning, networking, and joint collaboration activities for SMEs)
  • Implementation of a new action: the ClusterXchange

The ClusterXchange scheme supports short-term exchanges to better connect Europe’s industrial clusters and ecosystems.

The first wave of ESCP-4x (2020-2021) is composed of 13 EU Cluster Partnerships bringing together 69 cluster organisations from across 21 European and COSME participating countries. The action was kicked-off on the 3rd February 2020 for a period of two years (until 2021). More information on the industrial and geographical sectors covered can be found in the figure below. A full list of ESCP-4x can be found here and new about partnerships here.

Download the ESCP-4x leaflet here