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Cluster Excellence Programme

The European Commission makes continuous efforts aimed at strengthening the cluster management excellence in the EU as a way to provide more professional business services to European SMEs through clusters and therefore contribute to the development of more world-class clusters in the EU.

In 2014 a first call for proposals in the framework of the Cluster Excellence Programme was started, followed by a second call for proposals in 2015. This action targeted assistance under the COSME programme for cluster organisations, business networks and their managers to provide high quality services to SMEs in different areas.

While the first call for proposals looked more into how to:

  • improve their management practices as well as their market/competitive advantages or value-chain analytical capacities
  • provide top quality services to their SMEs, especially on integrating creativity into their business, facilitating SMEs internationalisation, better exploiting and diffusing Key Enabling Technologies (KETs), assisting SMEs on IPRs protection and further addressing resource-efficiency issues within their cluster

the second call for proposals focuses on:

  • gaining further insights into cluster members’ positioning in value-chains (e.g. through value-chain analyses),
  • taking stock of emerging industrial trends and dynamics (e.g. cross-sectoral dynamics and emerging industries),
  • developing a shared vision of their members with regard to collaboration with other clusters in Europe and in global markets,
  • consistently liaising with public authorities regarding the business support environment and coherence with regional policy, including in the framework of smart specialisation strategies, and
  • shaping-up strategic plans and roadmaps for sustained cluster development.

Below you will find details of the selected projects from the two calls for proposals.

1st call for proposals of the Cluster Excellence Programme

6 projects
Name Duration Total budget EU Contribution Partnership Composition
MATERIALIX - Strengthen cluster management excellence along the industrial new materials value-chain
01/01/2016 to 31/12/2017
€258.437 €308.894
RUE AERO - Reaching Up to Excellence in Aerospace Cluster Management
01/01/2016 to 31/12/2017
€263.060 €249.851
CECIL - Cluster Excellence for Creative Industries Leadership
01/01/2016 to 31/12/2017
€247.283 €299.450
5FOREXCELLENCE - Five for Cross-industry Value Chain Excellence
01/01/2016 to 30/09/2017
€249.416 €236.944
CLUSTEM - Empowering CLUSters management and services in Textile and Machinery sectors
01/01/2016 to 31/12/2017
€262.530 €249.401
TCE - Towards Cluster Excellency
01/01/2016 to 31/12/2017
€249.422 €236.950

2nd call for proposals of the Cluster Excellence Programme

5 projects
Name Duration Total budget EU Contribution Partnership Composition
INNO-DROP - INNOvation and Development in clusteR excellence and cOoperative Partnerships
16/11/2016 to 15/11/2018
€284.392 €213.294
CLUSGRID - Clusters for Smart Grid
16/11/2016 to 15/11/2018
€268.727 €201.545
TRACE-KEI - TRAns-national Collaboration Empowering Key European Industries
16/11/2016 to 15/11/2018
€284.984 €213.738
COSMENERG - Cluster Excellence project in Central and Eastern European network of cluster organisations in the field of (eco- and bio) energy, renewable energy and environmental technologies
16/11/2016 to 15/11/2018
€280.685 €210.510
ECRI - Excellence Cluster for Regional Improvement
16/11/2016 to 15/11/2018
€228.949 €160.477