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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.