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The European Cluster Collaboration Platform: 2 years after

Success in fostering International Cluster Cooperation

The European Cluster Collaboration Platform (ECCP) is an action of the Cluster Internationalisation Programme for SMEs funded under COSME launched by DG GROW of the European Commission in 2016.
A recent ECCP cluster survey (June 2017) showed that internationalisation remains a major challenge for this community of actors. 87% of respondents are interested to go international for the benefit of their SMEs while only 34% are currently involved in cooperation with countries outside EU. 

Today, the ECCP is considered a leading hub for facilitating cluster collaboration at European and global level. It fosters international cluster cooperation, by facilitating linkages between clusters from Europe and third countries and helping SMEs involved in clusters to access third markets and find strategic partners in global value chains. It gathers more than 690 cluster organisations with an average of 100 SMEs per cluster, reaching out to about 69 000 SMEs across Europe.

Great achievements in two years of operation

Web-based services

Matchmaking events

10.000 monthly visitors to the  website 2.180 bilateral meetings
4.500 subscription to newsletters and weekly digests 300 participants from Europe
over 1.000 news items published 140 participants from countries beyond Europe
600 events promoted                                                                                                            416 cluster cooperation agreements/partnerships initiated or already established
28 cluster achievements showcased 28 European countries were represented
33 testimonials (including videos) published 7 non-European countries represented (including the USA, Taiwan, Brazil, Mexico, Iran and Thailand)
97 calls for proposals highlighted  
33 cluster Associations and Networks featured   
more than 29 EU-funded cluster projects profiled  
50 partner search requests published                                                                      
3 webinars organised for European clusters  
more than 150 references to the ECCP in external media units  
more than 800 followers and almost 1.000 contributions on Twitter  


The ECCP supports and assists cluster organisations and their SMEs members with modern tools allowing them to:

  • raise their visibility and potential for cooperation within and increasingly beyond Europe through a mapping tool and dedicated access to the latest information on cluster developments in Europe and worldwide
  • set up and develop partnerships inter-regionally, trans-nationally (within Europe) and internationally (beyond Europe) through their participation in cluster-to-cluster (C2C) and cluster-to-business (C2B) matchmaking missions
  • improve their performance and increase their competitiveness through efficient networking instruments to find strategic partners for cross-sectoral cooperation, supporting the emergence of new industrial value chains in Europe.


Firstly, the ECCP offers web-based services including:

  • a dynamic mapping tool of cluster organisations
  • promotion of the 25 European Strategic Cluster Partnerships - Going International (ESCPs-4i) which are transnational cluster partnerships with a joint internationalisation strategy, supporting SME internationalisation actions across the globe 
  • a “marketplace” where cluster organisations can present their “offers and needs“ for cooperation
  • a knowledge pool dedicated to international cooperation, focussed on strategic countries for cluster collaboration beyond Europe
  • information on cluster Networks and Associations
  • Linkages to other cluster relevant platforms such as the European Cluster Observatory, the Low Carbon Business Action, the European Enterprise Network, the Start-up Europe platform
  • EU cluster initiatives: information on key EU funded initiatives addressed to clusters
  • Updates on news, events and call opportunities for clusters in Europe.





The platform has designed its services primarily to meet the needs of European cluster organisations and their SME members, and its content can also be useful to cluster policy makers at regional, national or international level to provide insights for enhancing support to SME internationalisation. 
ECCP also aims at connecting European clusters with partners beyond the EU. For this reason, clusters from Third Countries can register and raise their visibility on the Platform. They currently represent a number of 40 clusters, and this number is steadily growing.

Secondly, the ECCP is the home of the current 25 European Strategic Cluster Partnerships Going International (ESCP-4i), representing more than 140 clusters and 17 000 SMEs in Europe. Building on the success of this first series of partnerships, an equivalent number of newly established consortia is expected to be launched by January 2018. In terms of impact, a potential total of 40 000 SMEs could profit from these partnerships actions.


Thirdly, the ECCP organises cluster Cooperation and Matchmaking events on behalf of the European Commission. These events take place in Europe and in Third Countries with a view to initiate concrete cooperation opportunities for European clusters. In total, for the years 2016-2017, 10 Cluster Matchmaking events were organised leading to new collaborations and innovation between clusters including with partners from Third Countries such as the USA, Taiwan, Brazil, Mexico, Iran and Thailand. 


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Building on these great achievements, the ECCP will further develop with important emphasis placed on raising visibility and networking opportunities of cluster members fostering favourable ecosystems for start-ups (e.g. Incubators, accelerators, technology centres, business centres/co-working spaces).

We look forward to the enlargement of the dynamic interaction with our trusted users!

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