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The European Cluster Collaboration Platform showcased at the World Trade Organisation

On 31 October 2017 the European Cluster Collaboration Platform (ECCP) was presented at the workshop on “How to support MSMEs: sharing of national, regional and multilateral experiences” taking place at the World Trade Organisation on 31 October 2017. 

The purpose of the workshop is to share national, regional and multilateral experiences in supporting the integration of Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) into international trade. Topics to be covered during the workshop include:

- strategic approaches to support the development of MSMEs
- how to develop an inclusive business ecosystem that supports MSMEs' growth
- initiatives taken to improve MSMEs' access to information and access to finance, including trade finance
- and how to strengthen MSMEs' export capabilities. 

Mr. Paolo Garzotti, Deputy Permanent Representative of the European Commission at WTO introduced to the audience two of the initiatives developed by the European Commission supporting the internationalisation of MSMEs: the EU Trade Helpdesk and the European Cluster Collaboration Platform (ECCP)

He spoke, on behalf of the European Commission, about the role ECCP plays in supporting the internationalisation of MSMEs through cluster organisations by fostering cluster collaboration at both European and global level. 

The platform provides a set of tools that facilitate linkages between clusters from Europe and third countries. SMEs involved in these clusters consequently benefit of these actions in terms of access to third markets and in the approach of strategic partners in global value chains. Learn more about achievements ECCP reached in its 18 months of operations here



Focus on EU-US cluster cooperation achievements

The ECCP was presented at a workshop addressed to WTO Members to highlight notably the EU/North America Experiences of cooperation.

According to the latest survey of European clusters made by the ECCP, the US is the n°1 target country for supporting SME internationalisation with Canada following closely on 3rd position (China being 2nd). 

In line with this priority target market, the European Cluster Collaboration Platform (ECCP) has developed a number of specific actions towards the USA. This builds on an official cooperation agreement on cluster policy was signed between DG GROW of the European Commission and the US Department of Commerce in April 2015. This cooperation agreement aims to establish closer partnerships between clusters in the EU and US for the benefit of SMEs and in areas of mutual economic interest.

The ECCP offers dedicated webpages with detailed information on the USA cluster landscape and initiatives and showcasing successful cluster based collaboration cases with European clusters. This includes information on the country’s cluster mapping, cluster support policies and good practices for facilitating cluster collaboration.

The ECCP has also organised high level EU-US Cluster matchmaking missions in both 2016 and 2017 (Hannover Messe and Tech Connect Washington). In total, these events:
- gathered 51 EU clusters and 49 US clusters
- had EU clusters coming from 15 different EU countries at the Hannover event and 9 at the Washington event
- enabled 350 bilateral meetings (250 in Hannover + 100 in Washington)
- facilitated the identification of 52 potential cooperation agreement opportunities  



Strong support was given to the 2016 event through a high level policy seminar organised by the ECCP on “Clusters in the EU and the USA: Opportunities for Collaboration and Growth” through the participation Elżbieta Bieńkowska, EU Commissioner for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs, Bruce Andrews, U.S. Deputy Secretary of Commerce and Matthias Machnig, State Secretary of Germany Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy.

More details on these matchmaking events here.


On the basis of these successful events, highly appreciated by the participants, a US delegation visit with a similar agenda is planned to be held in the EU in 2018. Possible sectors covered will be energy, sustainability, smart city, mobility or ICT. Another matchmaking event will take place in the U.S. in 2019, possibly focusing on the Blue Economy in the context of the 2019 edition of the Blue Tech & Blue Economy Summit in San Diego. 

For more information please contact us at contact@clustercollaboration.eu and see the agenda and the powerpoint presentation annexed below.