1. Objective of the call for expression of interest

The European Commission's Directorate-General for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs (DG GROW) invites applications from regions and cities from EU and COSME[1] participating countries with a view to hosting a cluster policy learning and capacity building event with its European Cluster Collaboration Platform.  

The thematic focus of the event shall be linked to e.g. supporting the green transition towards a more resource-efficient Circular Economy in line with the Commission’s focus on implementing the European Green Deal[2], digital transformation, and/or skills for industry.

The target audience of the event includes policy-makers, managers and staff from cluster organisations coming from your region and other regions across the EU and COSME participating countries, especially clusters participating in European Strategic Cluster Partnerships, notably those focussing on cluster excellence (ESCP-4x).

The event is expected to take place in June 2020 and shall in principle last one day and a half and gather up to 100 participants. By co-organising this event, the successful applicant region can facilitate capacity building for cluster organisations in their region, facilitate the exchange of experiences and good practices with clusters and policy-makers from other regions and showcase their region’s ability to shape the agenda for the cluster community on a particular topic in relation to e.g. supporting the green transition towards a more resource-efficient Circular Economy, digital transformation, and/or skills for industry.

2. What the European Commission and the European Cluster Collaboration Platform will offer to successful applicants

The experts of the European Cluster Collaboration Platform will take care of all organisational aspects  of the event (e.g. planning and preparation  of the event, agenda development, material for the event, on-site facilitation, promotion of the event(s) across the cluster community, logistics and covering the reimbursement of invited expert speakers) except the costs of the venue and catering of the event. Staff from the European Commission will attend the event and offer guidance for the preparation of the event where need be.

Throughout the planning and organisation phase, the experts of the European Cluster Collaboration Platform will work closely together with the chosen region/city to ensure the success of the event.

Neither the European Commission nor the European Cluster Collaboration Platform will offer any direct financial support to the applicant region or city for hosting the event.

3. What is expected from successful applicants?

The applicant region or city is expected to provide the venue and catering of the event at its own costs It shall also nominate a contact person concerning practical aspect for the organisation of the event.

The offered venue should have at least one room with a minimum capacity up to 100 people and at least two rooms with a capacity up to 50 people to allow a parallel breakout session for policy-makers and cluster managers. The venue should be equipped with screens, sound and light systems, video projectors and other relevant technical equipment.

Applicants are encouraged to propose items on the agenda, potential speakers or other ideas that can help with the organisation of the event and make it relevant for participants from both the applicant regions or city and other regions/cities. Applicants may but must not suggest potential field visits or other activities they would find relevant and could provide an added value to participants.

            4. Who can apply?

The call is open to regions (e.g. representing the NUTS 2 administrative level  but not being limited to it) and cities, where the applicant organisation should ideally be a regional or local authority or alternatively be an innovation agencies, environmental agency, business network organisation or other SME intermediary applying with the support from the regional or local authority. Joint applications of more than one organisation are possible, but the lead contact organisation should be indicated.  

 5. Deadline and application procedure

Regions and cities are invited to apply via the webpage on the European Cluster Collaboration Platform at https://www.clustercollaboration.eu/call-expression-interest-regions-host-and-co-organise-cluster-policy-learning before 9 March 2020 at noon (CET). Only applications submitted through the platform’s website will be taken into consideration.

  • The online application requires applicant regions or cities to briefly describe the following: Interest for hosting the workshop in the region/city;
  • Policy learning and capacity building needs both for policy makers and clusters in the region/city;
  • Suitability of the region/city, event location and catering services;
  • Other contributions and aspects that are likely to make the event a success;

Shortlisted applicant regions or cities may be asked to provide further information or clarifications on their application, if need be, prior to selecting the successful applicant to host the event.

6. Selection criteria

The region or city to host the event will be selected according to the following criteria:

  • Importance of the applicants’ interest and needs for hosting the workshop in their region/city in terms of contributing to the applicant region or city’s political priorities and development plans.
  • Relevance of the proposed focus of the event and needs to be addressed – taking into account the expressed policy learning and capacity building needs for the applicant’s ecosystem and clusters as well as stakeholders outside the applicant region e.g. with regard to supporting the green transition towards a more resource-efficient Circular Economy, digital transformation, and/or skills for industry.
  • Suitability of the proposed event location with regard to accessibility (i.e. connection with main European cities, public transport and availability and diversity of accommodation options) and of catering services. The presence of airport and railway hubs, ease of public transport and the location of the venue will be examined to ensure the suitability of the region/city for receiving participants from EU and COSME participating countries.

Be green! The European Cluster Collaboration Platform is committed to the wellbeing of our planet. We therefore encourage applicants to describe how they propose to mitigate the environmental impact of the event.  Applicants are encouraged to provide sustainable, green solutions for the event organisation, such as the following:

  • A sustainable mobility plan and accessible means of transport (e.g. cycling, walking)
  • Provision of catering services that use local products and offer vegetarian and vegan options
  • Membership of (or links to) the European Resource Efficiency Knowledge Centre (EREK) or similar initiatives
  • Socially and environmentally responsible accommodation and services
  • Sustainable measures to make the event as green as possible, i.e. no use of plastic, limited use of paper

Contact point

European Cluster Collaboration Platform (ECCP)


eccp [at] vva.it

7. Processing of personal data

The ECCP will ensure all data is processed in compliance with the GDPR.[3] More information about how we use your personal data is provided https://www.clustercollaboration.eu/privacy-policy

[1] For a list of non-EU countries participating in the COSME programme, see https://ec.europa.eu/docsroom/documents/39579

[2] https://ec.europa.eu/info/strategy/priorities-2019-2024/european-green-deal_en

[3] See: https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/PDF/?uri=CELEX:32016R0679&from=EN