ClusterXchange (CXC) is a programme aiming to support short-term exchanges to better connect industrial ecosystems in Europe. It foresees the facilitation of transnational cooperation, peer learning, networking and innovation uptake between members of industrial clusters. It is implemented with support from Cluster Organisations that have teamed up as European Cluster Partnerships | Excellence (Partnerships). The scheme is funded by the European Union through its program for Competitiveness of Enterprises and Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (COSME). The first set of CXC exchanges has been implemented from 2020 to 2022 in the pilot phase of CXC. The second set of CXC exchanges is to happen between 2022 and 2024.
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What is an exchange?
An exchange constitutes a stay abroad performed by a visiting organisation from an eligible country at a host organisation in another eligible country.
Exchanges can be used to:
- Learn from actors in another cluster
- Explore growth opportunities in new markets
- Adopt new technologies, digitalisation and green low-carbon solutions
- Invest in strategic interregional collaboration
Duration of the exchange
An exchange can last from three constructive working days (excluding travel days) to one month. While eligible participants can host exchanges multiple times and even simultaneously, they can only visit organisations in the scheme once.
The stay is partly financed by the European Commission through a lump sum paid to the visitors for travel and accommodation expenses. The lump sum must not exceed the threshold defined per host country.
If the duration of the stay is shorter than five working days (excluding travel time) and/or the distance between the two involved organisations is shorter than 200 kilometres, the lump sum is reduced by half.
Activities during an exchange
The nature of each exchange exercise may follow different specific objectives within a broader approach aiming at the consolidation and/or the creation of new value chains across Europe.
The types of activities visiting and host organisations may carry out during an exchange are:
- Individual or grouped capacity building
- Sharing of knowledge, experience and information in specific areas
- Project development, innovation and research and development
- Market research
- Networking, identifying new partners and creating business opportunities.