Submitted by Josep Casamada on 04 May 2020

AEI TÈXTILS, the Catalan Technical Textiles’ Cluster, organized the kick off meeting of the new European Cluster Strategic Partnerships for Excellence: CLAMTEX - Cluster management towards excellence in Advanced Manufacturing and Textile Industry.  CLAMTEX is one out of 13 new funded consortiums at European level. The meeting was held in LEITAT Technological center facilities, member of AEI TÈXTILS, in Terrassa on March 4th and 5th.

The CLAMTEX partnership is composed of five clusters, AEI TÈXTILS in Catalonia, ATEVAL in Valencia, PRODUCTECH and the Textile Cluster both in Portugal, and EMC2 in France.

The project, co-funded under the COSME program from the European Union, aims to strengthen cluster management excellence to boost the specialized technical textile innovation eco-system by promoting the cross-sectoral and cross-regional collaboration to facilitate the uptake of digitalization within and beyond the partnership.

CLAMTEX will also implement the ClusterXchange pilot scheme to facilitate SME international experiences across Europe for generating business and innovation opportunities.

The kick-off meeting started on the first day with a series of introductory presentations and the participation from Mr. Alberto Pezzi, Director of Competitive Strategy in ACCIÓ and expert in cluster policy, who presented a review of the evolution and trends on cluster policy in Catalonia region.  All partners then presented their latest cluster strategy to promote intercluster learning and to start building a baseline to build upon in the project implementation. The second part of the day focused on team building activities to get to know better the staff involved in the project.

The second day of the meeting started with invited speakers from the coordinator cluster of other strategic partnerships for excellence funded in the call, Monica Riera from Packaging Cluster presented their project SAFE SMART FOOD and the remote participation form Enrico Venturini from NTT who presented EXTRATEX project. In addition, Emma Vendrell, Head of International Projects in the Clusters Unit of ACCIÓ, presented the evolution of Catalan cluster participation in European projects.  

The next activity in the agenda consisted of a design thinking activity to ideate, design and prototype potential services for the cluster members on three main axis of the project: innovation and digitalization, internationalization and circular economy. All invited speakers participated in the activity along with the CEO of MANUFACTURAS ARPE, member of the board of AEI TÈXTILS’ cluster. On the afternoon, CLAMTEX partners moved to 3Dfactory Incubator in Barcelona to tour their facilities and review the overall project structure and the upcoming activities of the project.

In the next 24 months, the partnership will take profit of the project to define the new cluster strategy along with its members, participate in capacity building activities, strengthen the management and opportunities generation for its members and organize several workshops and market studies for digitalizing the technical textiles’ sector.

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