EACN promotes cooperative projects and joint investments for the modernisation of the automotive industry

Submitted by Borja Dapena G… on 24 October 2018

The European automotive industry faces today several challenges such as changing mobility patterns (use, not own), the need for zero/low emission vehicles, the arrival of connected and autonomous vehicles, the growing importance of mobility services and related data, or changing skills and competences for employees. And this in a more and more competitive market with new actors from Asia and America entering the scene and impacting the historically grown value-chains. These challenges force the European Automotive sector, and especially the SMEs, to innovate and to optimise production and processes to ensure their future competitiveness.

Founded in early 2017, the European Automotive Cluster Network(EACN) regroups currently nine European automotive clusters from Bulgaria, France, Germany, The Netherlands, Poland, Serbia and Spain. EACN’s objective is to enhance competitiveness of the cluster members by stimulating cross-regional joint research and investment projects in four domains: product innovation, new production methods, optimised processes and people’s skills. EACN partner clusters represent 1,400 companies and institutions (most of them are SMEs) employing more than 300,000 people. 

In October 2018, the European Commission approved the project proposal ‘EACN for Joint Industrial Modernisation Investments’ for co-funding which had been submitted and supported by the EACN clusters. This project aims are:

  • Strengthening Cluster-to-Cluster cooperation via a common collaboration strategy and joint cluster actions.
  • Boosting competitiveness of cluster members, especially SMEs, via business creation, the initiation of collaborative research projects and of joint investments in industrial modernisation in the field of Industry of the Future.

The basic idea is that common developments and investments allow minimising risks and costs, sharing experiences and building confidence between partners to prepare future collaborations. EACN will build a strategic interregional collaboration and strong industry cooperation focused on four pillars:

  1. Virtualisation for planning processes (simulation and modelling)
  2. Robotics & Artificial Intelligence in production processes
  3. Elasticity of production processes in SMEs
  4. Skills and competences of people

The project is in line with the innovation strategies of the partners’ regions and the objectives of the European Smart Specialization Platform on Industrial Modernization and Investment. It will contribute to the European Union’s ambition to promote economic growth and strengthen competitiveness and sustainability of enterprises in the European Union.

The project started in October 2018 and lasts until September 2020. It will get a co-funding from the European Commission through the COSME program. It is built around seven work packages among which the following stand out: a joint partnership strategy, joint cluster activities, a partnership agenda for long-term, business and project development for cluster members and pilot projects. 

The official kick-off meeting will take place on 19 – 21 November 2018 parallel to the Industry of the Future exhibition in Mulhouse (France) where the project will be presented at the EACN booth for the first time to a large public of industrialists and other interested parties.

About the project ‘EACN for Joint Industrial Modernisation Investments’


Pôle Véhicule du Futur (FR, leader), Automotive Cluster Bulgaria, Automotive Cluster Serbia, Silesa Automotive & Advanced Manufacturing Cluster (Poland), CEAGA - Galician Automotive Cluster (Spain), Clúster de la Indústria d'Automoció de Catalunya (Spain).


October 2018 to September 2020


473.400 Euro, European Commission’s contribution: 349.984.50 euro (Call for proposals European Strategic Cluster Partnerships for smart specialisation investments - COS-CLUSPARTNS-2017-3-02) under the Grant Agreement 821989.

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