Building Relations to go International for Data-Driven Growing Enterprises (start-ups and SMEs)

Italy: Piedmont
Bogdan Mihailescu
Project Coordinator
90% completed


Type of partnership
Partnership origin
Target countries
Partnership duration (months)
Number of partners
Number of SMEs involved

Summary and objectives

The BRIDGE project aims to establish a European Strategic Clusters Partnership (ESCP) to promote clusters internationalization support by developing a joint international strategy aimed at supporting deep tech start-ups and SMEs from the Data-Driven industry that have competences, expertise and technological solutions that process, analyze, valorize (extract value from) and protect data, using Artificial intelligence, blockchain and future emerging data-driven technologies, in their internationalization process beyond Europe, and to intensify clusters and network collaboration across borders.

BRIDGE has a cross-sectoral approach for the development and adoption of its internationalization strategy. In fact, the internationalization strategy will be developed and co-designed with BRIDGE clusters and their start-ups and SMEs following two main goals:

  1. To share knowledge and expertise about the state-of-the-art of the Data-Driven Industry with specific focus on AI and Blockchain technologies and their potential application in different market domains. Up to now, 4 market domains have already been identified (e-health, financial services, industrial 4.0 and sustainable mobility), the project activities will allow to better analyzed them and also evaluate other potential markets, according to the companies and the countries.
  2. To build a portfolio of competitive services to support start-ups and SMEs working in the above-mentioned areas and then define which of these services will be the best to support the companies in their internationalization towards three selected extra-EU countries, chosen on the basis of start-ups and SMEs preference, market segment potentialities, and the possibility to activate concrete collaboration with partners to support the internationalization. A first list of potential countries has been initiated, including the United States of America, the United Arab Emirates, Israel and Latin America.

By internationalizing the clusters network and the initiatives portfolio, we aim to contribute to the EU data economy by generating new opportunities for the European start-ups and SMEs.

The general purpose of BRIDGE Project is to define a joint internationalisation strategy based on a shared European vision integrated with a global perspective and common goals. This will be achieved by meeting the following goals:

  • To build and consolidate a European Strategic Cluster Partnership that will be internationally recognized as an excellence hub on data-driven technologies (BRIDGE FROM CLUSTER BRIDGE FROM CLUSTER TO CLUSTERTO CLUSTER).
  • To establish the required trust between the start-ups and SMEs belonging to different clusters, which is needed to promote positive collaboration to help the Clusters’ companies in approaching (new) third markets (BRIDGE FROM BRIDGE FROM CLUSTERSCLUSTERS/ENTERPRISES/ENTERPRISES TO ENTREPRISESTO ENTREPRISES)
  • To promote the exchange of ideas, technology and innovation and support collaboration among European SMEs, enhancing cross-sectorial complementarities and sharing/adopting best practices in the field of data-driven industry (BRIDGE BRIDGE FROM ENTERPRISES TO FROM ENTERPRISES TO ENTREPRISESENTREPRISES).
  • To develop an international strategy to approach new third countries selected for their market potentials, capital opportunities, knowledge and expertise on data-driven field (focused on applications of AI and BC). The strategy to go international will be design in collaboration with the Clusters’ start-ups and SMEs with participatory methods to support dialogue and discussion and the co-design (BRIDGE FROM EU TO THIRD COUNTRIESBRIDGE FROM EU TO THIRD COUNTRIES).

Partnership other activities

The BRIDGE partnership envisages activities for Start-ups and SMEs engagement that have includes local focus groups and working sessions for the assessment and verification of the markets to be approached, both in terms of needs and geography, and of the needed support and services to enter new markets as well as inter-cluster co-working sessions, dedicated to reinforce BRIDGE’s international strategy.

The project also organise 1 virtual European inter-cluster event last year and will organise other European inter-cluster event in Cluj, Rumania (22/06/2022) and 1 final event in Sofia, Bulgaria (8-9/06/2022).

Results expected

The BRIDGE project expects to account, at the end of the 20 months of its duration, with the participation of 200 EU Cluster organisations, start-ups and SMEs which will have benefited from the actions developed during the project: events, workshops, joint-strategies, partnership agreements, etc.

Furthermore, BRIDGE Consortium represents a total of circa 1.100 SMEs, which will benefit directly and indirectly of more international support services offered by the Clusters involved in order to strengthen the competitiveness and sustainability of the European Union´s enterprises, encourage an entrepreneurial culture and promote the creation and growth of SMEs (an essential objective of the Europe 2020 programme and COSME’s in particular).

The overall concept underpinning the project is based on increasing the opportunities of internationalization of European start-ups and SMEs working on data-driven technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Blockchain (BC) by:

  • Creating a BRIDGE Value Chain (AI and BC) composed by start-ups and SMEs from different European companies interested in targeting non-EU countries.
  • Developing a joint internationalization strategy shared by European Clusters interested in supporting their companies in approaching new markets in new countries.
  • Validate the strategy and its support measures with the involved companies through co-participative laboratories and workgroups.
  • Creating a European Strategic Cluster Partnership to formalize and strengthen the commitment between the partners to take the BRIDGE Value Chain abroad.

Sectorial and industrial focus

Sectoral industries
Information and communication:J61 Telecommunications - Information and communication:J62 Computer programming, consultancy and related activities
Cross-sectoral industries
Digital Industries
Industrial Alliances and Ecosystems
Technology fields
G\: Physics:Information and communication technology [ICT] specially adapted for specific application fields
S3 EU priority areas
Digital transformation:Artificial intelligence, cognitive systems, augmented and virtual reality, visualisation, simulation, gamification & interaction technologies Digital transformation:Big data, data mining, database management
Areas of specialisation not covered above

Blockchain Technologies, Cloud Computing, Industry 4.0, Mobility, Electronic Manufacturing Services (EMS)

Upcoming events

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Latest news and documents

News Published: 05.07.2022
Transylvanian Clusters International Week 2022
News Published: 04.07.2022
Scale UP 2022: Opportunities for SMEs
News Published: 23.05.2022
Transylvanian Clusters International Week 2022
News Published: 23.05.2022
Scale UP 2022: Opportunities for SMEs

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