EXXTRA - EXcellence EXchange and Teaming-up between RAilway clusters and ecosystems

Italy: Tuscany
Veronica Elena Bocci
90% completed


Type of partnership
Partnership duration (months)
Number of partners
Number of planned exchanges
Number of SMEs involved

Summary and objectives

The EXXTRA project is one of the first "ESCP-4X". Its aim is to accompany the professionalisation of clusters' competences and services towards the creation and consolidation of world-class clusters in the field of the Railway Technologies. The EXXTRA project will also launch the "EXXTRA ClusterXchange scheme" that will allow 52 Visiting Organisations thoughout Europe (Cluster Managers, SMEs, scaling-up organisations) to benefit from a mobility period in another country to develop a specific plan of activities in order either to improve competences or to develop new products/services.

The EXXTRA Partners are innovation-driven Clusters in the field of Rail Supply Industry (RSI), a sector where EU accounts for nearly half of the world market and has a market share of more than 80% in Europe. To preserve its leadership and remain able to compete successfully against foreign suppliers, the European RSI has to keep on staying at the forefront of RDI, has to face industrial transformation, digitalization, skills shortage, and uneven level playing field when it comes to internationalization in third countries. The cruciality for EU to support the RSI – where SMEs account for >90%, and for this Clusters are increasingly crucial players - is also emphasized by the European Parliament, that in its Resolution of 9th June 2016 underlines “the specific nature and strategic relevance of the European rail supply industry for a European industrial renaissance”. Fully aware of their mission and challenges, the Partners have developed the “EXXTRA Vision” about what Cluster organizations have to be to provide answer to all above, and this project aims to realise such Vision with a full set of activities including the development of a European Partnership Joint Strategy. The Partners represent >840 members, of which >500 SMEs and 130 among Universities/Research centres and other ecosystems actors. They have strong roots in their territories – where they operate as Institutional enterprises - and linkages with all stakeholders and public authorities. The Partners’ activity (data from ECCP) span over 6 sectoral industries, are evolving in 6 Emerging Industries and position themselves under 10 different European S3, showing how the EXXTRA project can be a catalyzer not just for the development of one EU key sector rather can disclose huge cross-opportunities with other sectors and technologies. The 7 territories involved in the project include NUTS 2, 1 and 0: 4 “More developed regions”, 2 “Transition regions” and 1 ‘unclassified’ since one COSME Country outside EU.

Previous achievements

PERES ESCP-4i - Promoting European Rail Excellence outSide EU

Results expected

The EXXTRA Partnership expects to achieve the following main results:

  1. Professional leverage of 7 Railway Clusters' Managers and staff positively impacting on offer, quality and effectiveness of cluster services. This activity will create a wider impact on 9 more European Railway Clusters we are partnering with (listed below in "Other key partners and networks"), and may have impact on the general Cluster Community thanks to the key learnings we will share on the ECCP;
  2. Consequent professional upgrade of 7 Cluster Strategies;
  3. Development of a Joint Cluster Strategy and Joint Cluster Activities, benefiting not only Cluster Managers and staff rather also their members and ecosystems;
  4. Development of the "EXXTRA ClusterXchange scheme", that will benefit 52 European organisations and will be devoted to 3 macro-areas that are key to the Partners: (a) Industrial Modernistation, Digitalisation and Global Trends; (b) Collaboration and Innovation Roadmaps towards new Value Chains; (c) Internationalisation in third countries as European Value Chain;
  5. Building grounds for continuity of some project activities - mainly the ClusterXchange scheme - as key value the Partners can provide to their members on a more stable way.

Sectorial and industrial focus

Sectoral industries
Manufacturing:C30 Manufacture of other transport equipment
Cross-sectoral industries
Mobility Technologies
Industrial Alliances and Ecosystems
Technology fields
B\: Performing operations; transporting:Railways
S3 EU priority areas
Sustainable innovation:High-speed rail-road transportation systems
Areas of specialisation not covered above

The range of areas upon which the Partners are working is much wider, including, for instance:

in terms of Technology Fields:

  • Electronics, IT and Telecomms
  • Energy Efficiency
  • Energy Production, Transmission, Conversion and Storage
  • Industrial Manufacture
  • Materials Technology
  • Process control and logistics
  • Aerospace Technologies
  • Measurements and Technical Standards
  • Sound Engineering Technology
  • Protecting Man and Environment against Fire and Noise.

- in terms of sectors:

  • Railway mode connections for passengers and goods towards efficient Multimodality.

Membership in Cluster Partnerships or initiatives

Profile name Location Project coordinator
PERES-Promoting European Rail Excellence outSide EU


Register for an exchange with ClusterXchange

Explore the new pilot scheme for short-term exchanges between clusters of ECP-4x


Upcoming events

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Latest news and documents

Achievements Document Published: 25.05.2021
Best Practices and key Learnings for world-class professional Clusters
News Achievements Published: 17.05.2021
The key learnings on cluster management of the EXXTRA ESCP-4X Partners in a series of videos
News Achievements Published: 22.10.2020
EXXTRA "Open Innovation Workshop" case study for transnational long online formats
News Achievements Published: 03.06.2020
The EXXTRA ESCP-4x website is online

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