INNOvation and Development in clusteR excellence and cOoperative Partnerships

Katherina Ulrich
Project Coordinator


100% completed
Type of partnership
Partnership origin
Start of partnership
Partnership duration (months)
Number of partners
Number of SMEs involved
Total budget
EU contribution

Summary and objectives


O1 COORDINATE Enhance cluster management, value-added and excellence through improved coordination O2 INNOVATE Increase cluster competitiveness and the innovation and growth potential of their members O3 COLLABORATE Facilitate cross-cluster learning and cross-sectoral cooperation in and beyond emerging industries O4 DISSEMINATE Disseminate cluster excellence practices and results between participant clusters, their members and to wider stakeholders
O 1.1 Develop and refine dynamic cluster strategies, capable of responding to emergent priorities O 2.1 Support and mentor cluster members to access finance and apply for external funding O 3.1 Enhance cross-sectoral and cross-border cooperation between clusters and their members O 4.1 Optimise the impact of project activities undertaken between/beyond the participating clusters
O 1.2 Improve management performance and qualifications of cluster managers O 2.2 Support internationalisation of clusters and their members O 3.2 Promote and nurture relationships through networking and peer-to-peer learning O 4.2 Promote collaboration and involvement of the participating clusters for the improvement of their skills, knowledge and management practices
O 1.3 Enhance cluster communication skills within and outside the clusters and also internationally O 2.3 Support cluster members in innovation O 3.3 Develop international project services for cross-sector innovation O 4.3 Improve cluster SME visibility, at the national, European and international level
O 1.4 Establish new financing tools for cluster management to ensure economic sustainability O 2.4 Review and develop new (potentially self-sustaining) cluster services O 3.4 Collaborate with the wider value chain, using a triple helix perspective O 4.4 Increase visibility and recognition for cluster excellence activities and define its integration into regional and national programmes

Sectoral/industrial focus: Water technology, Sensor and membrane technology, Nanotechnology, Plasmatechnology

Executive Summary (describing the activities, milestones, etc.)

The project “Innovation and development in cluster excellence and cooperative partnerships” (INNO-DROP) is based on the ambition to straighten cluster management excellence leading to sustainable long-term cross-cluster and cross-border collaboration. The consortia is composed of four European clusters nano-, plasmatechnology-, sensor and membrane- and water technology integrators directly involved in two COSME funded European Strategic Cluster Partnerships (AdPack and E’nW) and each of consortia member is from different country with a different level of cluster excellence. Different skill sets, experiences, geographical origins and cultural background will give solid bases for creation of favourable ecosystem for knowledge sharing, mentoring and collaboration among project partners, their members and ESCPs and further leverage the project activities including dissemination of its results. Within the project lifetime, the non-labelled clusters will be analysed in order to define weaknesses about their management that will be further addressed by project activities leading to bronze labelling. Also specific needs of SMEs in all main strategic lines according to the preparatory documentation of ECEI will be assessed resulting in implementation of services supporting the competitiveness and internationalization of partners SME and their innovativeness mainly in the water industry sector and emerging industries. Project partners will jointly undertake a series of activities such as trainings, joint learning events, mentoring sessions, study visits and will identify the best practices, processes and tools for supporting the labelling process. The information gathered and lessons learned will lead to creation of new services for SME, project publication, new / improved mid-term cluster strategies for each partner and a separate consolidated strategy for INNO-DROP based on individual strategies that will sustain the future collaboration of all partners beyond the project period. 

Nr. Title Description Means of Verification
1 Cluster Excellence Benchmarking Assessment An assessment of cluster organization’s management through cluster Excellence benchmarking towards first bronze Cluster Excellence Label Bronze Label acquired for two clusters (ZINNAE and WSM)
 2 Platform for knowledge sharing Clou5 International open innovation platform that will provide easier access to cross-cluster collaboration Clou5 will be published by BNPT and other two clusters
 3 Improved strategies with implementation roadmap Each of the cluster will develop a mid-term strategy including value-chain analysis Individual cluster strategic implementation roadmaps
 4 Consolidated Strategy for INNO-DROP Consortia will prepare the consolidated strategy based on individual strategies that will sustain the future collaboration of all partners beyond the project period. The consolidated strategy in written form
5 Project evaluation Internal project evaluation will be carried out in month 13 to constitute the second project phase Internal evaluation and recommendations for action for the second project phase
6 Continuation of the project At the end of the project, a concept will be developed to ensure sustainability of the actions carried out during the project Report on project continuation

Expected Results: 

Training actions 7 Training actions: T1 – Benchmarking T2 - Change management T3 - Cluster organisation management T4 - Project management T5 - Cluster economics T6 - Cluster policy evaluation T7 - Industrial analysis and segmentation
Trained cluster staff min. 4 cluster staff will be trained (one per each consortia member)
Joint learning events and study visits 1 joint learning event together with 1 study visit to a gold labelled cluster  1 joint learning event to WSM (consortium) together with 1 study visit
Event with cluster members (online) Provide cluster members new and/or improved cluster services, not “only” own cluster services but also joint cross-cluster services
Complementary training actions (online) Development of skills and improvement of the knowledge of the cluster management in specific categories (Coaching, marketing etc.)
First bronze Cluster Excellence benchmarking labels obtained 2 (WSM, ZINNAE)
New / Improved strategies with implementation roadmap including specific goals and strategic lines together with future excellence improvement leading to improved or higher labels 4  (2 new WSM, ZINNACE) (2 improved NP, BNPT)
New or improved support services to cluster SMEs min. 10
Continuation plan One plan focusing on the lessons learned and how the project partners envisage working on cluster excellence after the end of the project

Sectorial and industrial focus

Sectoral industries
Manufacturing:C27 Manufacture of electrical equipment - Manufacturing:C28 Manufacture of machinery and equipment n.e.c. - Water supply; sewerage, waste management and remediation activities:E36 Water collection, treatment and supply
Cross-sectoral industries
Blue Growth Industries
Industrial Alliances and Ecosystems
Ecosystems:Energy Intensive Industries

Partnership composition

Upcoming events

Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday

Latest news and documents

News Published: 14.06.2018
Third Study Visit of INNO-DROP at Toulouse
News Published: 26.04.2018
Pics Gallery from Prague Training on communication skills
News Published: 18.04.2018
Inno-Drop trains communication skills in Prague
News Achievements Published: 26.03.2018
Gold Label of Cluster Excellence for Nanoprogress