European Cluster Partnerships for Smart Specialisation

The “European Cluster Partnerships for smart specialisation investments” (ESCP-S3) action of the COSME Framework Programme of the European Commission contribute to boost industrial competitiveness and investment within the EU.

About the programme

The ESCP-S3 are facilitating cluster cooperation in thematic areas related to regional smart specialisation strategies and to increase the involvement of the industry in the context of the Smart Specialisation Platform for Industrial Modernisation.

The nine ESCP-S3 were successfully launched on 25th October 2018 in Brussels (Belgium) in the context of a Partnering Event, which gathered as well the European Cluster Partnerships for Going International (25 projects); for cluster excellence (5 projects) supported under COSME; and for new industrial value chains (13 INNOSUP-1 projects) supported under Horizon 2020.

The full list of these nine new EU Cluster Partnerships, including the cluster organisation members, number of SMEs involved and countries can be found on the ECCP here.

At the launch event, all these partnerships have been awarded the label of "European Cluster Partnership for smart specialisation investments" by Ms Ulla Engelmann, Head of Unit at DG GROW of the European Commission which commits the partners of each EU Cluster partnership to work on a joint cooperation agenda with the aim to facilitate cluster cooperation and support the generation of joint actions and investment projects under common smart specialisation priority areas linked to industrial modernisation. The EU Cluster partnerships thereby contribute to the European Commission's objectives to boost growth, jobs and investment in Europe.

The nine EU Cluster Partnerships, active since the autumn of 2018, involve 57 partners from 19 European countries active in various industrial sectors.


The objective of the ESCP-S3 action is to foster the collaboration of enterprises, especially SMEs, as well as their interaction with technology centres both within clusters and across regional and sectoral silos. The aim is towards generating joint actions and investment projects and a sustainable partnering process for strategic interregional collaboration in common smart specialisation priority areas linked to industrial modernisation and to help improve their business environment.  The call for proposals is launched to encourage the partnering process in relation to the key drivers of industrial modernisation, such as

  • Key Enabling Technologies
  • Digital transformation (ICT)
  • Service innovation and creativity
  • Resource efficiency.

More information on the call can be found here.

Further information on European Cluster Partnerships for Smart Specialisation