PERES European Strategic Cluster Partnership for Rail SME internationalization

PERES-Promoting European Rail Excellence outSide EU
PERES Partnership (2018-2019)

Italy: Tuscany
Veronica Elena Bocci
Cluster Manager
56% completed


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

Summary and objectives

The Railway sector is since ever core to the European Industry and also to the European development in terms of free movement of persons and goods. Its centrality in the EU policies (European Railway Area, TEN-T networks, Railway Packages, ERTMS technology, Shift²Rail JTI, etc.) together with the continuous efforts of the Rail Industries and Operators to improve the quality of trains, infrastructures and the overall system through strong R&D&I well explain the excellence reached by the European Railway sector at global level. The Railway Clusters committed in the PERES project aim at promoting cross-border and cross-sectoral cooperation between SMEs and other relevant stakeholders and to identify the most suitable channels and tools to facilitate their internationalisation processes outside EU.

In this sense PERES can give a concrete answer to the requests of the European Parliament to the European Commission contained in the “Resolution on the competitiveness of the European rail supply industry” adopted in June 2016 (

(point 24) “to exploit further the existing support programmes for SME internationalisation and to give them more visibility among European RSI SMEs in the context of synergies between different EU funds; calls on the Commission to further develop training programmes on accessing specific foreign markets and to communicate such programmes widely to RSI SMEs”;

(point 43) to provide “a coherent EU trade strategy which ensures compliance with the principle of reciprocity, particularly in relation to Japan, China and the USA, and support for further internationalisation of RSI, especially SMEs”.

To do so, PERES aims at intensifying cluster and business network collaboration across borders and sectoral boundaries and supporting the establishment of a long-term European Strategic Cluster Partnership to lead international cluster cooperation in the Rail transport. More precisely, the PERES project (Strand 1) aims at supporting preparatory actions for the sound establishment and shaping of the PERES ESCP-4i through the redaction of an internationalization strategy shared among European Clusters and members as an “integral component” of our Clusters’ overall strategies, hence fully coordinated with them.

The Railway sector is intrinsically technological, but our effort will be to widen the application domains ¾thus markets¾ intercepting the innovation trajectories and help our enterprises build their competitive position upon them.

We believe that our direct contribution to the definition (and currently to the review) of the Smart Specialisation Strategies our regional authorities drafted for 2014-2020 EU Structural Funds will help us intercept emerging potentialities through the market application of cross-sectoral technologies. We will be ready, in fact, to catalyse any inter-regional opportunities offered by calls under ERDF, COSME (i.e. for S3), INNOSUP, INTERREG EUROPE, Shift²Rail, Horizon 2020, etc. to realise activities useful to deliver products/solutions able to provide the right answer to the right market.

Previous achievements

Voluntary ESCP-4i 2016-2017

Partnership other activities

The PERES project is organised in 5 WPs:

  • WP1 - Project Management
  • WP2 - Information Analysis and Sourcing
  • WP3 - Internationalization Training and Strategy Building Methodology
  • WP4 - ESCP Model and Identity and Internationalization Strategy Plan and Implementation Roadmap
  • WP5 - Project Dissemination and Communication.

Within WP2 the main activities will be:

  • Cross-thematic matrix of competences;
  • SWOT Analysis (Deliverable);
  • Analysis Report of market segments identification (Deliverable);
  • Analysis Report of Smart Specialisation Strategies for possible opportunities identification (Deliverable);
  • Summary of Enquiry about SMEs and internationalization (Deliverable);
  • Summary of Enquiries to Large companies about needs of competences abroad (Deliverable);
  • Report on International Collaborations and Good Practices (Deliverable);
  • 2 Cross-sectoral analysis (Deliverable).

Within WP3 the main activities will be:

  • Inventory of the best Clusters and ESCPs methodologies and tools at European and national level dedicated to the internationalization of SMEs: Benchmark of internationalization methodologies, tools and good practices from other Clusters and ESCPs. The benchmark activity will concern both (a) “general” internationalization methodologies/tools/good practices and (b) methodologies/tools/practices specifically directed to the geographical areas of our interest (Public Deliverable);
  • Training Programs: (a) for Cluster Managers on fundamental elements of Cluster internationalization strategies to prepare us to approach in a more competent way our project Tasks and to build a higher quality Internationalization Strategy Methodology and then Internationalization Strategy Plan and Implementation Roadmap; (b) for Cluster Managers and pilot-SMEs on specific information concerning selected markets/areas (Cultural management and cultural information; norms; barriers…), specifically elaborated to provide the necessary information and know-how required to help SMEs enter targeted countries in a grouping way (Public Deliverable).

Within WP4 the main activities will be:

  • ESCP Model study (Deliverable);
  • ESCP Visual identity proposal (Deliverable);
  • Joint communication strategy and tools (Deliverable);
  • Internationalization Strategy Plan (Deliverable);
  • Internationalization Strategy Implementation Roadmap (Deliverable).

Within WP5 the main activities will be:

  • Dissemination & Communication Strategy (Deliverable);
  • PERES website (Deliverable);
  • Operational activities;
  • Event with SMEs (Deliverable);
  • Closure event (Deliverable).

Results expected

The PERES partnership intends to develop a long-term sustainable legal entity model (the ESCP) in charge of implementing the Joint internationalization strategy (rolling) and Implementation Roadmap for helping SMEs operating in the Rail industry to go international beyond Europe.

The methodology we will use aims at developing this task following a cross-sectoral approach; we expect it being able to reinforce the competitiveness/attractiveness of the European Railway SMEs' offer and to create new value chains (in this the S3 Smart Specialisation Strategies of our territories can be of help) able to intercept/anticipate foreign market demands in the filed of Mobility.

Sectorial and industrial focus

Sectoral industries
Cross-sectoral industries
Mobility Technologies
Industrial Alliances and Ecosystems
Technology fields
S3 EU priority areas
Areas of specialisation not covered above
  • Environmental Industries
  • Innovative Materials Industries
  • Digital Industries

Other linked key partners or networks

Upcoming events

Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday

Latest news and documents

Achievements Document Published: 25.06.2019
Training Program on Fundamental elements for Internationalisation Strategy, Project Management and Organisational aspects
News Achievements Published: 08.04.2019
PERES: Successful Pilot Study Trip to USA with the companies
Document Published: 30.03.2019
Inventory of the best Clusters and ESCPs methodologies and tools at European and national level dedicated to the internationalization of SMEs
News Achievements Published: 20.12.2018

Submitted best practices

There is no uploaded content...