EU Commission launches 24 European Strategic Cluster Partnerships to Go International!

Submitted by ECCP Team on 09 March 2016

The European Commission has selected 24 "European Strategic Cluster Partnerships – Going International" as a result of the COSME call "Cluster Go International" (COS-CLUSTER-2014-3-03).

On 8th March 2016, DG GROWTH of the European Commission has officially launched the newly established "European Strategic Cluster Partnerships - Going International" (ESCP-4i) following the call for proposals "Cluster Go International" (COS-CLUSTER-2014-3-03) and organised a major partnering event for the different cluster organisations involved in these partnerships.

In total, twenty-four Cluster Partnerships were represented at the event including the 15 co-funded projects resulting from the call "Clusters Go International" and 9 additional "voluntary" Partnerships that were on the reserve list of the call and accepted to keep working on joint cooperation agenda without EC direct co-funding.

At the event, all these Cluster Partnerships have been awarded the label of "European Strategic Cluster Partnership – Going International" by the DG GROWTH Director-General Lowri Evans which commits the partners of each partnership to work on a joint cooperation agenda with the aim to support the internationalisation of their SME members towards third countries beyond Europe and thereby, to contribute to the European Commission's objectives to boost growth, jobs and investment in Europe. 

Overall, this initiative encourages clusters in Europe to develop a 'European' strategic vision and work concretely together by sharing resources and pooling knowledge to target international markets jointly more efficiently for the benefit of their SME members.

All together, the "ESCP-4i"Cluster Partnerships gather about 140 cluster organisations across 23 European countries active in various industrial and cross-sectoral areas including health, aerospace, mobility and logistics, food, energy, marine and environment, materials, photonics, ICT, micro/nano-electronics, rail, construction and sports. The partnerships will be targeting cooperation with third countries' economies, of which the main ones include Brazil, China, India, Japan and USA. Together, they represent a potential to support more than 17,000 European SMEs in accessing global value chains and taking a leading position globally.

The names of the successful co-funded Partnerships actively involved:

In the preparation phase (strand 1) aimed to prepare a joint internationalization strategy and an implementation roadmap:

In the implementation phase (strand 2) aimed to develop and implement collaboration activities with international partners:

  • EACP ABROAD - Activities and Businesses from Real Opportunities for Aerospace Developments (European Aerospace Cluster Partnership) (see EACP ABROAD profile)
  • bioXclusters plus – European Strategic Cluster Partnership on Personalised Healthcare (see bioXclusters plus profile)
  • EU4SPORTSCLUSTERALL – EU4Sports Clusters Alliance (see EU4SPORTSCLUSTERALL profile)
  • NATUREEF - Natural Resources Efficiency European Strategic Cluster Partnership (see NATUREEF profile)
  • REINA PLUS - Renewable Energy Internationalisation European Strategic Cluster Partnership project for European SMEs (see REINA PLUS profile)
  • Silicon Europe Worldwide – European Semiconductor Cluster Internationalisation Project (see Silicon Europe Worldwide profile)

Other Partnerships labelled as ESCP-4i on a voluntary basis, but without direct EC funding, are:

  • 3BI - European Intercluster for Bioeconomy and Bio-based Innovation (see 3BI profile)
  • CROSSCUT – European strategic Cluster Partnership on Sustainable Construction (see CROSSCUT profile)
  • DECISION - Delivering Cluster International Strategies into Overseas Networks (see DECISION profile)
  • EU4FOOD - Global Alliance for the development of international food bio-based clusters (see EU4FOOD profile)
  • FoodPackLab - Photonics-Packaging Partnership for Food Innovation (see FoodPackLab profile)
  • GIVE - Green ICT development (see GIVE profile)
  • PERES - Promoting European Railway Excellence Outside EU (see PERES profile)
  • SeaMICI - Seabed Mining Clusters for SMEs Internationalisation (see SeaMICI profile)
  • WIINTECH 2020 - Worldwide Intercluster Initiative for New Materials and Processes focused on Clean Technologies (see WIINTECH 2020 profile)

A table detailing their composition, their main industry focus and target countries is available here.

The Launch event allowed also the partners of the "ESCP-4i" Partnerships to gain insight about various EU initiatives that shall provide them with additional support in addressing strategic third markets and to learn from the former pilot actions that were launched in 2012 to test and validate this cluster partnership approach with 6 European cluster consortia (Pilot projects).

Finally, the event was an opportunity to present the new European Cluster Collaboration Platform (ECCP) (see  at which includes more relevant information and tools that will facilitate cluster cooperation both within and beyond Europe and shall become the European hub for international cluster cooperation. Dedicated services will also be offered to ESCP-4i Cluster Partnerships to help them notably exploiting synergies in addressing third markets.

For more information, please, visit the ESCP-4i partnerships (see ) or follow us on Twitter!

Contact persons:

ECCP team at contact [at]  or Marc Pattinson, m.pattinson [at]

Christophe Guichard, DG GROWTH, European Commission (Christophe.guichard [at]

Photo gallery

To download the full set of event pictures in HD, please click here

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