South Mediterranean clusters mobilized in the fight against COVID-19

Submitted by Alina Danieles… on 08 April 2020

The essential role played by clusters in the Covid-19 crisis management is emerging also in South-Mediterranean countries, where these actors are mobilizing their ecosystem to face the health emergency experienced by at national level.

Some examples of successful initiatives adopted to date.

In Morocco, the CE3M cluster (electronics and mecatronic) has been able to set up a consortium with its members and partners (Aviarail, Pillioty, SERMP, Ministère de l’industrie, Ministère de la santé, Mascir, INPT, Université Med VI Benguérir arrimée à la fondation OCP) to develop the first artificial ventilator 100% made in Morocco (the expertise and components are all available in the kingdom). In only two weeks, a prototype has been designed, built, tested and have been approved by the public authorities. Now, the industrial partners are starting the production phase on a short-lived production line to produce 500 ventilators in 10 days.

In addition, the C2TM cluster (technical textiles) and its members are working on the production of barrier masks and similar equipment so to provide Moroccans with personal protective equipment against the Covid-19 virus.

In Tunisia, during their last face-to-face meeting, which took place on March 11, 2020, the members of the 2TS Cluster (technical textile) set up a virtual discussion group which allowed them to exchange ideas and launch a survey for all companies in Tunisia who work in the technical textile sector and especially the medical textile branch. The objective of the survey is to build a reliable and up-to-date database with the aim of improving the value chain and consolidating local synergy to help the country in its fight against Covid-19. The survey “Textile sector initiatives to fight Covid-19” was launched on March 27, 2020, and is followed by Anissa LAHDHIRI, doctor in agro ecology, who recently joined the cluster animation team.

All these clusters are taking part to the Cluster Booster Track by THE NEXT SOCIETY, a peer support and learning programme for cluster managers to improve their management skills, increase their business opportunities and open new channels for collaboration between clusters at national and international level. This programme is coordinated by France Clusters, and implemented with the support of the project partners, ACCIO, AWEX, CEI Piemonte, rising SUD, as well as Anima Investment Network, the coordinator of THE NEXT SOCIETY.

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