euWater4i-SD is looking for a subcontractor for a policy paper

DEADLINE: 13 March 2024

The euWater4i-SD project is an European Strategic Cluster Partnership Going International (ESCP-4i), 90% co-funded by the COSME programme of the European Union from 2021 to 2024. The consortium is made of five clusters (ACLIMA, AquaValley, CREA Hydro&Energy, Ecoliance, Green Synergy Cluster). Together, they aim to develop and implement an internationalization strategy for their members, focusing particurlarly on Latin America and Eastern Africa. European SMEs offering water-smart solutions are the main target of this internationalization strategy. euWater4i-SD consists on building a one-stop-shop for EU SMEs to foster their business opportunities and increase their competitiveness at the global scale.

With ESCP-4i funding coming to an end in September 2024, the euWater4i-SD project is looking to produce a policy paper towards EU/national public authorities. The policy paper will promote the role of the Clusters in the EU ecosystem and defend more SMEs friendly regulations in EU and non-EU countries..

The external facilitator should deliver a position paper and disseminate it towards key policy makers.

Following topic will be examined for the paper:

Facilitation tools for joint venture between environmental SMEs wanting to go international in non-EU countries

For environmental SMEs wanting to go international, the barriers can be high and, given their small size, discouraging. To overcome limited productive resources and/or limited market knowledge to enter international markets, SMEs may decide to engage in a joint venture, either with other SMEs from their own country, from other European countries, or directly from the target country.

The key to success for such a joint venture is said to be the choice of the joint venture partner(s). Partners who complement the solutions portfolio of an SME in the same value chain, for example, offer a great advantage, because together they can provide a more comprehensive package to potential international customers. Given the limited resources of SMEs, assistance is required to help them locate and select appropriate partners, and contract with them.

This assistance can be provided by cluster organisations. Cluster organisations are the legal entities that support the strengthening of collaboration, networking and learning in innovation clusters and act as innovation support providers by providing or channelling specialised and customised business support services to stimulate innovation activities, especially in SMEs.2 They have a strong regional anchorage and a direct relationship with local SMEs, which enables them to facilitate partnerships.

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EU funded
ESCP-4i COSME Clusters Go International
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