Strategic Alliances for the uptake of advanced technologies by SMEs

DEADLINE: 02 February 2021

The European Commission has launched a €5 million call for strategic alliances to help the European Union’s small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) maximise their use of new technologies.

This call for proposals aims to contribute to the Commission’s COVID-19 recovery package by establishing strategic alliances between tech-savvy SMEs and the traditional SMEs facing the need to adapt to the post-crisis economic environment, focusing on the benefits of adopting advanced technologies.

The final objective Is to contribute to a wider spreading and diffusion of advanced technologies across SMEs in Europe and boost economic recovery.

The specific objective of the action is to launch two pilot projects focused on building alliances among traditional and tech-savvy SMEs through industrial cluster organisations in order to promote SME collaboration and technology adoption within specific industrial ecosystems. 

For the purpose of this call, traditional and tech-savvy SMEs are defined as follows:

  • Traditional SMEs are those SMEs that have not yet adopted new technologies and need to adapt to changed value-chains and demand. In this project, we aim to focus on those traditional SMEs that are part of a cluster organisation and intent to improve their business competitiveness by adopting new technologies.
  • Tech-savvy SMEs are EU companies with innovative business models that develop, produce and commercialise advanced technology products and applications. Their business solutions inject high-tech power and smart, evidence-based business management to more traditional SMEs, thus providing them significant competitive advantages.

Specifically, proposed projects should:

  • Explore collaboration opportunities between different type of European Union (EU) businesses, particularly tech-savvy SMEs and traditional SMEs, to improve industrial competences, increase resilience and add value to existing industrial sectors and value chains
  • Increase the adoption of advanced technologies in traditional SMEs and help EU tech-savvy SMEs to expand their market potential in the EU
  • Exploit the potential of dynamic collaboration between the cluster organisations and their technology centres with a view to boosting the technological uptake and development of EU SMEs
  • Develop business collaboration between different clusters from the same industrial ecosystem and create partnerships with other relevant industrial ecosystems

Ultimately, proposed projects should aim to prepare and help businesses to adopt advanced technologies. Two approved projects will receive a grant of between €2-3m from the Commission's programme for the competitiveness of small and medium-sized enterprises (COSME). 

Find out more here. Please refer to the Call for Proposals and Guide for Applicants before starting your application.


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