SPI is part of the European Cluster Collaboration Platform (ECCP) project that runs from 2019 to 2021. The aim of ECCP is to strengthen the competitiveness and sustainability of European Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) by improving their performance in terms of productivity, innovation, internationalisation and resource efficiency.
In ECCP SPI operates the ClusterXchange Support Office. The recently launched ClusterXhange scheme encourages cluster collaboration and the overall objective is to facilitate transnational and cross-sectoral learning, cooperation, and networking between clusters through short-term exchanges to better connect Europe’s industrial ecosystems and facilitate cooperation, peer-learning, networking and innovation uptake. Supported by the European Commission, it addresses the continued need for innovation and cross-fertilisation opportunities amongst industrial ecosystems. The scheme, managed by 13 European Strategic Cluster Partnerships for Excellence (ESCP-4x) is explained further below.
What is an exchange?
The exchanges facilitated by the scheme allow visitors to learn and stay with host organisations from other countries with the financial support of a grant. Host and visitor organisations will be able to meet for meetings, trainings, coaching and workshops. Due to exceptional circumstances, exchanges can also take place virtually until 31 December 2020.
Benefits and opportunities
The exchange (physical or virtual), offers participants a wealth of potential benefits, from obtaining knowledge in relevant business areas and developing networks of contacts to gaining insight into a different cultural organisation or business setup.
It should be noted that if a participant takes part in a virtual exchange, there will still be the opportunity to participate in a physical exchange later on. However, participants will not be eligible to receive financial assistance during virtual exchanges.
How to participate via the IT tool?
The ClusterXchange IT Tool is the only entry point for applications to the ClusterXchange. It enables applicants to search for an exchange partner and find suitable matches. By finding the closest fitting matches for a potential exchange, the ClusterXchange IT Tool will search for similarities between answers provided by an aspiring visiting organisation and the answers submitted by host organisations through an online catalogue.
Ultimately, clusters will have the chance to improve their competences and strategies for better serving their members (SMEs in particular) through the ClusterXchange. Do not miss this chance to broaden your network, develop new skills, and increase your business competitiveness.
Get involved today!