Despite the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, industrial clusters across Europe have continued to show remarkable resilience and ability to help their members adapt.
In the face of this challenging situation, national borders should not hinder the potential of clusters and their members, SMEs in particular, to collaborate.
ClusterXchange pilot scheme, supported by the European Commission, is a new initiative to address the continued need for innovation and cross-fertilisation opportunities amongst industrial ecosystems. The scheme is managed by the 13 European Strategic Cluster Partnerships for Excellence (ESCP-4x) and it is a service provided by the European Cluster Collaboration Platform (ECCP).
The goal of the ClusterXchange is to facilitate transnational and cross-sector cooperation, learning and networking between clusters through short-term exchanges to better connect Europe’s industrial ecosystems and facilitate cooperation, peer-learning, networking and innovation uptake.
The recently launched ClusterXchange IT Tool is the next step in facilitating this cluster collaboration.
The ClusterXchange allows visitors to learn and stay with a host organisation from another country with the financial support of a grant.
Due to exceptional circumstances, all exchanges will need to take place virtually for the moment. Host and visitor organisations will be able to meet through the same duration rules and attend online meetings, trainings and workshops. At the end of the exchange, official certifications will be awarded. These exceptional measures will apply until 31 December 2020 and will be subject to continuous reassessments regarding the ongoing COVID-19 situation.
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.
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.
The process of successfully matching a host and a visitor is a key element of the scheme. The new ClusterXchange IT Tool will enable 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.
The ClusterXchange IT Tool is the only entry point for applications to the ClusterXchange. Do not miss this chance to broaden your network, develop new skills, and increase your business competitiveness. Get involved today!
Source of information – clustercollaboration.eu