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Call for proposals: Cluster Excellence Programme

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The overall objective of this Call for proposals is to pursue the EU efforts aimed to strengthen cluster management excellence in the EU as a way to provide more professional business services to European SMEs through clusters and therefore contribute to the development of more world-class clusters in the EU.

This Call for proposals is the first action in the framework of the Cluster Excellence Programme to be supported under COSME, and aimed to promote cluster excellence across the EU for the benefit of European SMEs involved in clusters. The present action will assist cluster organisations, business networks and their managers to provide high quality services to SMEs in different areas, including access to foreign markets.

The interested cluster organisations and business networks should be engaged into a strategic industry-driven collaboration (or are planning to work together) along a common value chain or on a transnational project in any manufacturing or service sector, and are facing some common challenges, and willing to:

  • Improve their management practices as well as their market/competitive advantages or value-chain analytical capacities and;
  • Provide top quality services to their SMEs, especially on integrating creativity into their business, facilitating SMEs internationalisation, better exploiting and diffusing Key Enabling Technologies (KETs), assisting SMEs on IPRs protection and further addressing resource-efficiency issues within their cluster.

Eligibility of applicants

Applicant organisations must be established:

  • in EU Member States; or
  • in countries participating in the COSME programme under Article 6 of the COSME Regulation:
    • European Free Trade Association (EFTA) countries which are members of the European Economic Area (EEA), in accordance with the conditions laid down in the EEA Agreement, and other European countries when agreements and procedures so allow;
    • acceding countries, candidate countries and potential candidates in accordance with the general principles and general terms and conditions for the participation of those countries in the Union's programmes established in the respective Framework Agreements and Association Council Decisions, or similar arrangements;
    • countries falling within the scope of the European neighbourhood policies, when agreements and procedures so allow and in accordance with the general principles and general terms and conditions for the participation of those countries in the Union's programmes established in the respective Framework Agreements, Protocols to Association Agreements and Association Council Decisions.

Moreover, eligible applicants are cluster organisations and business networks which can demonstrate that provide or channel cluster and network support services to local businesses, in compliance with the definition given in the section 5.8 of the Community Framework for State Aid for Research and Development and Innovation.

Consortia implementing the activities have to be made up of a minimum of three cluster organisations or business networks and come from at least three COSME participating countries. For more details, please consult the text of the call available below.

Submission of proposals

The deadline for electronic submission is 29 October 2014 17:00 (Brussels time).

The submission system for this call will be available shortly and the link will be added on this page.

The electronic submission reference for this call will be COS-CLUSTER-2014-3-04.

Documents & links

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