Cluster ACT will develop a mechanism for maritime clusters’ networking and collaboration with private investors to enhance innovation and business development.
Cluster ACT focuses its action on the assumption that 1) competitiveness through innovation, 2) joint collaboration among diverse competences, 3) private investments to support innovation still need to be supported all over EU Regions and in particular in bordering areas that have a strong potential in the near future.
The project involves different types of actors (clusters, research organizations, association of private investors) that will act in the maritime field, with a specific focus on the sub-sectors strongly liked to tourism in 5 Mediterranean countries (Italy, Spain, Croatia, Egypt, Greece): leisure boating, cruising, ports and marinas.
Up to now, the processes of improvement in terms of number of innovative SMEs, collaboration skills between the private and the public sector, awareness about the need of keeping internal know-how updated both in private and public organization have started and need to be supported. What private funding is concerned, presently the maritime sector does not seem to be so attractive for investors, despite the fact that all the target countries have a relevant, traditional maritime activity and are well renowned as touristic places for sea tourists as well.
According to this scenario, Cluster ACT aims at establishing a concrete and coherent set of actions to tackle the targeted challenges all over the Med sea basin:
- let innovation emerge: set tools to enable innovations from SMEs and from research environment be more visible in the reference market and to potential investors; highlight commonalities about actors, innovation needs, priorities and opportunities among territories in order to pave the way for future joint initiatives;
- enhance collaboration principles through clusters as a tool: design a method for collaboration between clusters and private investors in order to increase the private financing through the cluster action in the maritime field; transfer know-how on clustering processes and benefits to key local actors in countries where clusters are not yet established;
- educate to the correct relationship with private investors: train local actors to understand the mind-set of private investors; explain the characteristics of the maritime sector to investors association in order to let them consider supporting in the field and organize themselves locally; provide local clusters with common methodologies to develop comparable initiatives.