Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs

Cluster internationalisation

Cluster internationalisation

This initiative aims at promoting international cluster cooperation by intensifying cluster and business network collaboration across borders and sectoral boundaries within and beyond Europe. In doing so it will promote European Strategic Cluster Partnerships to lead international cooperation in new areas, facilitating the integration of European SMEs into global value chains. 

To promote international cluster cooperation, a number of initiatives have been set up:

The ECCP currently counts over 950 registered cluster organisations from across Europe.

  • International Cluster Matchmaking Events are being organised to offer cooperation opportunities for European cluster organisations with partners within and beyond Europe. The matchmaking events can be organised in third markets as well as in Europe with a view to bring together delegations of cluster representatives from Europe and third countries to promote business opportunities and initiate partnerships in strategic fields of mutual interest. Events may also be organised in Europe with European cluster representatives active in different sectors with a view to promoting cross-sectoral cooperation and contributing to the emergence of new value chains in Europe.
  • European Strategic Cluster Partnerships (ESCPs) are being promoted to lead international cluster cooperation in new areas, notably in support of emerging industries. These partnerships encourage clusters from Europe to work together to exploit synergies and develop a joint ‘European’ strategic vision with a global perspective and common goals towards specific third markets. These partnerships shall contribute to better supporting European SMES in global competition in strategic fields.

A pilot cluster internationalisation action was launched during 2012-2014 to support 6 European cluster consortia to develop joint cluster internationalisation strategies in different business sectors.

A 'Cluster Go International' action is being launched under COSME to support the establishment and development of European Strategic Cluster Partnerships – a first call for proposals was published at the end of 2014 covering 2014-15.