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Clusters and Entrepreneurship in support of Emerging Industries

European Call for Proposals

Clusters and Entrepreneurship in support of Emerging Industries

The Call for Proposals 64-G-ENT-CIP-13-C-N04C02 “Clusters and Entrepreneurship in support of Emerging Industries” has been published by the European Commission, Directorate Enterprise and Industry.

The current economic crisis and on-going global industrial transformations have highlighted the need to modernise regional industrial structures and build new industrial competences in order to respond to global competitive and societal challenges. The question that regional policy makers are faced with is how to best develop regional industrial and SME policies and smart specialisation strategies in order to build a more robust and resilient industrial base within their region. This is the reason why this call for proposals is addressed directly to regional public authorities.

The main objective of this “Clusters and Entrepreneurship in support of Emerging Industries” call for proposals is to support regions to adapt and change their industrial structures to unlock the potential of clusters and entrepreneurship for regional economic development and for addressing societal challenges such as reducing CO2 emissions, improving resource efficiency and environmental protection. The aim is in particular to better capitalise on all forms of creativity, new technologies and the transformative power of innovation to shape new globally competitive value chains that may help to foster the development of emerging industries in Europe. By supporting the development of more fertile environments in which small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) can combine creativity with the use of new technologies and more resource efficient solutions, new business opportunities may arise that result in smarter and more sustainable growth.

The “Clusters and Entrepreneurship in support of Emerging Industries” call therefore aims to stimulate activities that have the potential to radical innovations that result from such cross-sectoral collaboration and that have a systemic impact. By "systemic impact" innovations are meant that fundamentally change sectoral boundaries and help improve the overall efficiency of the eco-system by, for example, better valorising all forms of creativity and promoting resource efficiency. Such innovations have a profound impact on the way the economy is organised and resources are allocated.

Applicants applying to the current “Clusters and Entrepreneurship in support of Emerging Industries” call are expected to develop all of the following three specific activities:

1. Mutual transnational policy learning;

2. Cluster collaboration and networking activities;

3. Entrepreneurial support activities through voucher schemes, service incubation or SME internationalisation.

The target groups of this “Clusters and Entrepreneurship in support of Emerging Industries” call for proposal are consortia including, without any geographic restriction, a minimum of 3 and a maximum of 5 partners from one or more CIP participating countries.

The lead partner or coordinator must represent a region, as defined hereunder, and be a regional organisation that is either responsible for or involved in the funding and/or implementation of a horizontal or specific innovation or SME support programme from which companies could benefit. At least one cluster organisation (or another SME intermediary) shall be part of the consortium. The cluster organisation shall take the lead on creating an "open space" or “brokerage platform”, where businesses, knowledge institutions and business support organisations can meet to search for and explore radically new, cross-sectoral business solutions. Other public or private organisations representing strong local communities/networks in the region engaged in either business support or support for cluster collaboration and networking activities can also become a member of the consortium. However, organisations such as universities in general , consultancies, IT firms, banks, business angels, etc., cannot be direct beneficiaries (i.e. partners) under this call for proposals but can be involved indirectly as subcontractors. It may be possible to entrust such organisations through a procurement contract with specific tasks, for which the responsibility will, however, remain with the beneficiary (subcontracting).

The total budget available for this “Clusters and Entrepreneurship in support of Emerging Industries” call is € 4.250.000. After evaluation of the concept notes, a maximum of twelve proposals will be invited to present a full proposal, and of these a maximum of six applicants will be awarded a grant for a maximum of 708.333 EUR. Only the most promising proposals measured in terms of the best ranked proposals following evaluation on the basis of the established selection and award criteria will be retained for funding.

The deadline for submitting proposals in the framework of the current “Clusters and Entrepreneurship in support of Emerging Industries” call is 17 April 2913.

Further information on the current “Clusters and Entrepreneurship in support of Emerging Industries” call for proposals is available on the European Commission’s web site at: http://ec.europa.eu/enterprise/newsroom/cf/itemdetail.cfm?item_id=6475&lang=fr&tpa_id=174&title=Clusters-and-Entrepreneurship-in-support-of-Emerging-Industries.

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