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Call published: European Strategic Cluster Partnerships for smart specialisation investments

In order to facilitate strategic interregional collaborations and strong industry involvement, and to create a project pipeline for smart specialisation investments across Europe, the European Commission started to offer support to regional authorities, clusters and industry stakeholders through an integrated approach to smart specialisation, clusters and industrial modernisation. This approach combines two mutually reinforcing initiatives:

First, the Commission has set up Thematic Smart Specialisation Platforms to bring together regional authorities interested in joining forces in the implementation of their RIS3 strategies. This approach was launched in 2015 with the set-up of the Smart Specialisation Platform on Energy and two additional Thematic Platforms on Industrial Modernisation and on Agri-Food in 2016, with possibly others to follow.

Second, the Commission is starting with this call for proposals to mobilise European Strategic Cluster Partnerships for smart specialisation investments. These partnerships should be composed of cluster organisations, other business network organisations, technology centres and science parks aiming to boost inter-regional collaborations and innovation activities amongst groups of SMEs in specific thematic areas, related industries and value chains. Moreover, the strategic partnering of cluster organisations is not left to happen at random but with a specific linkage to the Thematic Smart Specialisation Platform on Industrial Modernisation.

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