SME Cluster Growth is an Erasmus+ Knowledge Alliance project (2021-2023) to empower SMEs in the engineering sector to grow and compete. By focusing on cross-border engineering business cluster development, it enables synergies across regions, reach international markets, adopt new technologies and support mutual learning.
It has been shown that localised clusters and networks are powerful drivers of SME innovation success. With engineering a dominant knowledge sector in the EU, SME Cluster Growth aims to support SMEs in this sector to innovate and grow. This project is designed to align the interests of growth-oriented SMEs with an engineering focus together with the regional actors to support that growth. This is done through research and talent provision and access to facilities and knowledge networks.
Engineering SMEs and the Higher Education community are the primary beneficiaries of this approach. While students, regional government, intermediary organisations, venture capitalists, business consultants and investors will also have the advantage of an outward looking engineering ecosystem. SME Cluster Growth adopts a cross-regional and cross-cluster approach to business innovation and growth and contribute highly innovative and beneficiary-led deliverables. These include:
- Mapping and spotlighting engineering cluster growth needs
- Six engineering Cluster Growth Councils based in consortium cities will develop a network and culture for joint innovation in the partner regions.
- A SME Cluster Growth mobility and training programme to help European businesses assess their management practices, identify areas for improvement and plan actions towards growth.
- Consultancy and Practice based learning which will include student SME Consultancy and a Change of Perspective programme to develop partnerships between academia and SMEs.
- Facilities sharing with the launch of cross-border network support structures in science parks and business organisations in the form of hot desks, university access points, and facility sharing for SMEs to explore growth opportunities with input from business partners and regional Cluster Growth Councils.
You can find out more about these resources and the work of the SME Cluster Growth project here: