SMEs drive the design of new programmes and support the economic process in many European countries and around the world. Globalisation is not an imaginary threat to the European SME but a sometimes intangible adversary. From customers to markets, suppliers and resources, through to financing and expenses, SMEs are affected more than other businesses. The project 'Cross-organisational assessment and development of intellectual capital' (CADIC) created a platform for knowledge sharing and idea exchange. Networking is saving the small businesses bound by close ties with local markets in a global world. Collaboration and then bonding occurs when local firms and agencies create regional capital, strengthening the economy by banding together. CADIC helped a large number of SMEs to set up and strengthen networking clusters. The well-researched and scientifically proven CADIC framework provides a sound model. A common language is developed, fostering trust then collaboration within the clusters. Then groups enrich their various business sectors by finding productive niches together. A cooperative, not competitive mindsetguides the SME and service providers through a successful bottom-up cluster-building process, enhancing intellectual capital (IC)-based collaboration. The designed benchmarking system enables SMEs to analyse the strengths and weaknesses of their own intangible resource base and compare it with that of other organisations. This helps to identify areas for improvement, which in turn supports management decisions. All worked towards motivated investments on a cluster level. Showing strength simplified communication with the banks and other investors. Team members developed and implemented a custom web platform that provided a much-needed tool for motivated SME staff. This system called, CADIC Relational Online Framework and Toolset (CROFT) is available at the website. The CADIC offline services provide methodologies, services and tools to support IC-based collaboration between SMEs, including training programmes for several training topics. There are multiple materials available on the cadic guideline website for downloading.
Small and medium-sized enterprises, globalisation, knowledge sharing, idea exchange, networking