EFFORT objective is to gain understanding of the behaviour, governance, sustainability and constituency drivers of dynamic cross-border and cross-regional clusters of SMEs to improve their ability to access the global market, facilitating collaborative production of products and services, as well as responding to procurement contracts of public or private organizations. EFFORT will investigate also the legal framework and policy activities needed to address the setup of the innovation ecosystem governance structure. Market access will be improved through a double process of "extended" and "dynamic" clustering. The "extended" clustering implies aggregating capabilities of clustered SMEs at different level overcoming the geographical boundaries and operational limitations of traditional clusters.
The "dynamic" clustering implies adaptability in configuring "virtual" clusters to respond to specific market opportunities. The fundamental challenge is how to facilitate dynamic external clustering, and to build capacity across clusters and networks of SMEs. This challenge involves building 'internal' capabilities enhancing the organizational, knowledge and technological capacity of SMEs, and building 'external' capacity in the environments in which SMEs and their clusters operate.
The key issues have to do with regulation/policy, legal framework, governance mechanisms and technological conditions that can function as the enabling framework for completing the Internal Market and to complement the vision of the innovation ecosystem objective. EFFORT will bring a multidisciplinary perspective on the current status and future possibilities of cross-border and cross-regional "dynamic and extended SME clustering" based on the notion of building SME cross-cluster capacity by selecting complementary partners out of SME networks that extend beyond the boundaries of a traditional cluster. Thus, our working hypothesis is that dynamic clustering will facilitate market access for SMEs.
Funding SchemeSSA - Specific Support Action