The call subsidizes innovative projects led by regional clusters, and focus on increasing innovation, competitiveness, and productivity on SMEs.
This call is to improve business competitiveness through support for Innovative Business Groups (AAEEII- Clusters) and it´s focused on Innovative Cooperative Projects presented by Clusters, SMEs & their Innovation Agents. This call is a resource to support companies to make progress in their innovation processes. For this, the call subsidizes innovative projects (selected by competitive concurrence), lead by the regional clusters, and focus on increasing innovation, competitiveness & productivity on SMEs. The financed projects can be classified as technical feasibility studies, innovative projects concerning product and process & projects that improve the competitiveness of single production sectors
Vitartis (Food Industry Cluster of Castilla y León (CyL)) STRING Project Partner) developed some projects in the frame of this call:
-Innovation showcase of food industry cluster of CyL (”Food of the Future” publication): The objective was to give value to the innovation effort of Vitartis’ members & to the importance of including innovation in the strategy of the food companies. The publication called Food of the Future includes results of R&D and innovation of the cluster’s members
-Development of a technology watch tool for Vitartis members’: The objective was to kick-off a new tool for identified potential areas of work & market trends for Vitartis’ members, in order to provide them updated information which can be useful for SMEs in the development of their R&D strategies.
The total budget allocated to it was 500,000€, with a maximum aid of 75,000 €/project. The aid approved for the projects presented by the regional clusters was approximately 168,000 €. The low % of budget adjudicated was mainly due to the short period of implementation of the projects: 4 month
Evidence of success
Vitartis developed three projects in the frame of this call during 2016; 14 projects were presented to this call in 2018.
The main barrier detected was the short time for the projects’ implementation (four months) and also the discontinuity of the call, which was not launched during 2017.
Potential for learning or transfer
This call can be replicated in another context as a tool to support clusters with the aim to improve business competitiveness in the region. Some key elements that should be taken into account are: Existence of clusters organization involving companies, especially SMEs, and innovation agents; The aim of the projects should be to focus as much as possible on the general interest of the cluster’s members, and not only on a particular purpose for some of them (this projects try to promote R&D among the cluster members but are not R&D project themselves); The communication channel between the cluster and its members should be clearly identified: It is advisable every member assigned a person in charge of the cluster activities; The project objective, activities and forms of participation should be well defined and explained to the cluster members.