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This project has been financed by the European Union

Interval: 01/04/2016 – 01/04/2017

Participating regions: Lombardia | Catalonia | South Netherlands | Hauts de France

Topic: Actions of interregional cooperation between clusters and research centers, aimed at boosting the competitiveness of SMEs at European level

Project website: http://erica-project.eu/

This project has been financed by the European Union
ERICA is a project developed in 2016 and ended in January 2017, under the program EASME within the call TREC (Towards EU Regional Economic Convergence) – Pilot Projects, to reinforce the collaboration between clusters and research centers.

The main outcome of the project has been the establishment of an action plan, shared among the project Regions, focused on the creation of strategical cooperation between clusters and local research centers. Clusters and technology centers have been in fact identified by EASME as enablers to reach these objectives, and cooperation structures and interregional exchange of good practices an opportunity to increase the competitiveness of European regions.

The defined action plan, formalized in a memorandum of understanding signed by all partners, is based on 5 priority actions:

  • Promote the development of infrastructures linked to the Vanguard Initiative
  • Promote the development of a mapping system, shared among all regions
  • Develop a shared service model to support innovation in manufacturing
  • Develop financing models able to promote the competitiveness of SMEs
  • Development of a specific communication plan


Within this context, through the sharing of good practices in advanced manufacturing and the identification of appropriate service and funding models, SMEs will be able to be supported in their innovation and internationalization processes, helping them in accessing and creating the new European value chains.

During 2017 there will be the chance of combining ERICA with a second TREC project called “TREC-NewMat”, developed in parallel with the objective of promoting and creating new value chains throigh the building of a “value chain accelerator” optimizing and supporting projects in different ways. The combination of the two projects and of the studied tools will allow the realization of a facilitator for “smart specialization investments “, identified today as EIV: European Investment Valley. EIV, in the ERICA’s partners’ idea, won’t only be a network of stakeholders, but will be a legal entity in the form of a EEIG (European Economic Interest Grouping) [European regulation n.2137 of 25th July 1985].

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