The main objective of the project is to build-up a partnership of world leading clusters to configure a “European Strategic Cluster Partnership – Going International” focused on internationalization of digital technologies applied to manufacturing and industry (also called “Industry 4.0”). This European Strategic Cluster Partnership (ESCP-4i) will lead clusters to increase their competitiveness and innovation potential for internationalization with a European coherence, fostering international cooperation among SMEs, and enhancing innovation.

The global value chain will be structured around an innovative transnational collaborative approach focused on cross-sectorial collaboration to commercialize the different technologies, product and services jointly in the field of digital technologies applied to manufacturing and industry developed by the clusters (and their SMEs) in international markets that will be identified in the project.

The project will provide a better understanding of the most effective ways to improve cross-sectorial collaboration between clusters at a European interregional level in order to develop and commercialize frontline innovations internationally. Besides, although focused on digital technology in the manufacturing field, the universality of the method will allow developing other global value chain with other regions and in other technology domains, a very useful approach to build-up regional smart specialization strategies.

The project gathers 6 European clusters from industrialized European regions (Portugal, Spain, France, Italy, Germany and Sweden), representing two sectors (the ICT and the industrial production). It will end up with the definition of a Joint Internationalisation Strategy defining the actions to help European SMEs promote joint offers on the international scale, the target countries and the funding plan.


Project Partner

Pole SCS – Coordinator and WP 5 leader

Basquegame – WP 1 leader

TICE.PT – WP 2 leader

BalticNet-PlasmaTec – WP 3 leader

MESAP – WP 4 leader


DISCp Work Packages (WP)

WP 1 – State of the art and basis for collaboration
WP 2 – Cross-sectoral activities
WP 3 – Definition of a Joint Internationalization Strategy
WP 4 – Dissemination and communication activities
WP 5 – Project management and coordination


Objective 1
To define and implement a transnational model of collaboration “European Strategic Cluster Partnership” focused on cross-sectoral collaboration within Europe to develop and commercialize internationally the technological solutions, products and services provided by the SMEs of the partners of a global value chain in digital technologies applied to manufacturing and industry.

Objective 2
To improve the existing relationships between the different clusters in the project (inside-inside and inside-outside collaborative approach) to generate a stable open innovation dynamic and knowledge-technology transfer that benefit to their main stakeholders, particularly SMEs, but also larger companies, Research and Technology Organisations (RTOs) and policy makers.

Objective 3
To define a Joint Internationalisation Strategy as a strategic roadmap for the partners of the project collaborating in it. Specifically, the objectives of the Joint Internationalisation Strategy will be:

  1. To define technology domains, products and services to be developed by the partners together in the area of digital technologies for manufacturing and industry.
  2. To define joint commercialisation initiatives of these technology solutions, products and services worldwide.
  3. To define joint internationalisation initiatives for clusters (and especially their SMEs) in order to discover and reach new markets.
  4. To identify 6 priority markets worldwide to be further explored and approached by the clusters and their SMEs.
  5. To define a set of support mechanisms for clusters to be implemented by regional governments in the project covering the other axes of the Joint Internationalisation Strategy.

Objective 4
To define a complete business plan to establish (and commit) the resources requires to run the Joint Internationalisation Strategy in the period proposed, and especially regarding the financial resources at regional, national and European levels.

Objective 5
To elaborate a set of guidelines and recommendations for clusters on how to incorporate the Joint Internationalisation Strategy, the model of collaboration as mechanisms to support the implementation of Smart Specialisation Strategies (S3) at regional level, specifically in the participant regions of the clusters.

Objective 6
To mentor other potential clusters in regions with less developed cluster profile or interested in the application of the technology solutions, products and services covered in the Joint Internationalisation Strategy and developed and commercialized.