CAFEIN Consortium and IFAB Meeting in Warsaw on 15th and 16th April, 2024

CAFEIN project partners met in Warsaw, Poland, to discuss project advancements and present the joint action plan developed by the working groups in the weeks leading up to the Innovation Funding Advisory Board – IFAB, which brings together five innovation funding agencies from France, Italy, Poland, Spain, and Sweden.

During the second working day, CAFEIN’s first workshop on funding opportunities for the Action Plan was held.
CAFEIN partners and IFAB members presented their perspectives and gathered input on possible regional, national, and international funding sources to support SMEs in the green and digital transition.

Stay tuned to follow CAFEIN project developments and contact us to be involved in the CAFEIN activities.

CAFEIN organizes a matchmaking session during the 9th Congress of Policy Clusters in Gdansk, Poland

On 9 and 10 November 2023, CAFEIN Polish team participated in the 9th Congress of Policy Clusters by organizing the matchmaking session of the event.

With “The Power of Collaboration: Clusters in the Development Policy of the country and regions” as a keynote, the congress, which took place in the Hotel Scandic in Gdansk, presented in total seven discussion panels, each of them addressing specific aspects of the role of clusters and regional innovation players in taking actions/policies for the Polish and Europen green and digital transition.

Besides seeing the participation of CAFEIN Spanish partner Mr Antonio Novo Guerrero in panel 5 “European Cluster Collaboration”, the Congress of Policy Cluster was the perfect occasion for CAFEIN team to organize a matchmaking event in Poland.

With more than 60 participants, the initiative was an excellent opportunity to bring together clusters, research centers, public and private innovation entities and companies and develop new synergies for the progress of the green industrial transition in Europe.

CAFEIN attended the VI Smart Health Pilot Event in Bologna, Italy

CAFEIN – Cluster Action For Ecosystem Innovation Network partners attended the VI Smart Health Pilot (Vanguard Initiative) plenary event in Bologna, Italy.

The Vanguard Initiative is a collaborative network of European regions focused on promoting innovation, competitiveness, and sustainable growth. It was created to enhance regional economic development by fostering innovation, knowledge sharing, and smart specialization through various pilot projects known as “VI Pilots.” These pilots aim to drive regional economic transformation and address common challenges faced by participating regions.

The event saw the participation of several regional ecosystem, including clusters, regional development agencies , Start Ups and SMEs from the Emilia Romagna ecosystem, It was a great opportunity to present the project objectives and offer collaboration pathways to health sector clusters and SMEs. CAFEIN partners invited the participants to learn more about the project and welcomed cooperation opportunities with European Ecosystems not represented in the project yet.

IFAB Meeting in Malaga on 6th October

CAFEIN partner and the Innovation Funding Advisory Board met in Malaga, Spain. The meeting gave the partners the opportunity to update the IFAB on the progress of the project, the goals achieved and what the next steps of the CAFEIN project will be. It was crucial to gather input from IFAB members during an important brainstorming session that helped highlight priorities and suggestions for the co-construction of the Joint Action Plan – JAP. Stay tuned to follow CAFEIN project developments and contact us to be involved in the CAFEIN activities.

CAFEIN team at the Clusters Meet Regions in Malmö (Sweden)

On 15th and 16th June 2023, the CAFEIN team and members of the IFAB (Innovation Funding Advisory Board) participated in the CLUSTERS MEET REGIONS event held in Malmö (Sweden) continuing to work intensively on the design of a new joint action plan to support SMEs in their green and digital transition.

CAFEIN’s participation in CLUSTERS MEET REGIONS was a fruitful opportunity to present and introduce the project, its objectives and early achievements to the stakeholders who were present at the event, while meeting and networking with other European clusters.

During the event, titled “Clusters as Drivers of Innovation in Industrial Systems,” it was also possible to learn about the best examples across Scania’s areas of specialization and discuss how clusters can be integrated into the design and implementation of regional development policies.

Clusters are drivers of regional competitiveness, growth, employment and innovation and serve as key accelerators and facilitators for digital and green transitions and for strengthening resilience through the identification of needs and opportunities.

The event saw the participation of more than 100 representatives from EU clusters and companies, national and regional public authorities and business support organizations from Sweden and other EU regions, researchers, innovation agencies, industry associations and investors.

Stay tuned and subscribe to the newsletter for more updates on this project!

CAFEIN presented EUROCLUSTERS and Open Calls in its first Matchmaking Event

CAFEIN recently hosted its first Matchmaking Event on May 15, 2023. The event attracted SMEs and Clusters interested in the Eurocluster Open Calls, which offer significant benefits such as accelerating the transition to a green and digital economy, internationalization opportunities, training prospects, and increased innovation potential.

During the event, representatives from Euroclusters xbuild-Eu, DREAM, RESIST, and PIMAP4SUSTAINABILITY presented the access modalities of their Open Calls, including application deadlines, proposal submission procedures, and the services offered. A Q&A session provided an opportunity for participants to seek clarifications and ensure alignment between their needs and the Euroclusters’ offerings.

The event concluded with a poll, revealing strong interest among participants. An impressive 86% expressed interest in applying for the presented Open Calls, with 43% showing interest in a specific Call and 29% interested in multiple opportunities.

Stay tuned to the CAFEIN website for updates on the Eurocluster Open Calls and other opportunities in support of green and digital transition.

Cluster Matchmaking Event with Nordic focus

One of the goals of CAFEIN is to give possibilities for matchmaking of European innovation ecosystems, to increase the conditions for international collaborations between clusters. In that spirit a virtual Nordic cluster matchmaking event was co-organised by CAFEINs project partner, Cluster of Sweden and NordicHub from Finland on May 9th. Partners were also Innovation Norway, Cluster Excellence Denmark, Iceland Tourism Cluster and TCI Network.

The aim was to bring together cluster organizations and other relevant actors, such as cluster support organizations, from all the Nordic countries to learn more about each other and to foster cross-border collaboration.  Besides meeting representatives from other clusters and support organizations, the intention was also to provide clusters with inspiring information on cluster development and funding possibilities for joint projects.

The event included both a webinar, focusing on cluster landscape in the Nordic countries, relevant funding instruments for cross-border collaboration and how to lead strategic transformation and accelerate cluster success. In total 55 different clusters representatives from eight different countries participated in the webinar.

The event also included an online matchmaking session, where a total of 34 meetings were held with the aim to explore the possibilities for cross-border cluster collaboration.

As has been shown in the studies that CAFEIN has conducted, there is a great interest in finding new and innovative collaborations that connect clusters between different countries in Europe based on common challenges and innovation opportunities. The virtual Nordic cluster matchmaking event was a statement of this.

CAFEIN hosted its Workshop on Regional Ecosystems

CAFEIN successfully hosted its inaugural workshop on regional ecosystems on May 2nd, bringing together 23 participants from the partner countries France, Italy, Poland, Spain, and Sweden. During the workshop, CAFEIN partners presented insights into their respective national and regional ecosystems, highlighting their unique characteristics. The workshop offered an invaluable opportunity to gain a comprehensive understanding of these ecosystems. External participants also contributed to the discussions, sharing their experiences with policy tools and initiatives that can facilitate the green transition for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

The workshop generated several noteworthy lessons and suggestions that can be incorporated into the forthcoming joint action plan within the CAFEIN project:

1. Simplification of support systems and instruments – it is crucial to streamline both the processes associated with these instruments and the involvement of relevant actors;
2. Enhanced coordination at the national and regional levels – in addition to aligning policies, efforts should be made to identify the optimal synergy, articulation and complementarity between them;
3. Exploring opportunities for mutualization – rather than each cluster implementing independent activities, there is potential for pooling resources, particularly by partnering with regions outside of Europe;
4. Facilitating knowledge exchange: the workshop highlighted the importance of creating mechanisms that enable effective knowledge sharing among stakeholders;
5. Utilizing cluster labeling can be an effective mean of promoting EUCLES;
6. Advancing internationalization strategies – going beyond participation in fairs and events, CAFEIN, as Team Europe does, can leverage these occasions to further its objectives;
7. Collaboration with research entities and companies – CAFEIN should actively engage with other research players, including companies, to foster fruitful cooperation;
8. Examination of the Regional Innovation Valley – it is crucial for CAFEIN to assess this concept and determine the appropriate approach for positioning itself;
9. Assisting SMEs in accessing EU funding – CAFEIN should support SMEs in their application for European Union funding for Green Deal Research and Innovation, otherwise member states would not renew it.

In designing the action plan, the following recommendations should be considered:

1. Provide an overview of effective solutions that can be utilized;
2. Identify specific issues that require targeted interventions;
3. Address the challenges related to talent acquisition and skill development for SMEs.

As a final note, CAFEIN encouraged participants to join its partners and partake in Malmö’s Cluster Meet Regions event on June 15.

CAFEIN launches the SMEs needs survey

CAFEIN partners have launched a survey to gather information about the needs of European SMEs. Companies are invited to complete the survey by providing information about their experiences with public innovation support, green transition related activities and international cooperation practices.

Each partner will now promote the survey within their network and involve as many companies as possible.

The results of this survey will be critical to best define the next steps of the project and will contribute to highlight the most needed areas to be covered by public funding schemes dedicated to green transition.

Click here to complete the survey!

CAFEIN partners meet the IFAB members

The second meeting between CAFEIN Partners and IFAB (Innovation Funding Advisory Board) finally took place. It was a great opportunity to discuss the project advancements and strengthen the collaboration for a better implementation of the upcoming CAFEIN activities.

Each partner presented the Cluster Policies of the represented country allowing the participants to align on the respective clusters scenarios in Europe. The national agencies shared their international collaboration and innovation funding policy priorities for 2023.

Together, CAFEIN partners and IFAB will now find shared strategies for supporting a green industrial transition by proposing the deployment of policies, tools and funding instruments able to match SMEs’ needs in Europe.

CAFEIN is online!

The CAFEIN partners officially launched the website and the project social media profiles.

The website will be used to communicate the project advancements and to involve interested stakeholders in the project activities. By interacting with the project, interested entities can join CAFEIN’s network, consult the project public deliverables, subscribe to the CAFEIN newsletter and register for the events organized by the partners.

CAFEIN launched its Twitter and LinkedIn profiles as well to maximize the impact of the communication activities.

CAFEIN joins the Remote Kick-Off of EIE-2021-CONNECT-01-01 projects

Today from 9.00 to 12.00 a.m. a kick-off/networking meeting between the European Commission and partners of the EIE-2021-CONNECT-01-01 projects was held.

The meeting saw the participation of 13 projects, each of them addressing a specific issue and working to foster the creation of European Innovation Ecosystems. The event was a very good opportunity for CAFEIN members to get informed about policy-related issues and raise awareness of its objectives with other EU projects working in the same field.

Meanwhile, CAFEIN members are at work to create a first framework for addressing SMEs needs in European countries representing every level of the European Innovation Scoreboard.

CAFEIN Project Kick-Off meeting

On 19th and 20th September 2022, the first kick-off meeting between the CAFEIN project partners and the members of the IFAB (Innovation Funding Advisory Board) was held in Paris (France) at the headquarters of Bpi France and AFPC (project coordinator).

The kick-off meeting was a fruitful opportunity for the partners to meet for the first time in person, deepening their knowledge and allowing them to lay a solid foundation for the success of the project.

During the meetings  it was possible to outline ideas and coordinate the actions to be taken to achieve the CAFEIN project objectives. The project aims to prepare a joint long-term action plan between the partners’ countries to address green and digital industrial transition challenges throug a collaborative approach ensured bu the involbement of both the national clusters’ associations and the national innovation funding agencies.

CAFEIN project officialy starts today

The partners are delighted to announce that CAFEIN project officialy starts today!

In the next 24 months CAFEIN members will work together with national funding agencies to address the European SMEs needs and adopt a joint action plan for the green industrial transition in Europe.

The newxt step will be the first kick-off meeting in Paris on 19th and 20th of September, where the CAFEIN partners and the members of the IFAB (Innovation Funding Advisory Board) will meet in person for the first time. The meeting will be also an opportunity to set a timetable for the first objetives of CAFEIN, such as a SME survey and the launch of the website.

Stay tuned for more updates on this project!

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