Transnational EU-project CE4BIG on cluster management excellence and SME support draws to a close

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In the framework of CE4BIG (Cluster Excellence for Business, Innovation and Growth in the health sector), supported bythe EU COSME Programme, four European healthcare clusters joined forces: Atlanpole Biotherapies from France, BioM from Germany, BioWin from Belgium and Klaster Life Science Krakow from Poland.

The aim of the project was to build up cluster management excellence and to optimise cluster services for SMEs in the personalized medicine sector. Despite the fact that the CE4BIG project ran almost entirely throughout the COVID-19 pandemic – from February 2020 to February 2022 – it has nonetheless contributed to stimulating innovation, mainly through virtual exchanges and SME trainings. The four health clusters benefited from focussing on need-driven SME innovation and growth services, and evaluated and enhanced their cluster management strategies.

A European network focussing on personalized medicine

With the goal of supporting the development of advanced therapies for personalized medicine and related industries, the four clusters have created a European partnership in this field. Through four joint trainings, two joint events and four (online) delegations, they were able to improve their cluster competences and services for members. Moreover, through lessons learned in joint activities and through sharing knowledge, cluster strategies and strategic processes were optimised.

Together, these activities have led to each of the partners obtaining an ESCA label of Cluster Management Excellence, demonstrating the provision of top-quality and tailor-made support services for their members: Atlanpole Biotherapies received Bronze, KLSK and Biowin received Silver, and BioM received Gold.

Impact for SMEs and other Cluster Members

A series of activities have been organised for cluster members throughout the CE4BIG project:

7 companies benefitted from intensive training courses, some organised through the ClusterXChange programme | 29 cluster members & 6 cluster organisations participated in a Bioproduction networking week | 24 participants attended info sessions on European funding opportunities for SMEs in collaboration with European project CELIS | 41 participants participated in the Polish Life Science Open Space 2021 dedicated CE4BIG session on Health Technologies| 53 participants attended the CE4BIG session on “Green Transition in Life Sciences” during the BioM BioEntrepreneurship Summit week| Over 1300 participants coached individually or through joint info sessions about opportunities through the project | 25 companies pitched at events to find European partners | Over 30 B2B meetings were organised through the scheme (several additional meetings outside)

Through these CE4BIG activities, the aim was achieved, namely that European SMEs participated in training and info sessions, gained access to individual support and coaching, and had opportunities to find and exchange with European business partners.

What’s next?

The CE4BIG cluster partnership will continue to flourish and respond to European challenges in the field of personalized medicine through its LinkedIn page: Health Clusters for SMEs and its future joint strategy, focusing on the industry working in the field of 5P medicine, and ensuring our support to SMEs for access to public funding. The partnership hopes to expand to other European countries to become a competitive, world-class network of health clusters.

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