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Smart Specialisation Strategie to build an Innovation model for Alp Clusters (S3-4AlpClusters)

The Smart Specialisation concept is a lever of EU Cohesion Policy. Several EU regions developed Smart Specialisation Strategies (S3). Challenge is to implement S3 through clusters to gain sustainable and incl. growth generating critical mass. No many experiences exist due to lack of knowledge about S3 in other regions. Implementation tools must be developed to fully benefit SMEs. The objective is to improve framework conditions for innovation induced by clusters and SMEs and to create new jobs. S3 implemented by clusters is an innovative approach that improves innovation in the Alpine Space. Cross-regional approach supports coordinated actions between the different sectors/regions. Transnational cluster cooperation brings SMEs critical mass and enhances cross-regional collaboration to innovate for new products in the relevant areas of the Alpine Space. Project outputs are: joint transnational cluster action plan and S3 stress test analysis of advanced, convergence and less advanced regions for agenda setting, strategy development and implementation – outline for a synchronised scheme - S3-based innovation model adapted to regional clusters – better framework conditions for companies through tested innovation model and services. Quadruple helix benefits from these outputs to boost innovation. The work is jointly completed by pilot clusters, entrepreneurs, academics, and supported by public authorities, clusters and S3 experts. Cluster policies will shift "to concentrate resources on the development of those activities that are likely to transform the existing economic structures through R&D and innovation". Transnational approach bundles the strengths of Alpine regions and SMEs towards smart innovation: they learn from each other through good and bad practices. S3 partners mutual knowledge facilitates framework conditions creation. The outcomes of previous Interreg and existing S3 and their implementation will be taken into account.


Lead Partner



Project Partners


  •  Business Upper Austria – OÖ Wirtschaftsagentur Ltd.
  • Innovation and Technology Transfer Salzburg GmbH


  • ClusterAgentur Baden-Wuerttemberg
  • Bavarian Research Alliance Gmbh


  • Poly4EmI hosts by Anteja ECG d.o.o
  • Government Office for Development and European Cohesion Policy


  • University of Franche-Comte


  • Veneto Region – Research, Clusters and Networks Unit
  •  PROPLAST– consortium for the plastic culture promotion
  •  Cluster Technologies for Smart Cities & Communities Lombardy Foundation
  •  Autonomous Province of Trento
  •  Trentino Innovation Hub
  •  Lombardy Region Government


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News 13.02.2017 : Smart Specialization Strategies to build an Innovation Model for Alp Clusters

 EU Funding

Total eligible costs: 2.521.964 EUR
ERDF grant:1.929.500 EUR


Project start date: 01/11/2016
Project end date:30/04/2019

 Swiss Partner

Total eligible costs: 277'000 CHF
NPR (CH and FR) grant:225'000 CHF


Alpine space industrial Cluster's networks: paving the way for Europe 2020

The Alpine Space economy is largely based on manufacturing SMEs and clusters are a powerful tool to enhance competitiveness. The establishment of transnational clusters networks is a step forward to favour cross-border cooperation although poor awareness of the potentialities from the addressees and the lack of self-sustainability in the medium and long term are still real barriers.

AlpClusters2020 aims to contribute to the design of an integrated policy approach for the support of transnational clusters networks at ALPINE space level, in order to:

  • Facilitate the emergence of new industries, enhancing the resilience of Alpine industrial ecosystem
  • Track and valorise the achievements of the previous supported initiatives, assessing their impact
  • Animate a deep and intense participatory process through which private and public relevant actors can take part in the design of future actions
  • Support policy development process, exploring the synergies and suggesting joint actions toward 2020.

Lead partner


Veneto Innovazione S.p.A, European Policies Department

Project partners


Piedmont Region, Directorate of Industry and Productive Activities


Clusterland Upper Austria, Plastics-Cluster


Steinbeis-Europa-Zentrum der Steinbeis Innovation GmbH 




Science and technology centre of the Canton of Fribourg

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Le projet ALPS4EU est basé sur les clusters de quatre domaines (énergie et technologie verte, mécatronique et ingénierie, chimie et nouveaux matériaux et les technologies de l’information et de la communication) qui collaborent au niveau transnational de l’arc alpin dans le but d’accroître leur compétitivité. Les activités du projet s’adressent aux décideurs politiques ainsi qu’aux managers des clusters. Les priorités, les lignes directrices et les programmes en communs des clusters devront être mis en place à l’aide d’une cartographie stratégique. La promotion des clusters permettra un meilleur transfert de technologie dans l’avenir ainsi qu’une force d’innovation accrue dans les activités inter-clusters. Des mesures concrètes de soutien aux clusters dans le processus d'internationalisation et dans la coopération entre les clusters seront effectuées par l'établissement d'un méta-cluster ainsi qu'une augmentation de la visibilité internationale.

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Site du projet

Partenaires de projet


  • Regione Piemonte
  • Unioncamere Piemonte
  • CESTEC S.p.A.
  • Veneto Innovazione S.p.A.


  • MFG Badenwürttemberg
  • Steinbeis-Europa-Zentrum


  • Standortagentur Tirol


  • Jožef Stefan institute
  • Soca Valley development center


  • Chambre du Commerce et d’Industrie Nice Cote d’Azur
  • Région Rhône-Alpes


  • Pôle Scientfique et Technologique du Canton de Fribourg
  • Euresearch


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Téléchargement: Brochure du projet

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