The Scale-Up Project supports the greening of the economy through better exploitation of NSR Clean Tech innovations, aiming at international uptake of 25 novel, green products and services by large corporate buyers. This transnational supply chain project across clusters is completely new and provides an opportunity for business to operate cross border and work together. Participating industrial buyers in the existing local programs have expressed a need for contacts with SME’s from other countries in the NSR region. The project will establish new transnational services by established (locally or nationally operating) clean tech clusters, leading to new transnational Buyer-Supplier relations. While building on nationally piloted approaches, without Interreg support, those results would not be achieved under current and foreseen activities of the project partners. As such the cluster organizations start a new chapter above and beyond their their current scope and geographic orientation.
Novel service definition by Clean Tech Clusters (described in section C.1.2)
Based on a joint analysis of technology-to-market bottlenecks for novel clean tech products, the Partners in the project share a vision of a new type of business development service aimed at connecting technology providers with market buyers. This concept has been put into practice at the local level in 2-3 individual occasions, but is far from an established service across the region. The Scale-Up Project provides a completely new opportunity for innovative SME’s from for example Cambridge to engage with, Phillips at an open innovation event in the Netherlands. This has never before been undertaken and the project provides a completely new concept for forging relationships and businesses opportunities across the key cleantech clusters in NSR region. The addition of the skills support and voucher elements creates a totally new and innovative service package to encourage SME’s and corporates to work together across borders.
Novel transnational service delivery by Cleantech Clusters
The ambition of the project is to provide the value-added service not locally, but transnationally. For example a DK-based cluster would develop and open up a buyer network to suppliers from other countries, with help from clusters active in NSR countries. In the area of Intelligent Public Procurement several of the partners have experiences to draw on but in when it comes to Intelligent Private Procurement there exist a gap in the market that could potentially have great synergetic impacts for the NSR. These activities cannot be pursued without the Interreg funding and the coordination between the regional actors is of outmost importance for best practice knowledge sharing and to create and operate a new formalized collaboration platform. As attested in various sections of the proposal, the Clean Tech cluster share knowledge, but there are currently no joint business development-oriented activities between the established Clean Tech clusters. In a truly transnational fashion, this project would thus create new links and business opportunities that currently are lost due to the geographical scope of cluster operations. As such bridging a major barriers for local and national technology orientated small en medium sized companies.
Beyond anyway activities
The project is a joint ambition of Clean Tech clusters and meant to lead to long-term continuation through the International Clean Tech network organization. This however does not mean that activities would take place anyway since the ICN focuses on a broad spectrum of activities where the concept of Intelligent Private Procurement is not the main scope of the network. The goal of the ICN is to create collaboration transnationally between triple helix actors thereby strengthening innovation capacity and growth for the local partners. The Scale Up project focuses specifically on buyer-supplier business development and is thereby not included in the existing activities.
The project partners, which partially rely on local/regional financing, and therefore mostly work within a limited geographic scope, do not have the financial and staff capacity to invest in development of the transnational relations. Even higher barriers exist for directly supporting novel technology suppliers in developing international relations as intended by the training and meet-the-buyer vouchers schemes. Without additional funding from the Interreg programme, the proposed set of activities will not take place. Once set up with support of Interreg, the proposed model of industry co-funded activities would lead to sustainable service offering.
At the same time, the project does benefit where possible of locally funded activities. For example by using the synergies between ´anyway´ activities and policies (see section C.3, and activities in WP2) to which novel, transnational, business development activities would be added, providing additional leverage of Interreg funding. A clear example is annual general promotional event for start-ups, which in SCALE-UP would be extended with a buyer-supplier matchmaking session in which handpicked technology suppliers from across the region would participate. The project would thus deliver maximum added value for Interreg funding.