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Call: Strategic Cluster Partnerships for smart specialisation investments

Acronym COSME
Type of Fund Action programme
Description of programme

COSME is the EU programme for the Competitiveness of Enterprises and Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) running from 2014 to 2020 with a planned budget of 2.3 bn. €.

Accessing finance

COSME aims to make it easier for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to access finance in all phases of their lifecycle – creation, expansion, or business transfer. Thanks to EU support, businesses have easier access to guarantees, loans and equity capital. EU ‘financial instruments’ are channelled through local financial institutions in EU countries. To find a financial institution in your country, visit the Access to Finance portal.

Opening markets

COSME helps businesses to access markets in the EU and beyond. It funds the Enterprise Europe Network that helps SMEs find business and technology partners, and understand EU legislation; the Your Europe Business portal that provides practical information on doing business within Europe; and the SME Internationalisation Portal for companies who want to develop their activities outside Europe. It also finances a number of IPR (intellectual property rights) SME Helpdesks.

Supporting entrepreneurs

COSME supports entrepreneurs by strengthening entrepreneurship education, mentoring, guidance and other support services. Actions support specific groups who may find it difficult to reach their full potential, such as young people, women and senior entrepreneurs. The programme also aims to help businesses access opportunities offered by digital technologies.

Improving business conditions

COSME aims to reduce the administrative and regulatory burden on SMEs by creating a business-friendly environment. COSME also supports businesses to be competitive by encouraging them to adopt new business models and innovative practices. This complements actions in areas with high growth potential such as the tourism sector.  

Link Link to Programme
Strategic Cluster Partnerships for smart specialisation investments
Description of call
"Strategic Cluster Partnerships for smart specialisation investments"
The objective of this measure is to pilot the implementation of European Strategic Cluster Partnerships for smart specialisation investments in the context of the Smart Specialisation Platform for Industrial Modernisation and Investment. It aims to bring together cluster organisations, other business networks, technology centres and science parks in European Strategic Cluster Partnerships, that are expected to be formed around common industrial thematic areas, which also correspond to the smart specialisation priorities of their regions. The focus of the measure is placed on industrial modernisation, such as through Key Enabling Technologies, ICT, service innovation and resource efficiency. The possible industrial thematic areas of the Partnerships therefore include advanced manufacturing, digital transformation/industry 4.0, digital platforms, big data analytics, space data services, advanced material and disruptive business models and service concepts including in creative industries, textiles and tourism.
Link Link to Call
Thematic Focus SME, Capacity Building, Industry, Technologies
Funding area EU Member States
Potential Candidate Countries
Candidate Countries
Neighbouring Countries
Iceland / Ísland
Norway / Norge
Origin of Applicant EU Member States
Albania / Shqipëria
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia / поранешна југословенска Република Македонија
Iceland / Ísland
Montenegro / Crna Gora/Црна Гора
Serbia / Сpбија
Turkey / Türkiye
Ukraine / Україна Oukraïna
Eligible applicants Research Institution, Lobby Group / Professional Association / Trade Union, Public Services, Association
Applicant details Consortia composed of
  • at least three different legal entities and established in a minimum of three different EU Member States or countries participating in the COSME programme
  • one partner representing a cluster organisation or business network organisation
  • one organisation being established in a region classified as "less developed" or "in transition"
Project Partner Yes
Project duration min 12 months
Project duration max 24 months
Type of Funding Grant
Financial details total budget: 2,8 Mio. €
max. grant: 350 000 €
EU-Cofinancing rate: 75%
Submission Electronic Submission Service-Participant Portal
Contact Details

The Executive Agency for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (EASME) manages COSME on behalf of the European Commission.

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