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EACN -European Automotive Cluster Network for joint Industrial Modernisation Investments
From October 15, 2018 till January 15, 2021 Silesia Automotive & Advanced Manufacturing Cluster undertook, in a consortium of 6 European automotive clusters, the Project EACN for Joint Industrial Modernisation Investments. The project, with the total budget of EUR 466,646.00, was co-founded with EUR 349,984.50 (EASME Grant Agreement #821989) by the European Union’s Competitiveness of Enterprises and Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (COSME) European Strategic Cluster Partnership for smart specialisation investments – COS-CLUSTPARTNS-2017-3-02 programme.
The project stakeholders were primarily SMEs operating in the automotive sector that are members or operating within the clusters of the EACN consortium, but also suppliers of industry technologies and services 4.0, research centers, technology parks, technology start-ups, public sector institutions at the regional level and responsible for SME support programs and other automotive clusters in the European Union.
The project activities were implemented in 3 stages, consisting of individual tasks:
1. PREPARATORY PHASE
Joint EACN Partnership Strategy
- analysis of main trends and events having impact on the way global value chains and business models in automotive will evolve;
- strategy development that will include a common “European” strategic vision and objectives for the envisaged cluster collaboration;
- implementation roadmap development with a comprehensive overview and prioritised list of the joint activities foreseen to be implemented by the cluster partnership.
2. IMPLEMENTATION PHASE
Business and Project development (B2B)
- audits among SMEs in the automotive industry to identify the needs and challenges of industrial modernization;
- thematic workshops;
- B2B meetings to initiate cooperation between enterprises.
Joint Cluster Activities (C2C)
- best practices exchange visits;thematic workshops with representatives of technology centres, universities, R&D organisations and representatives of authorities;
- preparation of cluster collaboration plans.
3. INVESTMENT PHASE
- call for proposals to support project preparation and notification under selected support instruments and support of tender procedures
- support for the preparation and submission of project proposals in competitions of selected financial instruments and in the preparation and organization of tenders for investment projects (purchase of common solutions) related to industrial modernization
The joint international project consortia formed during the investment phase involved 3 members of the SA&AM cluster (2 companies being automotive manufacturers and 1 company as am expert service provider):
- Michael i ZM Postęp paticipated the international consortium engaged in the project Artificial Intelligence and Soft Touch Solutions for Robotics in Automotive SMEs, with the purpose to develop an implementation proposal with an objective to be achieved, a technical specification, a budget and work schedule proposal and technical consultation.
- Michael i eq system cooperated within the project An integrated data management system for efficient planning, controlling and optimising flexible small series production processes”.The project was designed to define an implementation scope that would meet the needs and requirements of future system users.
SA&AM thanks its members for trust and commitment to the Project activities!
One of the main objectives of the EACN project was to build intercluster cooperation and continue the activities of the EACN network after the end of the project. Activities directed at integrating automotive clusters started in 2019. In 2020, the EACN network grew and the cooperation increased. The great success of the network and the growth in number of clusters (network's members), made it necessary to establish a more formal cooperation structure. The clusters decided on a network structure similar to an association, but without creating a legal structure, whose by-laws and internal rules and procedures were adopted at the first General Assembly of the EACN Network on January 20, 2021.