The European Commission selected the ERCI consortium ‘PERES’ to be funded from 2018, concerning the call for ‘Cluster go international’ of the COSME programme. The consortium consists of the four ERCI partners DITECFER (Italy), i-Trans (France), Rail Alliance (United Kingdom), BTS Rail Saxony (Germany) and the Serbian cluster BSN representing the Railway Cluster for South-East Europe RCSEE. The project is led by the Italian cluster DITECFER.
‘PERES’ stands for „Promoting European Railway Excellence outside of the EU” and is a European Strategic Cluster Partnership (ESCP) that was established in the framework of the COSME Call “Cluster Go International” 2015. The EU Commission supports in phase 1 the creation of a strategy and an implementation plan of the participating clusters for the promotion of European rail technology products beyond the EU. The focus lies on the products of small- and medium-sized enterprises. PERES starts from the beginning of 2018 and first measures shall be created until 1.5 years latest.
‘The fact that the EU Commission is now supporting explicitly SMEs in the field of rail industry in the market development, is strengthening our activities. I am sure, that new interesting partnerships will arise from the common activities with other European companies’, says ERCI spokesperson and PERES participant Dirk-Ulrich Krüger from BTS Rail Saxony.
PERES aims at intensifying and leading international cluster cooperation in supporting the companies of the European railway industry we represent – mainly SMEs: more than 1,000 – in internationalization processes concerning markets outside EU. Our clusters, in fact, also include large enterprises at the head of the supply chain and scientific bodies, but PERES aims to empower the SMEs in order to try to solve the problems they usually encounter when having to do with entering international markets.
Our approach in terms of building our capability to go international takes into account also those entities whose presence in our territories enable our SMEs in their daily development (i.e. for R&D activities, innovation support, tests, certifications, etc.). We do believe, in fact, that our enterprises can become even more competitive – thus attractive at international level – if perceived as a complete and dynamic chain able to grow in terms of products and services responding to current and future market needs.
PERES is also an initiative addressing our clusters’ managers, that are undergoing a process of learning enabling them to better support our members and to deliver higher quality project objectives. This takes place both by developing initiatives together (such as B2B at important international rail fairs, such as: InnoTrans 2016; SIFER 2017) and sharing experiences and best practices between us and also with other European clusters, so as through the participation at dedicated training sessions on clusters internationalization (e.g. Brussels, January 2018).