ELCA – COSME Action
Excellence on European lightweight
The ELCA COSME action aims to foster the use of European lightweight products, technologies and services in third countries markets through the development of a joint strategy toward international development. Five value chain stages in 4 mobility sectors are considered: aerospace & aeronautics, automotive, rail and maritime.
For mature markets, the action will look to commercialise innovative solutions (high TRL). For less mature markets, research-oriented solutions will be offered in order to establish R&D collaborations.
During the execution of the action, needs and opportunities in other regions will be also analysed, which will complement the already targeted markets. Since the use of lightweight solutions goes hand in hand with environmental regulations, the action also seeks to establish durable linkages with local/regional policy actors, with the aim of favouring the implementation of business and R&D activities within regional ecosystems.
The ELCA approach for internationalisation
The approach of the action is based on three phases:
- Phase 1: During the first phase, the action will analyse the most promising markets in terms of lightweight opportunities, taking as starting point the USA and Japan as mature markets and India and countries of Latin America as less mature ones.
- Phase 2: Based on the opportunities identified in the first phase, the second phase will focus on establishing contacts with third countries through exploratory visits.
- Phase 3: During the third phase, the joint internationalisation strategy and the roadmap for its implementation will be developed. This will take into account the selection of the more interesting target countries for European SMEs, considering the business opportunities and market growth, R&D partnerships potential, the accessibility to the market for SMEs, the sustainability of the action for SMEs and the existing networks of European clusters part of the consortium.
The Clusters partnership:
The partnership of the action is formed by five clusters specialised in lightweight excellence with an exceptional geographical coverage in the EU:
- AMZ (Automotive Supplier Network Saxony): The AMZ was founded in 1999 with the aim of centralising and coordinating the innovation activities of automotive suppliers in Saxony. Formed by a staff of experienced engineers, the AMZ has realised more than 300 projects, over 315 presentations to OEMs/Tiers1 and 70 supplier workshops. Its network is integrated by more than 140 members, including R&D, suppliers, mechanical engineering & production equipment, and industrial services.
- CLUSTER-MECH (Associazione Clust-ER Meccatronica e Motoristica): The CLUSTER-MECH is an association of 76 public and private bodies: companies, research centres and training institutions that share skills, ideas and resources to support the competitiveness of the sector. The Emilia-Romagna Region has found in the MECH the subjects capable of multiplying innovation opportunities through a collaborative approach, as they focus their activity in R&D strategic sectors. Together with the Technopoles and the High Technology Network laboratories, they are one of the key players in the regional innovation ecosystem coordinated by ASTER, the Emilia-Romagna consortium for innovation and technology transfer.
- BIC (Bydgoszcz Industrial Cluster): The BIC was established in 2006 with the aim of creating optimal development conditions, stimulating cooperation and integrating plastics processors and tool manufacturers of the plastics sector. BIC is formed by 134 members, including 94 enterprises, 10 business-related institutions, 5 R&D units, and 25 natural members. Altogether they employ more than 13,000 employees. The end-users of BIC’s main solutions cuts across different sectors, including automotive, aerospace, electronic appliances and housing among others.
- MAV (Advanced Materials Cluster of Catalonia): The MAV was created in 2015 with the aim to promote and contribute to the competitiveness of companies and entities in the value chain of the advanced materials business in Catalonia and its associated technologies. It is formed by 50 members, that altogether represent almost 5,500 employees and a revenue of close to €2bn. The MAV covers different technological areas, including new metallic structures, polymeric materials, ceramic materials, composites and technical fabrics; all of them across the entire value chain of materials.
- Plastipolis: Plastipolis is the only competitive cluster of plastics engineering in France. Located in Oyonnax, in the so-called Plastics Vallée of France, it brings together all the operators in the sector (companies, R&D centres, training centres, and institutional entities) in the Rhône-Alpes and Franche-Comté regions. Its aim is to promote the expertise of French plastics engineering companies on a European and international level. As a leading Technology Cluster for Polymer Industry in France, Plastipolis now regroups more than 320 members. Plastipolis was established in 2005 and has been involved in around 175 funded projects and more than 25 European projects. In 2013, Plastipolis was awarded the Gold label, the highest European award in cluster performance evaluation. Among the 350 members, Plastipolis integrates 250 firms, 90 R&D and education centres, 60 institutions and 6000 contacts, all of them spread around the region and the rest of country as well.
The work plan of the action is structured in 5 WPs:
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