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Clusters Go International - COS-CLUSINT-2020-3-01
Deadline: Dec 2, 2020  

 Enterprise and Industry
 Entrepreneurship and SMEs
 Start Up
 International Cooperation
 Business Development

The main objective of 'Clusters Go International' is to intensify cluster and business network collaboration across borders and sectorial boundaries, and to support the establishment of 'European Strategic Cluster Partnerships' to lead international cluster cooperation in fields of strategic interest in non-EU countries.

Deadline: 2 December 2020

Call number: COS-CLUSINT-2020-3-01

The aim of this action is to promote cluster internationalisation. Interested consortia develop and implement a joint internationalisation strategy, common goals towards specific non-EU markets, and support the internationalisation of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to countries beyond Europe.

This action will contribute to increasing the number and strength of 'European Strategic Cluster Partnerships Going International' (ESCP-4i), and will help European SMEs access new global value chains and take a leading position globally.

Type of activities

This call for proposals is divided into two strands.

Strand A will support the establishment of European Strategic Cluster Partnership – Going International (ESCP-4i) to open to a wide range of European industrial sectors and value chains, except those targeted in strand B below.

The projects under strand A should comprise preparatory and an implementation-related actions.

Preparatory actions contribute to establish a 'European Strategic Cluster Partnership – Going International' respecting all the characteristics defined in section 2.1 of the call text, with the aim to develop a joint internationalisation strategy for the partnership with common goals towards specific non-EU markets and a roadmap for implementation facilitating the internationalisation of its SME members.

Implementation-related actions concern the initial implementation and testing of the joint internationalisation strategy proposed by applicant consortia. They shall foster the further development of the 'European Strategic Cluster Partnerships – Going International' by building cooperation activities with international partners in a minimum of two third countries (i.e. non-COSME participating countries) or world regions, and initiating business partnerships for European SMEs in each target market.

Strand B will support the first implementation, testing and further development of up to two 'European Strategic Cluster Partnerships for Going International (ESCP-4is)' in the defence and security sector (dual use technologies).

The projects under strand B are expected to build on existing internationalisation strategies and focus on implementation-related actions as defined above.

Eligible applicants

Applicants must be legal entities.

For strand A, each legal entity must

  • be established in an EU Member State or country participating in the COSME programme pursuant to Article 6 of the COSME Regulation
  • be registered or have submitted a registration on the European Cluster Collaboration Platform (ECCP) by the submission deadline of this call

For strand B, each legal entity must

  • be established in an EU Member State
  • be registered or have submitted a registration on the European Cluster Collaboration Platform (ECCP) by the submission deadline of this call

For both strands the applicant must be a legal entity with a legal personality. This may include both profit-making or not-for-profit legal entities, as well as fully or partly public or private bodies. In the case of private bodies, they must be properly constituted and registered under national law.

Eligible consortia

Strand A

Proposals must be submitted by consortia that are

  • composed of at least three different legal entities and
  • established in a minimum of three different countries participating in the COSME programme pursuant to Article 6 of the COSME Regulation, among which at least two must be from two different EU Member States

Strand B

Proposals must be submitted by consortia that are

  • composed of at least three different legal entities
  • established in three different EU Member States

Applicant consortia can apply for one strand only, i.e. either strand A or strand B.

Eligible applicants can be part of maximum one applicant consortium for each strand.

Applicant consortia must verify that their individual members are not part of another application under the same strand. If such a case is detected by the funding body, it will lead to the rejection of the organisation concerned from all proposals in the respective strand. The respective consortia affected by the exclusion of (a) partner(s) must still fulfil the eligibility criteria as stipulated in sections 6.1 and 6.2 of the call for proposals in order to be considered eligible.

For strand A: Applicant consortia funded under the previous 'Cluster Go International' calls COS-CLUSTER-2014-3-03, COS-CLUSINT-2016-03-01, COS-CLUSINT-2017-03-6, and COS-CLUSINT-2019-3-01 are not eligible for this call. 

Submission of proposals

The deadline for electronic submission is 2 December 2020, 17.00 (CET).

Please refer to the call for proposals and guide for applicants before commencing the electronic submission.

The link to the submission system is available on the Funding and Tenders Portal.

Information webinar

A pre-recorded 'Clusters Go International 2020' information webinar will be available at the beginning of November 2020.

The exact date and link to access the webinar will be published here shortly. No special registration is required.

To send questions in advance, please email:

The answers will be published afterwards in a public document.

Partner search

If you are looking for partners to apply to this call or you are looking for a consortium active in the same domain as you, you may use the European Cluster Collaboration Platform. 


Potential applicants should address questions related to the content of this call by email to

Only questions sent to this email address will be answered, and answers will only be published periodically and within a reasonable period of time on this page. Questions can only be answered if they are submitted before the last 7 days prior to the closing date of this call.

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