The start of February of 2023 marks a full one year of Business Hive Vilnius (BHV) participating in EXCITE project as a consortium member. And what a journey it has been so far!
The first meeting and study visit
On the occasion of the networking event “Scale UP 2022: Opportunities for SMEs” on June 6-9 of 2022 (organized by the Bulgarian cluster for Digital Transformation and Innovations (DTI)), the European partners came together for the first face-to-face meeting for the new European Cluster Exchange project where the six project partners started to their collaboration - Silicon Saxony in Dresden (Germany) , SCS Cluster in Sophia-Antipolis (France), GAIA in Basque Country (Spain), Mazovia Cluster ICT in Warsaw (Poland), Cluster for Digital Transformation and innovation in Sofia (Bulgaria) and Business Hive Vilnius (Lithuania). In the EXCITE project consortium members are aiming to build relationships, make exchanges of best practices and know more about other European ecosystems and also aiming to increase the interactions within cluster ecosystems and Small and Medium Enterprises by creating dedicated exchanges.
Thus during the Scale Up 2022 - consortium partners had a chance to introduce their respective clusters and explore possible synergies with local SMEs and other organisations. It was a great opportunity to explore Sofia Tech Park - supercomputer, 3D printing facilities and much more.
When learning about DTI and their best practices, the partners also got to know the ecosystem in and around Sofia which is highly innovative. One innovation hub and incubator is Sofia Tech Park with EXCITing organisations such as:
All in all, the four days in Bulgaria were a great success for the project consortium. Nothing beats meeting in person and talking about next steps face to face. Thank you to DTI for your great hospitality!
Second study visit
Together with three SMEs and four cluster organisations, the EXCITE consortium travelled to Sophia-Antipolis from 11 to 14 October 2022 to learn more about the local smart mobility ecosystem.
Founded in 1969, the "French Silicon Valley" in Sophia Antipolis is now home to 2500 companies with more than 38 000 employees. Among them are large companies such as Accenture, Hitachi, HP, Intel, NXP, Orange and SAP. To overcome mobility challenges such as traffic jams during rush hour, local companies are working on e-mobility solutions and autonomous driving. For example, two self-driving shuttles were introduced in early 2022 to support bus services in the region.
The delegation's first stop was SAP Labs in Mougins near Sophia Antipolis. The company, which has three branches in France, has a fully electric fleet of 300 vehicles. Its own software is used to manage them. This makes it possible to control electricity consumption depending on the available charging time. The site has a total of 60 charging points from different manufacturers.
IMREDD (Nice), the Mediterranean Institute of Risk, Environment and Sustainable Development, works on innovation for environmental issues by bringing together public, private and research institutions. Projects include technologies for counting people, printed skin or breast implants for cancer victims, or so-called "ink food" for people who cannot chew after an operation among others. IMREDD was also involved in the development of an autonomous shuttle called MILLA POD, a Renault-based autonomous car currently being tested on the roads of Vélizy-Villacoublay, Aix-en-Provence and Nice in France.
In addition to company visits in and around Sophia Antipolis to SAP Labs, IMREDD and Inria, among others, the participating companies had the opportunity to learn about mobility trends, meet other local stakeholders and arrange B2B meetings at Pôle SCS' Smart Mobility Market Day. Thank you to Pôle SCS for the organisation and hospitality!
BHV is EXITEd to be part of this great project and consortium and looking forward for new discoveries and growth opportunities during the second year of the project!
EXCITE aims to strengthen cluster management and facilitate exchange and strategic partnership between cluster staff and cluster members by using the ClusterXchange system. ClusterXchange is a new pilot project to promote short-term exchanges to better connect industrial ecosystems in Europe. The project will focus on skills, processes and services related to digital transformation - both in terms of the cluster organisation itself and its members, to be able to support them in successfully accessing global markets.
Your advantage as company, cluster or scale-up organisation: As a participant in the organised business delegations, you will not only get to know innovative regions, take part in renowned events and individual B2B meetings free of charge, but also receive financial support to offset your travel costs.
Project Duration: 01.02.2022 – 31.01.2024