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The Executive Agency for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (EASME) of European Commission has signed grant agreement with the five-partner consortium, where Latvian IT Cluster is coordinator, for funding five Clusters of cross-sectorial co-operation Project: „Speeding up network internationalization of food, ICT Industry 4.0 clusters and their SMEs towards strategic third countries beyond Europe in field of emerging industries and Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG 4.0)" or "AUMENTA" implementation, in the frame of European Union's small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) competitiveness program "COSME".

The Project implementation started on 1st of September 2020 and its duration is 18 months. The Project's overall aim is to implement and test joint internationalization strategy aimed at supporting SMEs to identify growth opportunities worldwide, increase the internationalisation of SMEs, augment business and cooperation opportunities with strategic partners in third countries beyond Europe and facilitate their integration into global value chains.

Project budget:

Grant amount: EUR 446 461.00

Total budget: EUR 496 070.19

Lead partner (Coordinator):

Latvian IT Cluster

Project partners:

Food Products Quality Cluster represented by Latvian Federation of Food Companies

SMART food cluster represented by Lithuanian Food exporters association

Built upon successful implementation of ESCP S3 partnership DIGICLUSTERS, AUMENTA is a novel and interdisciplinary project that takes European SMEs to the next level and boost their internationalization beyond Europe by intensifing cluster and business network collaboration, establishing 'European Strategic Cluster Partnership-Going International' (ESCP-4i) and implementing & testing joint internationalization strategy.

The project interconnects of five relevant and complementary partners from four countries (ES, PL, LT, LV) uniting high technology clusters (ICT/ Industry 4.0) with traditional sectors (food) towards jointly and consciously selected third countries beyond Europe:

> Morocco - as a strategic gate to North African/ South-Mediterranean (MEDA) markets;

> Georgia - as a strategic gate to Caucasus & post-USSR markets;

> Uruguay - as a strategic gate to Latin American markets

to lead international cluster cooperation in field of emerging industries:

> Food 4.0.

> Industry 4.0 applied to agrofood industry

> Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG 4.0) and development of international commerce and eCommerce.

Successfully using concept of AUMENTA internationalization strategy by approaching of 3 target countries as strategic gate to wider geographic regions, consortium has discovered high potential for EU SMEs to enter not only in Georgia, Morocco and Uruguay, but also in neighbouring countries of selected geographical regions respectively, e.g., Uzbekistan in Caucasus and Central Asia (as post-USSR countries), Tunisia in North African/ South-Mediterranean (MEDA) and Argentina and Paraguay in MERCOSUR / Latin America, which will be approached in the AUMENTA project as well.

By implementation of pioneering X-Industry Internationalization Programme, AUMENTA will support European SMEs in their fast internationalization to three continents, creating new cooperation and business opportunities to support growth, jobs and wealth.

This article is part of the project AUMENTA that was funded by the European Union’s COSME Programme.

The project is co-funded by the European Union’s COSME Programme

* The content of this article represents the views of the author only and is his/her sole responsibility; it cannot be considered to reflect the views of the European Commission and/or the Executive Agency for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (EASME) or any other body of the European Union. The European Commission and the Agency do not accept any responsibility for use that may be made of the information it contains.


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