About ISE Clusters
As part of the ISE project we will be inviting companies to join one of several cross-border clusters. These will enable businesses from France, Belgium, the Netherlands and England to co-operate and connect to experts from the wider ISE area.
ISE Clusters –Terms of Reference
The Innovative Sector Exchange Project is an EU funded initiative led by Kent County Council which aims to support small and medium sized enterprises with innovation and internationalisation. The project links four regions: Kent (UK), East and West Flanders (Belgium), Hauts-de-France (France) and the SW of the Netherlands. The project provides a range of support services to companies to help with doing business in another country. These include 121 assessments, workshops, cross-border networking events and connecting companies from the different countries. The project will also be establishing several cross-border clusters to bring together businesses and experts from the ISE project areas.
Aims & Objectives:
The ISE clusters will bring together businesses and experts within the different target sectors (Food & Drink, Digital & Creative, Engineering & Manufacturing, New Materials) in order to:
- Meet with other companies
- Collaborate & do business
- Provide peer-to-peer support
- Attend international business events
- Keep in touch electronically
Cluster membership is open to SMEs (according the the EU definition) located in one of the ISE partner regions (shown on map) wishing to further develop their business internationally and interested in working with companies and experts from other European regions. Companies would normally have a minimum of 5 employees and would be seeking to grow their business. Representatives of Higher Education or Research Institutes in relevant fields will form part of the clusters
 A turnover of less than €50m and fewer than 250 employees.
- Opportunities to meet with other businesses
- Problem solving activities
- Funded trips to visit trade shows/innovation events
- Online communication platform
Co-ordination & Management:
The clusters will be set up and managed by the ISE project partners until the end of the ISE project. Cluster leads will be identified within each cluster to oversee future activities from 2020.
The clusters are free to join and activities will be fully funded by the ISE project until September 2019. Beyond the life of the ISE project, companies may need to fund their travel costs for participating in events and cluster activities.