On Tuesday 14th of September, the Catalan Water Partnership took part in the “Strengthening cluster collaboration through strategic internationalisation – Capacity-building webinar”, organised by the European Cluster Collaboration Platform (ECPP), a webinar focused on how clusters can boost internationalisation. Among the more than 1,000 clusters that make up the ECCP network throughout Europe, the Catalan Water Partnership was asked to participate as a successful case of internationalisation in recent years. This confirms the international recognition and positioning of the Catalan Water Partnership. Thus, together with other participants, such as Dr. Christian Ketels (Visiting Executive at Harvard Business School) and the Pole du Mer cluster in France, it was possible to present the CWP and its internationalisation activities.
Xavier Amores, Director of the Catalan Water Partnership, shared the internationalisation trajectory of the cluster, which has led them to organise activities in more than 20 countries in recent years. The participation of the cluster in international fairs and trade missions, the promotion of stable alliances with water clusters and water associations such as the Water Council in Wisconsin, the participation in investment missions, technological missions to promote R&D projects between partners from different countries, or cooperation with large companies and international public authorities to promote the internationalisation of SMEs, are among the most important activities carried out. COVID-19 also shared the strategies followed to connect with international clients in Peru, Australia, South Africa and the USA among other countries in the last year through virtual events, or projects to promote the digital strategy in internationalisation with SMEs.
Among the latest projects, it is worth highlighting the participation of the cluster in various COSME GO INTERNATIONAL projects with the support of the EU, such as Green Small Smart Cities, Welliance or Aewen, projects whose main objective is the internationalisation of SMEs, and which allow cascading funding of their international activities. Mexico, South Africa, the USA, Chile, Vietnam, Cape Verde, Morocco, Tunisia and Senegal are among the countries for which CWP is carrying out opportunity studies and supporting SMEs in their internationalisation process by financing trips, organising missions and providing valuable resources to facilitate entry into these markets.
Participants were able to gain a better understanding of how to develop a strategic approach to internationalisation, to see how a cluster can be a key facilitator to boost the internationalisation of SMEs, to serve as an inspiration to foster intercluster collaboration, or how the EU can support internationalisation through its programmes.