The Kick-of-meeting of the BRIDGESMEs initiative was organized by the Coordinator Iniziativa Cube in Naples from the 5th to 7th of February with the participation of all the consortium members.

The 9 partners involved in the project, coming from 6 different countries (Austria, Czech Republic, France, Italy, Greece and Spain), had the opportunity to discuss about the initial project activities, the progress being made since the BRIDGESMEs launch in December last year, as well as coordinate the next steps to be taken in the coming months.

The BRIDGESMEs project, cofinanced under the Horizon Europe programme, aims to assist European SMEs in five industrial ecosystems – Mobility, Transport & Automotive; Aerospace & Defence; Electronics; Cultural & Creative Industries; and Tourism, so they can re-think their business models and operations and become more resilient, sustainable, and human-centric.

For that aim, the consortium will start conducting an assessment to understand better the current status of these five industrial ecosystems in terms of technology adoption and transition towards Industry 5.0, and identify needs, disruptions, challenges, and opportunities.

Later, two different calls (one for the manufacturing SMEs, demanding advanced technologies in their production lines and another for tech-savvy SMEs and startups, providing innovative solutions) will be launched, to receive their interest in being involved in the project and its activities. At least 30 companies (15 of each kind) will be selected to be supported under the project.

During 3 years of cooperation, the consortium will be committed to achieve the following objectives:

  • Explore collaboration opportunities and facilitate alliances among manufacturing and tech-savvy SMEs, especially in the framework of hackathons and matchmaking events.
  • Increase the adoption of advanced technologies in manufacturing SMEs, offering them a personalized support, including technical assistance, business consultancy services and training programmes.
  • Help tech-savvy SMEs to accelerate the deployment of innovative solutions in the market, through investment readiness support and scouting of financing sources.
  • Foster inter-cluster collaboration to identify business opportunities and best practices.
  • Provide guidelines for Cluster Management Organizations and policy recommendations to enhance resilience and technology uptake across European value chains.