THE PROJECT AIMS TO PROMOTE THE COMPETITIVENESS OF COMPANIES AND SMES. THE PROJECT WILL CONTRIBUTE TO REINFORCE THE EU’S EFFORT TOWARDS A GREENER AND MORE DIGITALISED ECONOMY, SUPPORTING THE RESILIENCE OF EUROPEAN SMES THROUGH INTERNATIONALISATION.
Access to third country markets is essential for European SMEs, especially as the size of the EU market is limited and growth is slower compared to some third countries with larger railway networks. One way to enter new markets is through Public Procurement of Innovation (PPI), but this is not usually an easy task for companies. SMEs face major challenges when bidding for tenders in foreign countries due to the requirements of authorities.
The railway sector is a sector in which the Public Procurement of Innovation plays a key role as the public bodies themselves are in most cases the final customers. This is why there is a need to support railway SMEs in these processes.
In July 2021, the new S-ACCESS project was launched, funded by the EU COSME programme, the aim of the project is to promote the competitiveness of companies and SMEs. The consortium of which Mafex is part of is led by the Italian railway cluster DITECFER, and of which are also part the rail-way clusters i-Trans (France), Rail.S (Germany), Järnvägsklustret (Sweden), RCSEE (Serbia and Southeast Europe) and Rail Alliance (United Kingdom).
The project covers 1,000 SMEs members of the 7 partners, and it focuses on defining for Public Procurement of Innovation strategies in three countries, the United States, Canada, and Norway. During the 36 months of the project, a complete analysis of the target countries will be offered, as well as training and advisory services for SMEs, company missions to the target countries, and other relevant actions to support SMEs in the bidding processes related to the Public Procurement of Innovation.
To this end, the S-ACCESS project will be developed in two phases, a first phase of preparation and a second one of execution, during which the analysis of SMEs will be carried out, as well as of the different markets and their bidding and public procurement procedures.
The project will contribute to reinforce the EU’s effort towards a greener and more digitalised economy, supporting the resilience of European SMEs through internationalisation.
The new internationalisation approach proposed by the S-ACCESS project can be exploited by other European industrial sectors, as many of the SMEs operating in the railway sector also develop solutions for other public-driven sectors, such as energy, water or defence.