The S-ACCESS project is part of COSME, the EU programme that aims to promote the competitiveness of companies and SMEs.
S-ACCESS aims to strategically strengthen European small and medium-sized enterprises to participate in public procurement tenders in markets outside the EU. MAFEX will collaborate with other railway clusters in the definition and implementation of the internationalisation strategy for the U.S., Canada, and Norway. The duration of the project is 24 months, and a complete analysis of the target countries will be offered as well as training and advisory services to SMEs, business trips to the target countries, among other relevant actions to support SMEs in public procurement processes in these countries.
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 country markets with larger railway networks. The S-ACCESS project will be developed in two phases: preparatory and implementation, during which the analysis of the SMEs joined up in the different partner groups – as well as the analysis of the markets and tendering procedures, and the public procurement processes in the target markets – will take place. These have been selected based on what was previously developed in the PERES project and will be the United States, Canada, and Norway.
Supporting a project centered on European railway technologies will help to strengthen the EU’s effort towards a greener and more digital economy, provided that through internationalisation we support the resilience of European SMEs and their opportunity to reinvest in Europe in greener production and solutions, as well as in digitalisation.
The S-ACCESS project fully complies with the spirit of the action. In addition, its ability to develop and offer a new approach of applicable internationalisation – with small changes (e.g., the dimension/complexity of the system integration, reference to standards, etc.) – to other European industrial sectors will be supported by the fact that many SMEs operating in the railway sector have also developed solutions for other public sectors, such as energy, water or defence.