BIGINN marks a new beginning for business and Big Science Innovation. The consortium partners (Denmark), INEUSTAR (Spain), and LITEK™ (Lithuania) have joined forces for the ClusterXchange program to mobilize clusters in order to exploit the potential of innovation and international cooperation from the Big Science market by tapping into the huge investments into state-of-the-art technology in this field.

Project BIGINN is co-funded under the COSME program from the European Union and has a total budget of 496 261 EUR (GA No. 101037928, COS-CLUSTER-2020-3-03-1).

Co-funde by the COSME programme of the European Union


The last few years clusters have emerged across Europe that interact with large-scale research Infrastructures – so-called Big Science organizations (BSOs). CERN, ITER/Fusion for Energy, European Spallation Source (ESS), Extreme Light Infrastructure (ELI), European Space Agency (ESA), and other BSOs represent huge European public investments (38.7 BEur) and act as drivers for innovation with a vast impact on society. Since all BSOs target global leadership within their respective fields, they often require technology solutions on the forefront of what is possible. They are constantly requesting advanced supplies and seeking innovative SMEs to co-develop new solutions suiting the needs of these advanced state-of-the-art facilities.

According to a survey conducted by ENRIITC (European network of research infrastructures & industry for collaboration,, high-end electrical & electronic engineering, mechanical engineering, energy, ICT/data, and space solutions are the TOP five sectors, with which BSOs are in constant need for cooperation.

Due to the many opportunities generated by the BSOs and a clear interest from companies in the marketplace, the BIGINN partnership sees the need to develop and professionalize the operation of the clusters, the business networks, SMEs, and other providers servicing the Big Science sector.

According to ENRIITC (European network of research infrastructures & industry for collaboration, initiated survey, high-end electrical & electronic engineering, mechanical engineering, energy, ICT/data, and Space solutions are TOP5 sectors, which BSOs are in constant need for cooperation.

BIGINN addresses specific challenges of the topic:

  • Strengthen and professionalize the cluster management skills in the new area of Big Science clusters;
  • Employ cluster mobility schemes to implement cross-fertilization of innovation opportunities in different clusters;
  • Improve SMEs global competitiveness by establishing international relations and collaborations.

Project activities

The BIGINN project will involve  cluster excellence capacity-building activities and implementation of a ClusterXchange mobility scheme.

Excellence capacity-building activities

A part of BIGINN activities will focus on enhancing cluster manager’s skills towards generating added-value support services that support the growth and competitiveness of cluster SMEs members. Various analyses will be conducted in order to identify:

  • the gaps and potential in the Big Science market with focus on cross-sector opportunities and competitiveness;
  • the potential cluster services, which can assist to cover gaps in the market;
  • the need to upgrade or reskill cluster management competencies in order to implement selected services and strengthen SMEs support to a better and more efficient.
ClusterXchange mobility scheme

Furthermore, BIGINN will implement the “ClusterXchange” mobility scheme and facilitate temporary exchanges. Project will elaborate and coordinate specific group visit agendas – Xchanges – covering a complete immersive experience in the environment of Big Science in a specific region. This will include group visits to Big Science facilities, workshops, conferences, visits to the local stakeholders, networking activities and other ad-hoc activities tailored to the ecosystem.

The “ClusterXchange” mobility scheme are open to all entities from countries participating in the COSME program of the European Union. Interested entities can register on the European Cluster Collaboration Platform under one of the following organizational profiles:

  • A cluster or similar business network organization;
  • A scaling-up support organization (technology centre, research institute, fab-lab, resource-efficiency service provider, [digital] innovation hub, creative hub, incubator, or accelerator) that is a cluster member;
  • A small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) that is a cluster member.

Looking for partners? Check prepared Business Competency Matrix