SME Cluster services for the Big Science segment
It lists the most interesting services that you, as a Big Science cluster, can provide to your members. The list has been generated by asking the cluster members in BigScience.dk, INEUSTAR and LITEK which services they find most valuable.
A complete overview of the cluster service survey can be found in deliverable D2.3 (download).
In the following the 9 services valued highest by the cluster members are listed together with the estimated effort to implementing/executing the service (1 to 5 with 5 requiring the most effort):
WHY: The cluster secretariat typically has a good insight into the skills and strengths of the companies in the cluster as wells a good overview of what the Big Science Organizations (BSO) and possible commercial Integrators/Prime Contractors have of needs for (sub)suppliers. This knowledge gives the cluster secretariats a unique opportunity to match and pitch the correct companies to the relevant needs and hence put the cluster member in a better position.
HOW: This is typically a “hand-held” service that requires the cluster secretariat employees to know the cluster members well (typically gained via visits and discussions on competences and goals on the Big Science market) and have a good overview of what tasks and needs the BSOs and Integrators have (typically gained via visits and meetings with purchasers/technical personnel, participation in ILO meetings at the BSOs and participation in relevant conferences and fairs).
WHY: Generally, it can be very difficult for companies to find but also to interpret tenders coming from the many different BSOs hence it is very valuable for the cluster members to be able to get all new tenders in a collected manner with regular intervals. Adding a categoty and possibly a short non-technical description of the tender also lowers the threshold for the companies to engage with a tender.
HOW: The cluster secretariat collects all new tenders from the BSOs, collects them in a short list, preferably with category, price range, contact information etc. The TenderList can then be distributed via newsletters, webpages and LinkedIn.
WHY: Good relations with personnel at BSOs makes the cluster well known and at top-of-mind when looking for companies as well as gives the possibility to introduce new companies with new competences, hence frequent communication with BSO personnel gives the cluster secretariat employees the best possible connections to these personnel and allow them to get the latest information on coming projects/orders.
HOW: Generally, the more visits and meetings with BSO personnel the better the relationship. This can be achieved by frequent visits to the BSOs e.g., through ILO meetings and visits with cluster members.
WHY: TenderOverviews send to the cluster members can sometime be overlooked or the companies might not at first glance see a specific tender as an option for them, hence sending a personal message with a direct match between the tender and the company competences can help the company to bid.
HOW: This can be done by reviewing the TenderOverview in a meeting before sending it out and analyzing the competences needed for each tender and matching it with possible cluster members.
WHY: It can be very valuable for a company to be able to meet the purchasers and technical personnel at the BSOs (or from other clusters) to get to understand the needs of the BSO but also to be able to present the company to the personnel, hence organizing visits at BSO or from BSOs to cluster members can create great value.
HOW: This can typically be done by the cluster secretariat employees as they have contacts at the BSOs that know them and trust their judgement of relevant companies.
WHY: In addition to making business directly with BSOs it is also of great value for the cluster members to be matched with other cluster members that either have competences that they need or can help support a larger task, hence the good knowledge of the cluster members skills and competences be valuable to match cluster members.
Note that the collaboration between cluster members does not have to be regarding projects or deliveries to the Big Science market.
HOW: This can be done by the cluster secretariat employees either when contacted directly by one cluster member asking for help to be matched with another cluster member or when a tender cannot be handled by a single cluster member and a consortium is needed.
WHY: Knowing the other cluster members and members for other networks/cluster can of cause be of great value for the companies as this broadens their reach and access to new competences, hence arranging internal and external networking events can be of great value.
HOW: This can be done in many ways be the cluster secretariat and could be internal cluster networkmeetings, larger networkmeetings, visits to/from BSOs or common participation in fairs and conferences.
WHY: Having a broad and international network gained via ILO networks, EU collaboration etc. allows the cluster secretariats to gain access to potential international business partners, hence making it possible for cluster members to participate in match making events with partners they would otherwise not come into contact with.
HOW: This is typically done by making cross-European matchmaking events where cluster members from different clusters inputs competences and needs to a matchmaking-platform on which meeting are then booked. The event can both be in-person and online, depending on the geographical location of the cluster members and on the size and scope of the event.
DIGITAL TOOLS: The main digital tool for matchmaking is B2match (however, it is quite expensive).
WHY: The success of the companies on the Big Science market of cause depends on how easily accessible the market is, how e.g., procurement procedures work and how openly the tenders are published, hence it is of great value that the cluster secretariat employees lobby for the best possible framework for the companies to make business – both at national level and at BSO level.
HOW: On a national level this can be done by being visible as a cluster in the national ecosystem for Big Science as well as the political system and use this visibility and knowledge gained to push for better solutions and working conditions for the cluster member.
On the BSO level this can be done by participating actively in ILO fora at the BSOs and by aligning with like-minded ILOs from other countries as well as being supportive towards the BSO in e.g., helping them develop new procedures, testing new systems etc.