CPC Alliance - SPI supports collaboration between clusters in Portugal and China

04 October 2012

The concept of industrial clusters - agglomeration of firms, suppliers, service providers and associated organizations of a particular sector - proves to be crucial for economic competitiveness. Industrial clusters can increase productivity by connecting and creating synergies between companies and associated institutions, efficient access to public goods, better coordination of initiatives, and dissemination of best practices. SMEs need to find the right partners to develop and produce globally competitive products and services. This requires new forms of international cooperation that are often difficult to manage. The internationalization of clusters has a very important role in supporting the internationalization of enterprises. In particular, SMEs can take advantage of the synergy of the resources of clusters. 

Given the clear opportunities that clusters offer as a tool for economic development, many countries have adopted the cluster concept. In Portugal, 19 clusters emerged and were officially recognized in recent years in areas such as health (Health Cluster of Portugal), food processing (PortugalFoods), engineering and tooling (ToolingPortugal). 

With a positive history of political and diplomatic relations that lasts for more than 5 centuries, Portugal and China have shown increasing opportunities for collaboration in terms of trade and investment. These bilateral economic relations can be strengthened through cooperation among their industrial clusters, reflected for example in joint research, new product development, technology transfer, joint ventures and new distribution channels. 

Present in China since 1999, SPI has launched the CPC Alliance - Portugal China Cluster Alliance. This innovative project aims to support the internationalization of clusters in Portugal and China, through the development of a new platform for collaboration and new support services for them. 

The project, which lasts for 24 months, aims at the investigation of clusters in these countries and the deepening of good practice from Europe and the U.S. in terms of collaboration with China in the field of clusters. The CPC Alliance will enhance access to the Chinese market by the Portuguese business community as well as allow the identification of opportunities for collaboration on joint projects of R&D and technology transfer that are not being exploited. Project clusters and Portuguese technology companies that intend to collaborate with Chinese partners may participate in this project. For more information about the CCP Alliance contact directly Dr. Sara Medina, head of the project, through the email address saramedina@spi.pt.