Posted on May 20, 2022
Building on THE NEXT SOCIETY project, Berytech, in partnership with Anima Investment Network, launched the ‘Scale-up voucher for Clusters’ project offering a technical assistance voucher to assist regional clusters in developing their growth strategy and expanding business opportunities for their cluster members.
Six clusters were selected from the Mediterranean region, Tunisia, Morocco & Lebanon, to benefit from this opportunity based on their mission, track records, growth plan, and milestones.
Berytech has created a series of interviews with the six clusters to learn more about their work, the success they have had in building an impactful cluster and the challenges they face.
Introduce your cluster, its objective, the industry it works in, and the type of companies it gathers.
The CE3M cluster was created in 2010, and its mission is to develop innovative products made in Morocco, for the energy, mobility, medical and aeronautics sectors.
Within its service offering, the cluster supports innovative projects, by identifying the technologies necessary for their implementation and assisting with project management. We support funding needs and help our members find funds depending on the projects.
We also support business development, participation in international fairs and networking, and connections with national and international donors.
What has been the impact of your cluster on the industry it works in?
The CE3M cluster gathers more than 110 members: +90 SMEs, 10 universities and engineering schools, 6 Associations, and 4 Large companies. So far we have created more than 40 collaborative projects, supported more than 60 startups, and helped launch to the world more than 40 innovative products made in Morocco. We have created a mechanical and electronic prototyping platform and opened a tech center for incubation and hosting startups and project leaders. We have a network of partners covering around ten countries, and a regular presence at major industrial meetings in the four corners of the world, in particular CES Las Vegas, Productronica Germany, Global industries, etc.
What is the importance of your cluster in particular and creating clusters in general to your country?
The CE3M contributes to the structuring of the electronics sector in Morocco. Among the structuring actions we took are:
For Morocco, clusters contribute to the consolidation of an innovation ecosystem, including innovative companies, project leaders, universities, technical centers, and funding organizations.
They allow in the medium term to position Morocco in the club of technology-producing countries and contribute to the emergence of an economy with high added value. Clusters also strengthen the image of Morocco at the international level and its attractiveness for investments.
The objective of the creation of clusters is to allow the emergence of innovative market-oriented projects and to support companies and proactive actors to form high-level clusters.
For Morocco, clusters are an effective way of generating collaborative projects with high innovative content, through their local actions, consisting of:
What are the main advantages that companies receive from being in your cluster?
Companies receive priority involvement in CE3M collaborative projects, research opportunities for subcontracting and partnership, and transfer of know-how and technology, identified by the CE3M (CE3M network, exhibitions, partner reception, company visits). The cluster promotes their know-how and production capacities with national and international contractors and gives them representation at trade fairs in which CE3M participates. Companies benefit from collective training, assistance, and support actions with priority and differentiated prices for shared platforms and visibility on all CE3M channels.
What are the main challenges you face while achieving your main objective?
We have 4 challenges to overcome:
What kind of support do you wish to receive in the future?
Even if Morocco is honorably positioned in Africa, in terms of a proactive cluster development policy, with around fifteen clusters, in different themes, international cooperation with our European partners gives us an additional dimension and offers increased development opportunities in particular, through:
We need to participate in European projects, such as Horizon Europe, to confront the challenges of collaborative work with our partners, Clusters of Europe, and benefit from the financial support granted by these programs.
We also need to participate in the various events, b2b meetings with our European counterparts to identify opportunities for cooperation and business, and would like the Techdays to be renewed and organized alternately on both shores of the Mediterranean (North and South)
We also hope that the various European programs consider the Maroc Cluster network as a privileged partner and a gateway for cooperation with Moroccan clusters.
We were proud to have participated in the Next Society Program, which allowed us, among other things, to exchange good practices, and strengthen our operational skills, we would like for a future program, to progress in the work on concrete projects, inter clusters, business-oriented, to take advantage of the range of skills of the different clusters. We can count on the Morocco Cluster association which brings together all Moroccan clusters and represents all industrial sectors to bring out projects for the benefit of our continent, Africa, and the future of Europe, in this uncertain geopolitical context.
THE NEXT SOCIETY is an open community of change-makers, entrepreneurs, investors, corporates, NGOs, public and private innovation, research, and economic development hubs from Europe and 7 Mediterranean countries: Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Palestine, and Tunisia. It aims at mobilizing, promoting, and reinforcing innovation ecosystems and economic development in the MENA region.