The Next Society: Scaling Clusters in Lebanon, Tunisia & Morocco

Posted on November 8, 2021

The activity is under the Cluster Booster Track of the EU-funded project THE NEXT SOCIETY, and aims to empower clusters in the Mediterranean region.”

Berytech, in partnership with Anima Investment Network, launched the ‘Scale Up Voucher For Clusters’, offering a technical assistance voucher with a value of 5000 euros used to assist clusters in developing their growth strategy and expanding business opportunities for their cluster members.

The activity is under the Cluster Booster Track of the EU-funded project THE NEXT SOCIETY, and aims to empower clusters in the Mediterranean region.

Scale Up Voucher For Clusters

Two clusters were selected from each of Lebanon, Morocco and Tunisia to benefit from this opportunity. Selection was based on the cluster’s mission and track records, its growth plan and milestones and its suggested plan for the technical assistance voucher.

Berytech coordinated this activity in Lebanon, Tunisia and Morocco, while partners of THE NEXT SOCIETY project in each country were responsible to implement the activity and support the cluster. Meetings were held with each cluster for needs assessment and to set the plan on how to best benefit from the technical assistance.

Lebanon

In Lebanon, Berytech is supporting the QOOT cluster and the Lebanon SoftShore Cluster

Lebanon SoftShore Cluster operates in the Information Communication Technology & Software Development industry. It was established in 2008 and gathers Lebanese SMEs with the mission of offering high quality services at competitive prices to international companies based in Europe, Middle East and Africa. The main services the cluster offers are capacity building, export support and creating linkages between companies and universities to enhance collaboration.

The cluster used the Scale Up Voucher to reach its objectives of supporting the cluster members to expand to new markets through setting export strategies and business plans for the upcoming years.

QOOT Cluster was established in 2019 as the first agri-food innovation cluster in Lebanon to provide support and drive collaboration and linkages in the Lebanese agriculture and agri-food sectors. Currently, with over 70 members comprised of start-ups, SMEs, universities, and other service providers involved in agri-food and innovation, QOOT Cluster is involved in matchmaking activities, facilitating communication between members, managing joint ventures, promotional activities, capacity building, data collection and dissemination, lobbying and advocacy, and providing tailored support to its members in various areas.

The cluster used the Scale Up Voucher to hire a consultant to create procedures and manuals, to work on enhancing the relationship with universities, improving the linkages between academia and industry, and on accelerating the knowledge transfer between businesses (cluster members & cluster partners).

Morocco

In Morocco, Startup Maroc is supporting Cluster MENARA and Cluster Electronique & Mécatronique (CE3M)

CLUSTER MENARA operates in the food and luxury cosmetics sector. Established in 2013, the cluster gathers several types of regional and national socio-economic actors (SMEs, Institutions, Research Centers, Universities, Startups) and work for the co-development, creation of startups and investment in the Moroccan food and luxury cosmetic industries.

The main goal of CLUSTER MENARA is to support Moroccan startups, VSEs and SMEs, focusing on innovation, growth, and visibility of the agro-food and cosmetics sectors at the national and international levels while creating opportunities and contributing to the growth of the national economy.

The cluster used the Scale Up Voucher to promote the advancement and growth of the luxury food and cosmetic industries in Morocco by initiating a business model for development, and to unite all the players in the two sectors, in particular manufacturers, universities and regional public authorities, around a common vision of innovation.

Cluster Electronique & Mécatronique (CE3M) was established in 2010, focusing on the development of innovative electronic products made in Morocco targeting the world market. The cluster was able to support a hundred innovative product made in Morocco, create a prototyping, metrology, control and prequalification platform and also launch an incubator with a coworking center. The cluster used the Scale Up Voucher to support the structuring of the service offered by the prototyping platform, in addition to the commercial development of the cluster including its platform, equipment and infrastructure.    

Tunisia

In Tunisia, The Agence de Promotion de l’Industrie et de l’Innovation is supporting the Cluster de Textile Technique du Sahel and the Cluster Huile d’Olive du Nord Ouest.

Cluster de Textile Technique du Sahel operates in industrial manufacturing by supporting SMEs-SMIs working for the Technical Textile sector.

The cluster used the Scale Up Voucher to support a pilot mission to an industrial member of the cluster to identify the needs allowing its transition to industry 4.0.

Cluster Huile d’Olive du Nord Ouest was created in 2016 to increase the operating capacity of the oil mills in the region which makes it possible to contribute substantially to the revitalization of the economic fabric of the region, and increase the added value of extra virgin olive oil to improve wealth creation and growth and competitiveness of local industries.

The cluster used the Scale Up Voucher to focus on the communication axis to improve the marketing of the product and the business opportunities generated for its member companies.  


The Cluster Booster Track is an exciting peer-to-peer learning and booster programme which helps cluster managers from the MENA region improve their management skills, multiply their business opportunities and open new channels of inter-clustering collaboration at national, regional and international level.

It is funded by the European Union under THE NEXT SOCIETY project and is organized in Lebanon by Berytech and ANIMA.