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Why participate in a Competitive cluster or a Business cluster ?


The increased activity, the reduction in costs and the highly competitive products and services provided to members give them a European visibility, sometimes worldwide. This visibility adds to your reputation and opens access to clients or partners more easily.

To be able to mobilise significant capacities and have access, from the start, to an international dimension, a Competitive cluster or a Business cluster needs major companies. It also needs performing small companies, providing additional products, technologies and know-how.

Stakeholders are all committed to establishing win-win relations between themselves so as to develop the best complementarities and make the Competitive cluster or the Business cluster sustainable and self-maintaining.

It is important to know that the Competitive clusters and the Business clusters do not only bring together enterprises from the sectors that are directly involved in the area (pharmaceutical and/or biotechnological companies for the life sciences Competitive cluster, transport companies for the transport and logistics Competitive cluster, etc.). Transversality of the concept allows any company that can provide technologies, products, key-services to participate, for example :

  • telecommunications and computer companies, which can bring increased productivity or efficiency ;

  • enterprises from the building sector, which can create infrastructures or facililities to be used by a Competitive cluster and/or its companies ;

  • service companies specialized in organization, certification, management, project management, etc.

To develop your partnerships

  • You have access to a bigger network of subcontractors.

  • You meet new stakeholders working directly or indirectly in your field of activity and you can create business relations with them.

  • To get your project under way, you can easily identify and find partners from the industrial and scientific circles (universities, high schools, research centres).

  • You have the possibility to launch collective projects which would be impossible to initiate individually, i.e. by sharing the related risks and costs and by benefiting from additional revenue generated by a first-rate project.

  • You have the opportunity to embark in large-scale projects with other stakeholders.

To ensure better visibility

You ensure better promotion of your company's activities.

  • You make yourself known to other stakeholders in your field of activity.

  • You are listed in the register of competencies and expertise of the Competitive cluster or the Business cluster and you can be connected to other projects holders (new opportunities, sharing of knowledge, etc...) and join the network of all the Competitive clusters and the Business clusters.

  • You have new visibility in new markets.

  • You can develop new references.

To find new outlets

You can increase the scope of your markets.

  • You can participate in AWEX collective missions and actions with specific financial supports.

  • You can benefit from aid and individual guidance for new export markets.

  • You have the opportunity to enter new markets with partners from the Competitive cluster or the Business cluster.

  • You are very well placed to position your company for new development opportunities :
      - by introducing new products in existing markets ;
      - by introducing new products in new markets ;
      - by introducing existing products in new markets.

To improve your technology

You can develop your technological expertise.

  • You participate and benefit from exchanges of technological knowledge between stakeholders within the Competitive cluster or the Business cluster within a framework protecting intellectual property.

  • You have access to new technological knowledge.

  • You benefit from shared experience between large and small companies.

  • You become part of a system of technological transfer.

  • You have access to equipments and competencies which are otherwise unavailable to an isolated company.

To share experience

  • You have direct access to a space of knowledge.

  • You collaborate on a collective project which allows you to match your individual experience with that of other partners.

  • You can share ideas on research topics as well as issues such as
      - organisation
      - management
      - production

  • You can collaborate with major companies and learn from them.

  • You learn to work according to a form of logic centred around a project.

To develop your competencies

You can meet your training needs and update the competencies of your company.

  • You have the opportunity to influence the training offer which is useful in your area of activity, so as to improve the skills of the people you take on.

  • You can meet training operators, build relations and establish a constructive dialogue with them.

  • You have the opportunity to define training programmes which are necessary for meeting your project's objectives.

  • Your staff has the opportunity to participate in these training programmes.

To finance your projects

By participating in a project within a Competitive cluster, you can benefit from increased research and investment incentives.

Your project can request the maximum aid (bonus for the Competitive clusters).

To receive start-up aid for a project

By participating in a project within a Competitiveness cluster, you receive guidance and support to get your project under way.

The operational unit of the Competitiveness cluster can help you prepare your application file :

  • for the administrative file ;

  • to find partners (register of academic and industrial competencies in the Walloon Region).

The relevant administrations :

  • are available to answer your questions ;

  • analyse your application file prior to submission ;

  • suggest possible improvements to optimize your chances for success ;

  • where needed, can also direct you to other stakeholders in Wallonia or abroad.

To simplify administrative constraints

By participating in a project within a Competitive cluster, you make it simpler to get your project under way.

  • You only have to fill in one form for all your applications for financing, regardless of their nature (research, support to investment, ...).

  • Your project benefits from a privileged and accelerated treatment from the relevant administrations.

  • A one-stop service is available to contact all the departments of the Walloon Administration involved in the Competitive clusters policy.