FP7: Baltic–to–Balkan Network for Logistics Competence (B2B LOCO)
Head of the Project from TSI:
Igor Kabashkin, Dr. hab.sc.ing., Prof.,
Irina Yatskiv, Dr..sc.ing., Prof.
Stimulating participation of Small and Medium Size Enterprises (SMEs) through Regional Clusters.
Based on successful FP5&6 experiences of POLLOCO and CENTRAL LOCO projects, the revised and expanded concept of the B2B LOCO project is that local market-oriented research units - collaborating in an international network aimed at experience exchange - can substantially increase the participation of SMEs in the FP projects by demonstrating and actively promoting the most business practice-oriented results of past and current RTD projects of the FP among the enterprises.
The dramatically increased project area covers now 15 countries, including Old and New Member States and 2 Candidate Countries, covering most of the East of the continent and beyond, form Estonia to Israel. B2B LOCO will target Regional Clusters gathering different types of SMEs: transport and logistics companies, manufacturing and retail companies, hi-tech companies and green technologies companies that are of a particular focus of this call. Companies from these three groups are often FP-ready yet they are not realising their potential because the FP is best communicated to the research community. Therefore B2B LOCO consortium groups research organisations with considerable experience in FPs and a track record in talking directly to SMEs, using their own language and knowing what drives them in everyday operations.
B2B LOCO will provide SME community with two international conferences, two practical workshops and three brokerage events, supplemented with permanent communication mechanisms (www, newsletters, alumni networks). As a result of B2B LOCO activities, SMEs will benefit from advanced solutions developed by FP consortia, experiences of successful SME- RTD - Academia co-operation cases which are laudable and should be copied. In addition to this, project will support processes of forming partnerships for future Framework Programmes. Moreover, new information channels which will be created during the project, will support transfer of essential information on transport and logistics.