DITECFER to lead S-ACCESS, the new EU pilot-project for SMEs of the Rail Supply Industry wishing to go international

DITECFER > Internationalisation > DITECFER to lead S-ACCESS, the new EU pilot-project for SMEs of the Rail Supply Industry wishing to go international
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  • Veronica Bocci

On July 1st the new project “S-ACCESS – Smes ACCESS to international public procurements” was launched. Funded under the COSME programme of the EU – Call “COS-PPOUT-2020-2-03, the project is coordinated by DITECFER and has as partners the railway clusters i-Trans (France), Rail.S (Germany), Järnvägsklustret (Sweden), MAFEX (Spain), RCSEE (Serbia and Southeast Europe) and Rail Alliance (United Kingdom).

The project is a spin-off of the “PERES ESCP-4i” and of the “EXXTRA ESCP-4x“. The partners, in fact, are fully committed to take their internationalisation services to a higher level, focusing on new approaches to help their SME members overcome a set of obstacles (organisational, technical, legal, financial…) they face when attempting to participate in international public procurements.

The target countires of the S-ACCESS project are USA, Canada and Norway.

The project will last 36 months (from 1st July 2021 to 30 June 2024) and is divided in two phases:

  • a Preparatory Phase lasting 15 months, where the partners will develop solutions for each type of obstacle;
  • an Implementation Phase lasting 21 months, where the partners will test their strategy and assist the SMEs on the field.

A specific project website will be launched in Autumn 2021.

The DITECFER Coordinator and also S-ACCESS Coordinator, Veronica Elena Bocci explains: “The European call for projects was looking for innovative approaches to answer the challenge of SMEs’ internationalisation via participation in public procurements outside EU. To develop this we have started from the obstacles we very much know, including – among the others – the technical, legal and financial capacity of SMEs; but the obstacles go beyond that, and also include a problem related to ‘ECA-Export Credit Agencies’, and the rules requiring a minimum ‘national content’; unfortunately, with the increasing protectionism worldwide, this doesn’t match with the rules on ‘local content’ in the target markets; the result very often is the unavailability of export credit. For this reason we will create within the S-ACCESS project a ‘Brainstorming Group on Export Credit’ where we will invite the national ECAs from the partners’ countries in order to analyse together the issue and try to find possible solutions”.

For the project implementation, DITECFER and partners will be supported by – among the others – the “Ohio SBDC-Small Business Development Center” and the EEN-Enterprise Europe Network.