How the ’Competitiveness Cluster’ is organised
The Association for the development and promotion of the European Center of Ceramics
Center members also belong to an association - the Association for the development and promotion of the European Center of Ceramics.
The board of directors of the Association is primarily composed of company executices. It also includes representatives of other components of the Center (e.g. research, transfers and training) and regional organisations. It is currently chaired by Olivier Vandermarcq (Imerys).
The Center’s enlarged committee is responsible for [approving and certifying projects>rub99], in particular R&D projects.
There are 3 permanent employees at the association, providing the following services:
- Preparation of joint R&D projects prior to their examination by the extended committee with a view to gaining approval:
- help defining the project;
- help drawing up partnership contracts;
- examination of questions / issues relating to intellectual property (distribution between the partners, protection, etc.);
- help finding funding;
- help finding partners;
- making a collaborative working tool available so that projects can be mounted and managed confidentially.
- Preparation of the certification decision taken by the Center’s expanded committee.
- Processing of technological requests made by manufacturers in France and abroad: drawing up a specifications document and searching for an expert capable of fulfilling their request.
- Joint promotional and communications operations on the skills of the Center’s members in France and abroad: joint documents, web site, relations with the media, presentations to potential partners, participation at professional shows, visits abroad.
- Welcoming new set-ups in the area of the Center. For each new project, the Center will mobilise all of the partners that are likely to facilitate the implantation of a production unit or laboratory: plots, premises, public funding, first contacts with the suppliers and / or potential clients, welcoming employees etc..
Support from the State and regional Councils
The State and regional Councils are partners of the Center in their own right.
The State has designated the European Center of Ceramics as a “Competitiveness Cluster”, which has the following consequences:
- The European Center of Ceramics is the only competitiveness cluster in France that is entirely dedicated to ceramics and surface treatments using ceramics. As such it is France’s official entry point in international technological partnerships in this area.
- The State pays particular attention and gives greater coverage to requests for funding for R&D projects that are approved by the Center.
Regional Organisations – regional Councils, Local Councils, and Municipalities – from the four zones of Limoges, Tarbes, Vierzon, and Cavaillon, competed very actively to obtain the “Competitiveness cluster” label. They have voted for funding to support Center members’ joint projects alongside the State.