What is a 2 Seas thematic cluster?

A condition of a 2 Seas cluster is that 2 or more 2 Seas approved projects come together to work on a given theme in order to capitalise their results.

The clusters can also include potential competent organisations from the 2 Seas area.

A 2 Seas cluster initiative can consist of two phases: Phase 1 (mandatory) shall aim at valorising and disseminating the results of the clustered projects; Phase 2 (optional) can support development activities in a given theme, building on the actions and results obtained in the different clustered projects.


What is the thematic scope of the 2 Seas Call for Clusters?

The Programme authorities have decided to particularly focus the thematic clusters on four main themes:
- Applied research, Innovation, and business support
- Accessibility of the area
- Social inclusion
- Risk management in the framework of Integrated Coastal Zone Management.

Nevertheless, the 2 Seas Call for Clusters is open to the 16 relevant themes as implemented in the 2 Seas Programme (see Annex 1 of the Terms of Reference for the 2 Seas Cluster initiative for more information).



Duration and budget for a 2 Seas cluster

The total duration of a cluster cannot exceed 18 months excluding its preparation phase. The implementation of the activities cannot go beyond the 30/09/2015.
The ERDF rate will be 100%. An indicative budget of up to 300 000 € can be allocated to each phase of a cluster.


Who can participate?

Beneficiaries eligible for funding from the Interreg IV A 2 Seas Programme can be either public bodies, public equivalent bodies or private sectors organisations (SMEs). An indication of the target groups supported per priority can be found in the Operational Programme.
As a general rule, organisations that receive financing from the Programme must be located in the Programme area (eligible area or adjacent area), which covers parts of France, England, Belgium-Flanders and The Netherlands.
Organisations located outside the Programme area can take part to the Cluster as associated partners.
Additional information relating to the eligibility of a partner organisation can be found in the Programme Manual and in Terms of Reference.


What is the difference between a formal and an associated partner?

The partnership should be composed of formal partners (mandatory) who are the only beneficiaries receiving ERDF, and can also include "associated partners".
The formal partners can be any organisation involved in an approved 2 Seas project or an organization based in the eligible area, not involved in an approved 2 Seas project yet, that brings a thematic added-value to the cluster activities. Formal partners are those that are the most involved in the delivery of the cluster activities.
The associated partners can be any relevant organisation competent on the theme willing to be involved, share knowledge/results and undertake communication and dissemination for the cluster. An active role of the associated partners is expected in the implementation of both Phases.

Please read section 4 of the Terms of Reference for the 2 Seas Cluster initiative  for more information.


What documents do I need to consult before starting developing a cluster idea?

Before starting the development of your thematic cluster, there is a series of key documents that need to be consulted. All of them are available in the cluster information section.


What about the Cluster deliverables?

In Phase 1, two deliverables are mandatory: a 2 Seas cluster event and a 2 Seas cluster publication. They are conceived and set up by the cluster partners, but they are considered as communication activities at "2 Seas Programme level".
A strong working relationship with the 2 Seas Programme JTS has to be established for approving their contents and coordinating their timing in order to avoid any conflicting dates between clusters. The visual and editorial style of the publications and event communication supports must respect the graphic chart of the 2 Seas Programme: templates and examples of lay out will be sent to the Clusters.
Any Cluster Event Programme or Cluster Publication must receive a "ready for printing" approval by the JTS.


In the optional Phase 2, precise delivrables will be defined by the partnership as a result of the work undertaken in the previous phase. Eg: Case studies, pilot actions...


Where can I find partners?

If I have a cluster idea, where can I find partners?

The territorial facilitation network can help you find partners in the other Member States. Furthermore, you can also use the Cluster Corner of the website, to submit your project idea online and to make it visible to potential partners. The website also allows you to find partners that have expressed their interest in participating in a cluster in your theme(s) of interest.


If I do not have a specific cluster idea, where can I find cluster ideas and express my interest to cooperate with partners on certain themes?


You can find all these possibilities in the ‘Cluster Corner' of the website. A database containing all cluster ideas currently under development will allow you to find a potential cluster idea to join. The ‘Express your Interest' form will allow other partners from the 2 Seas area to identify your interest in crossborder cooperation on a certain theme.
You can also contact the territorial facilitation network that can help you find cluster ideas under development in your theme(s) of interest.