We continue with our review of some of the efforts iPRODUCE partners have been making in recent months, particularly due to the COVID-19 situation. Today we look at partner Materalia, a French competitiveness cluster that has not shut down due to the COVID-19 lock-down. Rather, and in an adapted fashion, they have committed to provide their members with support and long-term solutions. Materalia’s team has been able to bounce back and implement actions focused on three strategic approaches:
1 | A reliable source of information: Materalia have established a platform for gathering information on contributions, equipment needs and business support procedures aimed at providing cluster members with the information they need to restart or anticipate the recovery of their business. The forum can be accessed here. Members have also been kept informed through regular newsletters, providing information on calls for proposals which emerged following the COVID crisis, but also keeping the cluster members updated on the latest targeted news concerning COVID-19.
2 | Supporting members: Materalia has published articles on their website and social media highlighting the solidarity and innovative actions set up by cluster members to cope with COVID-19. They have also organised a series of webinars, such as “Best practices in order to go back to business”, which aimed to help prepare cluster members for the restart. Furthermore, a COVID-19 KIT, which contains useful information, particularly targeting the industry, was created.
3 | A reflection on the future: More than a simple follow-up, Materalia have acknowledge the importance of accompanying its cluster members in the pursuit of their activity. In order to anticipate members’ needs as accurately as possible, Materalia has set up a survey to understand the difficulties of companies and thus be able to propose solutions in the future.
Materalia is a French competitiveness cluster leader for cooperative innovation in materials and processes founded in 2005. Materalia fosters and builds up collaborative and innovative projects bringing together companies, laboratories and higher education. It is based on the industrial and scientific skills of its members in materials and processes.