Based on successful FP5&6 experiences of the POLLOCO and the 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 small/medium sized enterprises (SME's) in the Framework Programme projects by demonstrating and actively promoting the most business practice-oriented results of past and current RTD projects among the enterprises.
The 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 SME's: 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 Framework Programme ready, yet they are not realising their potential because the Frameword Programme is best communicated to the research community. Therefore the B2B LOCO consortium, groups research organisations with considerable experience in Framework Programmes and a track record in talking directly to SME's, using their own language and knowing what drives them in everyday operations.
The objective is to build a Network of Logistics Competence and being a platform for an exchange of knowledge, best practices, new technologies and solutions within logistics.
B2B LOCO wants to create the way to substantially increase the participation of small and medium enterprises in the Framework Programme projects by demonstrating and actively promoting the most business practice-oriented results of past and current RTD projects.
B2B LOCO will provide the 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, SME's will benefit from advanced solutions developed by Framework Programme consortia, experiences of successful SME - RTD - Academia co-operation cases which are laudable and should be copied.
In addition to this, the 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.
B2B LOCO was expected to:
- create a permanent network of research and educational institutions in transport and logistics capable of building and maintaining links with SMEs in their area,
- identify innovative FP projects in the field of logistics and transport,
- present best practice solutions coming out of FP project in various fields of logistics and transport to SME’s,
- show clear benefits of FP participation to SME’s in the under-privileged EU-states and in candidate countries,
- support exploitation of successful RTD project results by helping companies implement solutions developed,
- provide new exploitation opportunities for the future FP projects in terms of SMEs’ involvement in demonstration and commercialisation efforts,
- provide research institutions with a forum of knowledge/experience exchange in dealing with SME’s,
- inform large numbers of companies about current work programmes and calls as well as offer advice on how to participate in Framework Programmes,
- provide access to FP-related materials and European Transport Strategies.
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.
The external dimension