EXCITE facilitates exchange between SMEs and European high-tech regions

The EXCITE consortium met for the first time physically in Sofia, Bulgaria from 6 to 9 June 2022. On the occasion of the networking event “Scale UP 2022” organized by the Bulgarian cluster for Digital Transformation and Innovations (DTI), the European partners came together.


The two-year project EXCITE is focused on facilitating exchanges between SMEs and other European organisations. For that, six European clusters joined forces to organize financially supported company missions with pre-arranged B2B meetings to innovative digital ecosystems in Europe.

In Sofia, the consortium worked on the next steps for company exchanges and potential events to organize the trips around. Company missions to the partners ecosystems in Germany, France, Spain, Lithuania and Poland are planned for 2022 and 2023. The trip to Bulgaria and DTI’s event “Scale UP 2022: opportunities for SMEs” was the perfect platform for the project partners to spread the word and talk to prospects.

Cluster Excellence

Next to supporting cluster members in accessing new markets, the project partners work together on their service portfolios by sharing best practices & talking about their cluster strengths and weaknesses. Using learning tandems within the next two years, all partners increase their cluster excellence and, hence, the benefits for their member companies.

Study trip to Sofia, Bulgaria

When learning about DTI and their best practices, the partners also got to know the ecosystem in and around Sofia which is highly innovative. One innovation hub and incubator is Sofia Tech Park with EXCITing organisations such as:

All in all, the four days in Bulgaria were a great success for the project consortium. Nothing beats meeting in person and talking about next steps face to face. Thank you to DTI for your great hospitality!


EXCITE aims to strengthen cluster management and facilitate exchange and strategic partnership between cluster staff and cluster members by using the ClusterXchange system. ClusterXchange is a new pilot project to promote short-term exchanges to better connect industrial ecosystems in Europe. The project will focus on skills, processes and services related to digital transformation - both in terms of the cluster organisation itself and its members, to be able to support them in successfully accessing global markets.

Project Duration: 01.02.2022 – 31.01.2024

Project partners: