The Bydgoszcz Industrial Cluster Tool Valley is a member of six international networks: the MERGEurope Lightweight Innovation Network, the European Lightweight Cluster Alliance (ELCA), INMOLDNET, the European Composites, Plastics and Polymer Processing Platform (ECP4) and DIH2:
Since 2016. BIC is a member of the MERGEurope Lightweight Innovation Network (https://www.tu-chemnitz.de/MERGE/InternationalProjects/MERGEurope) consortium of clusters and R&D units from the Czech Republic, Germany, Spain, Italy, the Netherlands and Poland.
In 2018, the European Lightweight Cluster Alliance – ELCA (https://elcanetwork.eu/) consortium was established, bringing together clusters, R&D units and industry organisations. BIC is one of the founding members. The aim of the consortium’s activities is to create a partnership on a European scale for the development and application of polymer plastics (lightweight structures) by coordinating cooperation between different units. The group’s activities include research, business, education and promotion.
The international cooperation network INMOLDNET (http://inmoldnet.de/) combines Polish and German know-how to develop and produce high-quality components in an efficient manner. Solutions are tailored and implemented directly at the customer’s site, resulting in more innovative European production facilities. The thematic scope of the project includes: intelligent solutions for highly functionalised plastic products; new, highly functionalised hybrid components; special injection moulding technology; learning and networking tools. The INMOLDNET network brings together the know-how of five Polish and 18 German research and industry partners in the following areas of competence:
– component design
– process planning and simulation,
– assembly and joining technology,
– tool and mould making,
– plant construction,,
– drive and control technology,
– manufacturing and production,
– sensors and actuators,
– IT, Digital Twins, Industry 4.0,
– quality assurance
– recycling, resource management.
The network is coordinated on the German side by Cetex Institut gGmbH and on the Polish side by the Bydgoszcz Industrial Cluster Tool Valley.
From July 2021. BIC is a member of the European Composites, Plastics and Polymer Processing Platform – ECP4 network (https://www.ecp4.eu/). It is an industry-based collaboration of 26 key European research institutions, clusters and plastics and composites processing organisations from 13 EU countries. Our Cluster is the only organisation in Poland that is a Member of ECP4. Its most important objectives are: to ensure cooperation between research institutions and industry at the European level; to facilitate the European plastics industry’s access to EU research programmes; to disseminate information on new technologies and their importance for plastics processors and the composites industry. Membership in the network facilitates the European plastics industry’s access to EU research and development programmes, enabling SMEs to innovate, gain/improve competitiveness and meet sustainable targets.
In 2022, the Cluster has joined the DIH² (https://www.dih-squared.eu/). This is an EU-funded project under Horizon 2020 that aims to create a sustainable network of Digital Innovation Hubs (DIH) to support local manufacturing industries, especially small and medium-sized enterprises, in the implementation of the latest robotics and artificial intelligence technologies. Currently, the network already has more than 50 members representing many European countries. Throughout the project, at least 132 organisations will be selected to join DIH² and receive funding for network membership activities. As a member of DIH², BKP has gained access to knowledge from advanced robotics and artificial intelligence technologies for the manufacturing industry, to the broad DIH² community providing support, expertise, technology and services related to cutting-edge technologies, to European funding opportunities and the opportunity to participate in the development of policy documents on these issues on a European scale.
As of July 2023, we are a member of the prestigious international organisation International Special Tooling and Machining Association – ISTMA World (www.istma.org). It is an international association representing special tooling and machining associations worldwide. Collectively, ISTMA member associations represent more than 8,000 companies and more than $120 billion in annual sales. ISTMA World is responsible for the central coordination and organisation of all international activities. The organisation’s mission is to help national trade associations and their member companies achieve business success in the global economy through advocacy, networking, information, programmes and services.
In addition, the Cluster cooperates with many clusters from, among others, Belgium, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Finland, France, Spain, Latvia, Germany, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Hungary and Italy. The Cluster’s activities aimed at developing cooperation with foreign partners include trips to trade fairs, economic missions, study visits and international projects.