Project: CLAY

Duration: 2018 – 2023 / phase 1 (36 months) + phase 2 (24 months)

Project website:

CLAY boosts SME competitiveness in the ceramic sector through interregional policy learning to support innovation in technologies, processes and products.

Interreg Europe helps regional and local governments across Europe to develop and deliver better policy. By creating an environment and opportunities for sharing solutions, the programme aims to ensure that government investment, innovation and implementation efforts all lead to integrated and sustainable impact for people and place.

CLAY project belongs to the Priority Axis 2 of the Interreg Programme: SME competitiveness, which aims at improving the implementation of regional development policies and programmes, in particular programmes for Investment for Growth and Jobs and, where relevant, European Territorial Cooperation programmes, supporting SMEs in all stages of their life cycle to develop, achieve growth and engage in innovation.

CLAY_1_lowCLAY (Cross Sector support for Innovative and Competitive Artistic Ceramic SMEs) aims at supporting the ceramic sector by prioritising new technologies, strengthening brands and developing new services to maintain competitive advantage and face the challenge of globalisation.

The Artistic Ceramics represents a central part of European tradition, mainly composed by small and micro enterprises that were hit by the economic crisis and low-cost competition.

For the ceramic sector, globalisation represents a challenge but also an opportunity, in this sense the sector, supported by public policies, must improve the way it conceives and develops new products, industrial processes and services, in line with the recent drive towards advanced manufacturing.

The CLAY project gathers 5 regions which have both important ceramics traditions and innovative small and medium enterprises, and uses interregional exchange to identify solutions to the challenge of matching tradition and innovation, by improving regional programmes for innovation.

The main goal of the project is to show that product, process design and innovation can keep tradition and modernity visible and competitive in today’s world. The overall objective is to ensure that policy instruments are adapted to support the ceramic sector to flourish in the contemporary global environment.

CLAY project is implemented by 6 partners:

Partner 1: Italy – Regione Umbria / Regional Government of Umbria (Lead Partner)

Partner 2: Spain – AeuCC – Agrupaciòn Europea de Cooperaciòn Territorial Ciudades de la Ceramica, AECT limitada / European Grouping of Territorial Cooperation Cities of Ceramic, EGTC with limited liability (Advisory Partner)

Partner 3: Romania – ADRSV – Agentia pentru Dezvoltare Regionala Sud Vest Oltenia / Regional Development Agency South West Oltenia

Partner 4: Finland – Etelä-Pohjanmaan liitto / Regional Council of South Ostrobothnia

Partner 5: Portugal – CTCV Centro Tecnológico da Cerâmica e do Vidro / CTCV Technological Centre for Ceramics and Glass

Partner 6: France – Association pour le développement et la promotion du pôle européen de la céramique / Association for the development and promotion of the european ceramic center