The BRA was founded by Philip Stankovski, head of international relations at Cluster 55° in Sweden, as a tool for cluster organisations to support their small & medium sized enterprises (SME) in the course of their international expansion plans. As a sub project of the BSR stars project led by Vinnova (National Innovation Agency of Sweden) this project got minor funding and was launched with the support of Cluster 55° & Lund University.

The basic offered service is that any partner will allocate a small work space for a visiting SME without charge or obligation of buying any services for a short time period, never longer than a week.

In late 2013 Lund University closed down its cluster development project and the different projects moved with the former employees of Cluster 55°. Since then the BRA was in a static state supported by the founder, Philip Stankovski.

In October 2014 CyberForum has officially taken over the organization of the BRA as a pillar of the internationalization strategy within the UPSIDE project.



The project UPSIDE aims at delivering economic and societal benefits by fostering the emergence and development of User-driven Participatory Solutions for Innovation in Digitally-centred Ecosystems. The project focuses especially on promoting the development of cooperation frameworks and synergy linkages between research, innovation activities within the companies as well as open innovation, urban development policies and open user-driven innovation ecosystems.

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Be Wiser Connect

Be Wiser Connect is an online match making tool which showcases 70 ICT firms across Europe (Cyprus, France, Germany, Ireland, Slovenia, Spain and Northern Ireland) who participated in a V-LINC analysis as part of the Be Wiser project. The purpose of this tool is to facilitate introductions and connections between firms within these regions, in order to promote collaboration and create additional linkages between European clusters.

Any interested firm or research organisation can use a ‘Connect’ function to engage in facilitated connections with the listed firms from the Be Wiser partner clusters. These  connections can provide opportunities not only for firms to network with industry peers across Europe but also provide a platform from which firms can collaborate on a wide range of activities; from the creation of market opportunities to research innovations between partners.

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Building Enterprises – Wireless and Internet Security in European Regions (Be Wiser) is an FP7 funded project which connects 7 ICT clusters across Europe to examine organisational and technical research challenges facing the industry across Europe.

Be Wiser aims to strengthen the research capability, innovation potential and global competitiveness of European regions by bringing together research actors, private enterprises, institutions and policy makers into a Pan-European collaborative network.

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V-LINC is an expert research group which informs and develops policy recommendations through mapping, visualising and analysing the strength of key relationships within Cluster Ecosystems.

V-LINC was developed in the School of Business & Humanities of Cork Institute of Technology by Dr John Hobbs, Eoin Byrne and their research team.

Across the globe regions compete to attract investment from MNCs and SMEs looking to develop units in key geographic markets. Decision makers in industry are searching for innovative regions which contain strong clusters which connect industry, academia, and government agencies.

To attract investment and develop strong highly connected clusters, regions seek to develop polices which create economic growth and prosperity within their local ecosystem.  Regions endeavour to invest their resources to develop strengths. However, understanding a region’s strengths, its constituent firms’ value chains, and R&D capabilities is not an easy task. Furthermore, no two regions are identical and all seek to use varying policy instruments and organisations as conduits to increase competitiveness; thus, there can be no one policy or strategy which is appropriate and fits the requirements of all regions. To develop targeted strategies to leverage a region’s strengths and promote efficient and effective use of public investment an in-depth understanding of the regions ecosystem is required.

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