After two years in operation, the Global Cosmetics Cluster-Europe (GCC.EU) has come to a close. The project, co-funded by the COSME Programme of the European Union, gathered 5 European and 1 Turkish clusters, to foster collaboration and support SMEs globalization toward third markets. Initiated at the end of 2020, despite the pandemic, GCC.EU achieved excellent results in involving hundreds of European companies in the cosmetics industry, promoting collaboration, giving rise to partnerships, and facilitating dialogue between the players of the entire cosmetic supply chain.

Six European clusters were part of the GCC.EU: Cosmetic Valley (France) which oversaw the project, Beauty Cluster (Spain), Polo della Cosmesi (Italy), AEBB (Portugal), IKMIB (Turkey), and Transilvania Lifestyle Cluster (Romania).

The general objective of Global Cosmetics Cluster – Europe was to implement and test a Joint Internationalization Strategy (JIS) to boost international opportunities for SMEs, specially in 5 promising countries: Mexico, South Korea, USA, India, United Arab Emirates.

With this objective in mind, main efforts have been devoted to the planning and implementation phase of this JIS: Starting from providing with Market Intelligence more than 700 European and Turkish SMEs, companies improved their capacity to go international (training, mentoring, specific advice, peer-learning). Then, these SMEs were offered several trade and partnering actions, both in EU and abroad: Online Market place to connect with foreign compagnies and investigate potential R&D or business partnership; Matchmaking events in the EU with foreign companies; Benchmarking and BtoB missions in Dubai (UAE), Seoul (South Korea) and Las Vegas (USA)(taking the opportunity of international exhibitions). Finally, the SMEs were offered with services concerning financial opportunities either for public or private funding to allow their accelerated growth.

Cooperation and Networks was another important part of the project that addressed the enhancement of the GCC.Eu capacities and its position of key player and a place to be for clusters in Europe for the cosmetics sector. Taking into account that they already represent the whole value-chain of the cosmetics industry, partners have identified strategic partners to be even stronger to go international, such as India and Latin America IP SME Helpdesks or cosmetics clusters in the target countries (IBA in USA, IBITA in South Korea). Moreover, the creation of the S3 platform Go4Cosmetics pushed the consortium to create a complete ecosystem to pull a European dynamic in the cosmetics industry even larger than the actual frame of GCC.EU (on digital & green transition, on consumer awareness, …).

GCC.EU was a first step! Long Term Sustainability is now the key word for partners, to keep fostering on the European cluster dynamic built to propose SMEs a complete panel of activities to accompany them in their internationalisation. 2023 action plan is being defined by partners. Unfortunately, it won’t benefit from EU funds in 2023 but partners will join strengths to the benefit of SMEs. USA will be the main target market for 2023.