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Inside a National EEPA campaign with Belgian coordinator Françis Otte

Today on Promoting Enterprise we are joined by Belgian European Enterprise Promotion Awards (EEPA) National Coordinator Françis Otte. Françis is an experienced National Coordinator and today he is sharing that experience and advice on how to run a successful national campaign, reaching out to potential applicants and what he has learnt throughout his time as coordinator.

How did you prepare for EEPA 2019?

After 13 EEPA editions, the preparation of each edition has become a form of routine. We think it’s important to put together a qualitative jury that will appoint the two Belgian nominees and will take enough time to do so.

Updating the website still takes a lot of time and energy from our various services, especially because for the last two or three editions participants in Belgium can download all the necessary documents from the website in their respective languages, and are able to submit their entry form in Dutch, French, German or English.

What are your top 3 pieces of advice for reaching out to potential applicants?  

  • Always keep track of the information of interested participants and former participants
  • Get help from someone who knows a target group with potential participants better than yourself
  • Try to orient participants towards an award category with less competition.

What are the main aspects of your EEPA 2019 campaign?

We usually don’t really work around a “main aspect”. In fact, we always fall back on what we have been successfully using for years. Specifically: clear communication by means of a clear website, social media and service to potential participants. For the communication we work together with the regions and other organisations. Something else that we believe is an important aspect is that we try to add something new to each edition.

What is the most important thing you have learnt during your experience as National Coordinator?

Be patient. 13 editions have taught us that participants always wait until the last moment to send us their entry forms.

Don’t forget to reach out to your 2019 EEPA National Coordinator before your national EEPA deadline! They can help with applications, getting ready for the competition and any other questions you may have about the exciting EEPA process.

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Scaling up innovative circular solutions for plastics

The Executive Agency for SMEs (EASME) is organising a side session during the World Circular Economy Forum (WCEF) in Helsinki, Finland, on 3 June 2019: ‘Scaling up innovative circular solutions for plastics’.

The participants will address the key aspects for scaling up innovative circular solutions for plastics and the main future opportunities and orientations for the circular economy in the plastics sector. They will also have the opportunity to learn how projects funded by Horizon 2020, the EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation, address these and other challenges to boost circular economy solutions for plastics. 

The Side session “Scaling up innovative circular solutions for plastics” aims at bringing together innovators, researchers, companies, public authorities and policy makers to promote circular economy in the plastic sector. 

An interactive workshop with projects pitches, live pools, discussion tables, along with other activities will be organised to facilitate exchanges of views between participants.

Registration

To participate in the Side session “Scaling up innovative circular solutions for plastics” on 3 June contact Marco Ranieri and Stefania Rocca from EASME. The number of places is limited and they will be assigned on a first-come, first-served basis.

Read the original article on the EASME website.

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Inside a National EEPA campaign with Finnish coordinator Kati Shibutani

As the European deadline for the European Enterprise Promotion Awards (EEPA) gets closer, Promoting Enterprise wants to highlight one part of the work that goes on behind the scenes. Today we have Finnish National Coordinator Kati Shibutani telling us about her work in organising EEPA as well as her advice on how to run a successful national EEPA campaign.

How did you prepare for EEPA 2019?

As a national coordinator for EEPA, I’m glad that I have many colleagues here in the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment who deal with SME promotion and with whom I can discuss and share ideas for EEPA. There is also a team of 3-4 persons especially for EEPA preparations and together we plan and decide on EEPA related issues.   

What are your top 3 pieces of advice for reaching out to potential applicants?  

I have found it very useful to inform as many people and entities as possible about the EEPA competition. It could be that someone knows someone, who knows someone, who knows someone – in this way you may learn about new and potential candidates for EEPA – and if a candidate is not eligible to apply this year, they may be eligible next year.

In addition to the excellent support and assistance the national EEPA coordinators get from the Commission it is good to have some advertising in the national language – and that is why our communications team did a video for EEPA with Finnish subtitles. The video and the message were spread across Twitter which has been our main advertising channel for the campaign. We have also sent some direct emails to relevant people and organisations in the business promotion field who could assist us in spreading the word of the EEPA competition. By designing short, clear and fresh messages we hope to interest and attract as many potential EEPA candidates as possible.   

What are the main aspects of your EEPA 2019 campaign?

This year – as well as last year – we aim to courage potential candidates to apply by saying that “this is your chance to meet other candidates and ideas from Europe, to share best practices and learn from them”, and if you aim to win, the first step is to apply!   

What is the most important thing you have learnt during your experience as National Coordinator?

Many countries may have initiatives for SME promotion that may look similar at first glance but may have a small detail – a different aspect, approach etc. – that makes them better, more effective etc. These details are worth studying and if applicable adopted or tested in your country.  Therefore, cooperation – sharing best practices and learning from them – is the most important thing, and also applies to the field of EEPA.    

In order to get in touch with Kati or any of the other 2019 EEPA National Coordinators, have a look here and make sure to reach out to them for help with your EEPA 2019 applications.

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U-START – Startup program by Veolia

Veolia Germany initiated the U-START program in order to foster the cooperation with innovative startups in the fields of circular economy, climate protection and resource efficiency, and to reduce the time to enter the market with new concepts for a better world.

Veolia is dedicated to helping startups grow, and giving entrepreneurs the opportunity to engage directly in a co-innovation partnership. Depending on the individual needs and level of maturity Veolia provides different scale-up opportunities: prototyping, testing facilities for proof of concept, co-creation projects, access to distribution channels etc.

Circular Call 2019

Veolia is launching its fourth U-START call on circular economy together with EIT RawMaterials. Startups can apply here from 1 April to 31 May 2019 for the opportunity to participate in a startup acceleration programme to develop sustainable business ideas in circular economy.

For this edition, the call is focusing on sustainable ideas on the following key topics:

  1. Innovative recycling concepts for electronic waste (PCB, Li-ion batteries etc.)
  2. Alternative upcycling valorisation routes for secondary products (Recycled paper, glass fibre composites, recycled carbon fibres etc.)
  3. New technologies for sorting and recycling composite materials (Mixed plastic products and metal-plastic composites)

Eligibility

  • Entrepreneurs, innovators and companies with an early stage venture that can serve as a base for a viable new business.
  • Entrepreneurs should be working full-time on their venture.

Five good reasons to join the U-START program:

  • Global player: Team up with the world leader in energy and resource efficiency services for municipalities & industries
  • Seed funding: Benefit from up to 100 000 EUR to test your solution
  • Collaboration: Develop your project in a co-creation mode with Veolia experts
  • Testing: Test your solution on one of > 200 Veolia industrial sites in Germany
  • Scaleup: Deploy your solution on the German market with Veolia commercial teams
  • Market: Accelerate access to global market through the Veolia network

For any questions regarding this call or the U-START programme in general contact: de-ustart@veolia.com.

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EEPA 2018 Testimonial: Industry 4.0 – “Improving the Business Environment” Winner 2018

Another project, another story! Today EEPA 2018 winner Open Innovation 4.0., shares what brought them to the winner’s stage at the European Enterprise Promotion Awards 2018 and their advice for 2019 competitors. TheOpen Innovation 4.0. project from Spain won the Improving the Business Environment category in 2018 for their 4.0 acceleration programme that gave selected start-ups the opportunity to join a 4.0 acceleration programme featuring both group and individual tutorials with sector experts. As well as obtaining initial funding to prepare joint proposals, selected start-ups also have access to specific funding for Open Innovation to implement collaborative projects.

How did you first hear about the national competition and why did you decide to enter?

The national EEPA competition has always been on our radar, and we have been aware of EEPA for a while due to close links with both our national authority and the Directorate General for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs. As such, we knew that in order for our application to be strong we need to include and clearly state our focus, approach, innovation, transferability, sustainability and impact. We believed that Open Innovation 4.0 had these elements so we prepared our application.

How did you prepare your application?

Once we had taken the decision to apply, the process was easy. All of the rules, instructions and the general process were very clear and we received answers to all our questions. We also really benefited from receiving a lot of information on past EEPA editions.

What was it like to win the award?

Winning the award represented recognition of our firm commitment to promote modernisation through digitalisation, as well as recognition of the work of both the IDEPA staff and the European Business and Innovation Centre (CEEI Asturias), both of which invested a lot of effort and enthusiasm in developing the Open Innovation 4.0 programme.

How did winning the award impact your work?

Receiving the award has given us great visibility. The regional press picked up our story and has positioned the Open Innovation 4.0 programme in the media, which has contributed to disseminating and raising awareness of the programme in the Asturian business ecosystem.

In addition to increased regional awareness, the award has also contributed to our position on the international stage. This is largely down to the respect that the institution that awarded us, the European Commission, receives. As a result, the organisations that drive the Open Innovation programme, IDEPA and CEEI Asturias, are now positioned at the European and even international level as points of reference among the key players in regional economic promotion.

Why should others enter EEPA 2019? What advice would you give them?

Receiving an EEPA is a recognition of the effort put in, and of the innovation that your project brings to Europe. It is also an opportunity for winning projects to receive great visibility for both their work and good practice.

What are your plans for the future?

The future will clearly involve a continued commitment to promoting Industry 4.0 through the Open Innovation 4.0 programme, due to this programme being central to the strategy implemented by the Government of the Principality of Asturias.

The programme is lively and dynamic, and is now in its third year. The programme is currently dealing with six tractor companies that have posed their technological challenges in Industry 4.0 to more than sixty startups in order to receive their innovative solutions. These actions form part of the Asturias Digital Innovation Hub, the platform that we use for coordinating our resources in order to speed up the digitalisation process of Asturian industry, and which is made up of the main centers of scientific-technological competence in Asturias.

Find out more about the Open Innovation 4.0 programme in the EEPA 2018 compendium and keep coming back to the Promoting Enterprise News Portal for more information on the European Enterprise Promotion Awards.

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SME Week Youth Essay Competition 2019 – Launch

Youth of Europe, it is time to make your voice heard! If you are between the ages of 18-25 the European Commission wants to hear your ideas and thoughts on the topic of entrepreneurship, SMEs and the European entrepreneurial ecosystem.

The Youth Essay competition, organised by the European Commission Directorate General for Single Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs, is launching for the fourth time and is looking for submissions that answer the following:

“Write the speech that you would give as the new Commissioner for SMEs and entrepreneurship to Europe’s entrepreneurs”

The Youth Essay Competition is a chance to share your thoughts and opinions with key policymakers and entrepreneurs on a European platform within the domains of enterprise, entrepreneurship and SMEs.

This year, the competition will be divided into two rounds:

  • Round 1: This is an open call to submit your speech. This submission is due by 16 August 2019
  • Round 2: You have given your inauguration speech and journalists are asking you for more details about your ideas. If you are selected for the top 10, you will receive three ‘follow up’ questions asking you to expand upon the ideas in your speech.

In order to win the prize of an all-expenses paid trip to the 2019 SME Assembly in Helsinki, submit your speech of no more than 2 500 words in English before 16 August 2019.

Don’t know what to write? Not sure where to start? Have a look at previous winning entries:

You can also have a look at the entries from previous finalists:

To get started, read through the rules below, get writing and SUBMIT!

If you have any questions please contact smeweek@loweurope.eu

SME Week Youth Essay Competition 2019 Launch

Rules

  • The competition is open to all 18 to 25 year olds from European Member States or COSME partners countries (see the list)
  • Speeches should not exceed 2 500 words in length
  • All submissions must be in English
  • Only one entry per applicant
  • The deadline for Round 1 submissions is 16 August 2019
  • The three finalists will be announced in October ahead of SME Week and will compete at a grand finale in Helsinki as part of the SME Assembly, where they will give their speeches
  • The final winner will be chosen via a public vote

Prize

  • An all-expenses paid trip to the SME Assembly in Helsinki, Finland for the three finalists, to deliver their speeches to 500+ Assembly delegates
  • Presentation training before delivering speech live on stage at the SME Assembly 2019
  • Promotion of speeches across official social media channels

See Youth Essay Competition 2019 Terms and Conditions.

Follow us for competition updates on TwitterFacebook and Instagram and be sure to follow and use the hashtags #SMEWeekYouth and #YEC2019

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Secrets of Success 2018-2019: Entrepreneurs of Europe – Connecting, Sharing and Innovating

‘Secrets of Success’, the bi-annual brochure that celebrates entrepreneurial successes across Europe and COSME countries, is back with another cohort of innovative entrepreneurs.

The latest edition investigates the journeys that entrepreneurs from across Europe have taken, discovering their motivation, and recording their struggles along the way. In ‘Secrets of Success’ we showcase small and medium-sized enterprises in the European Members States and countries in COSME, Europe’s programme for small and medium-sized enterprises. The entrepreneurs come from wide-ranging sectors, and bring a great variety of experiences to this year’s edition. Despite their differences, they all share the following two values: ‘Learning from Failure’ and ‘Building your Best Team’. Through both struggles and successes, these entrepreneurs are examples of persistence, and highlight the benefits of connecting, sharing and innovating.

Read this year’s edition to learn from these entrepreneurs and allow their stories to inspire you on your own entrepreneurial journey.

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European innovation in space – EU Space Programme

Image copyright: GSA

In a vote on 17 April 2019, the European Parliament endorsed a provisional agreement reached by co-legislators on the EU Space Programme for the 2021-2027 budget period. The agreement passed by a large majority, with 560 votes in favour, 63 against and 32 abstentions.

In June 2018, the European Commission proposed the new EUR 16-billion EU Space Programme to help maintain and further enhance the EU’s leadership in space. The Commission’s proposal brings all existing and new space activities under the umbrella of a single programme and will foster a strong and innovative space industry in Europe.

Elżbieta Bieńkowska, Commissioner for the Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs, welcomed the vote. “Space technology, data and services have become indispensable in the daily lives of Europeans and for Europe to pursue its strategic interests. We therefore need to ensure continuity and financial stability in our space activities,” she said.

Commissioner Bieńkowska also highlighted the importance of space for the European economy. “Europe’s space industry is the second largest in the world, and its space-enabled services fuel a steadily increasing 6-9% of our economy. The EU Space Programme will be key to keep this trend going,” she said.

The Commissioner cited Copernicus and Galileo as “two successful EU space programmes that already improve the lives of citizens and business in Europe and beyond,” adding that, with its vote, the European Parliament had sent a clear signal to the space sector that these flagship projects would continue to prosper and evolve towards new services.

“With the new Space Programme we also introduce new security-related space initiatives: space and situational awareness (SSA) and Governmental Satellite Communication (GOVSATCOM). We will also put the European space sector in a better position to react to the ongoing changes the space sector is undergoing worldwide,” she said, adding: “In particular, we will support a European ‘New Space’ approach with innovative start-ups, reliable and cost-effective European launch solutions and increased European technological autonomy.”

“Space matters for Europe,” the Commissioner said.

For more information, read the full original article on the GSA website.

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EEPA 2019 FAQ – How to make it onto the European shortlist

Applying for the European Enterprise Promotion Awards (EEPA) is one thing, but how can you ensure that your project will stand out? The first challenge is to make your project stand out for your National Coordinator, the second is to impress the European jury. Today on Promoting Enterprise we have collected answers from previous EEPA Jury members to find out what top three qualities will make a project stand out for them.

For more information on the EEPA 2019 read the launch post, find out about your 2019 National Coordinators and have a look at all of the EEPA information on the promoting Enterprise News Portal.

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Connecting social innovators with modern challenges

The modern world is full of both challenges and solutions, yet how can we ensure that innovative minds are made aware of the problems they can solve? Where can those with a solution connect with those who need their ideas? The Social Challenges Innovation Platform answers those needs and provides a marketplace and meeting hub for those with a challenge, to conect with those with an innovative solution.

The platform provides a place for exchange and an opportunity to build partnerships to feed the European Social Ecosystem with innovative solutions. The platform supports Public Authorities, Private Companies, and Third Sector Organisations, referred to as Challenge Owners, through the process of identifying social and environmental challenges, and deciding which ones should be uploaded to the platform.

Once uploaded to the platform, the challenges can be viewed by Solution Providers which can be social innovators, startups, SMEs or other innovators. The providers then use the platform to accelerate their innovations and connect with those who need them most. Solution Providers can also apply for the open calls, and submit proposals to receive a grant of up to EUR 30.000 along with six months of mentoring to fully develop solutions to be used by Challenge Owners.

The first open call and the awarded projects on the platform have already produced results. You can find out more about the platform, its work and the awarded projects on the main website.

 

Watch the web-series about the socialchallenges.eu projects here: 

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    • Inside a National EEPA campaign with Belgian coordinator Françis Otte May 16, 2019
      Today on Promoting Enterprise we are joined by Belgian European Enterprise Promotion Awards (EEPA) National Coordinator Françis Otte. Françis is an experienced National Coordinator and today he is sharing that experience and advice on how to run a successful national campaign, reaching out to potential applicants and what he has learnt throughout his time as […]
      promotingenterprise
    • Scaling up innovative circular solutions for plastics May 14, 2019
      The Executive Agency for SMEs (EASME) is organising a side session during the World Circular Economy Forum (WCEF) in Helsinki, Finland, on 3 June 2019: ‘Scaling up innovative circular solutions for plastics’.
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    • Inside a National EEPA campaign with Finnish coordinator Kati Shibutani May 9, 2019
      As the European deadline for the European Enterprise Promotion Awards (EEPA) gets closer, Promoting Enterprise wants to highlight one part of the work that goes on behind the scenes. Today we have Finnish National Coordinator Kati Shibutani telling us about her work in organising EEPA as well as her advice on how to run a […]
      promotingenterprise
    • U-START – Startup program by Veolia May 7, 2019
      Veolia Germany initiated the U-START program in order to foster the cooperation with innovative startups in the fields of circular economy, climate protection and resource efficiency, and to reduce the time to enter the market with new concepts for a better world. Veolia is dedicated to helping startups grow, and giving entrepreneurs the opportunity to […]
      promotingenterprise
    • EEPA 2018 Testimonial: Industry 4.0 – “Improving the Business Environment” Winner 2018 May 2, 2019
      Another project, another story! Today EEPA 2018 winner Open Innovation 4.0., shares what brought them to the winner’s stage at the European Enterprise Promotion Awards 2018 and their advice for 2019 competitors. TheOpen Innovation 4.0. project from Spain won the Improving the Business Environment category in 2018 for their 4.0 acceleration programme that gave selected […]
      promotingenterprise
    • SME Week Youth Essay Competition 2019 – Launch April 30, 2019
      Youth of Europe, it is time to make your voice heard! If you are between the ages of 18-25 the European Commission wants to hear your ideas and thoughts on the topic of entrepreneurship, SMEs and the European entrepreneurial ecosystem. The Youth Essay competition, organised by the European Commission Directorate General for Single Market, Industry, […]
      promotingenterprise
    • Secrets of Success 2018-2019: Entrepreneurs of Europe – Connecting, Sharing and Innovating April 25, 2019
      ‘Secrets of Success’, the bi-annual brochure that celebrates entrepreneurial successes across Europe and COSME countries, is back with another cohort of innovative entrepreneurs. The latest edition investigates the journeys that entrepreneurs from across Europe have taken, discovering their motivation, and recording their struggles along the way. In ‘Secrets of Success’ we showcase small and medium-sized […]
      promotingenterprise
    • European innovation in space – EU Space Programme April 23, 2019
      In a vote on 17 April 2019, the European Parliament endorsed a provisional agreement reached by co-legislators on the EU Space Programme for the 2021-2027 budget period. The agreement passed by a large majority, with 560 votes in favour, 63 against and 32 abstentions. In June 2018, the European Commission proposed the new EUR 16-billion […]
      promotingenterprise
    • EEPA 2019 FAQ – How to make it onto the European shortlist April 18, 2019
      Applying for the European Enterprise Promotion Awards (EEPA) is one thing, but how can you ensure that your project will stand out? The first challenge is to make your project stand out for your National Coordinator, the second is to impress the European jury. Today on Promoting Enterprise we have collected answers from previous EEPA […]
      promotingenterprise
    • Connecting social innovators with modern challenges April 16, 2019
      The modern world is full of both challenges and solutions, yet how can we ensure that innovative minds are made aware of the problems they can solve? Where can those with a solution connect with those who need their ideas? The Social Challenges Innovation Platform answers those needs and provides a marketplace and meeting hub […]
      promotingenterprise