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Archive for ‘Promoting Enterprise News’

Data 4 Healthy Recovery Hackathon launch

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The European Commission is launching the new Data 4 Healthy Recovery Hackathon, which will be dedicated to solving the most pressing smart health challenges.  

This online hackathon will focus on smart health, and encourage participants to develop solutions and ideas in response to the following challenges:

  • Personalised predictive medicine
  • Telemedicine
  • Real-time health monitoring and remote care
  • Improved diagnostics
  • Data-driven insights for health
  • Improvements for medical manufacturing
  • Medicine demand forecasting
  • Improvement of on-site medical services
  • Safe use of medical data
  • Innovative mental health solutions for employees
  • Threat tracing
  • Information filter for public health

The full scale of challenges are still being developed so make sure to follow the hackathon channels, and check the challenge webpage for updates and more detailed challenge information.

The hackathon will take place between 18-20 June 2021, and participants will take part in brainstorming and other preparatory sessions in the lead up. During these sessions participants will meet challenge partners, learn more about the presented challenges and submit the solution they will work on during the hackathon.

Applications are now open and must be submitted by 15 April 2021.

Stay up to date with the hackathon developments by following the Facebook event page and stay tuned to the hackathon channels for upcoming information.

For more information visit the hackathon webpage and check out the hackathon FAQ section.

EU Industry Days 2021

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The EU Industry days will be taking place next week from 23-26 February and be an opportunity to listen to and be involved with discussions centring around the challenges facing industry, development opportunities and policy responses.

This year’s programme will feature sessions and speakers talking about green and digital transitions and the opportunities both transitions present for EU businesses and citizens. Top speakers will include European Commission President Ursula Von Der Leyen, President of the European Parliament David Sassoli and Commissioner for Internal Market, Thierry Breton.  

The large variety of sessions will also feature the Pact for Skills, circular procurement, lessons learnt from the COVID crisis and several specific masterclasses and parallel sessions.

Alongside the main programme the first fully virtual EU Industry days will feature a virtual exhibition showcasing 43 EU projects. Conference participants will also have opportunities to vote for their favourite projects across categories in the #EUIndustryDays competition.

In addition to the EU Industry days, affiliated events will be taking place across Europe under the EU Industry Week.

Registration for the EU Industry days is still open and the full programme is available on the website.

IPA4SME – successfully protecting intellectual property at small businesses

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Since the first call launched in May 2019, the IPA4SME programme from the European Commission has been successfully accompanying small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) on their path to intellectual property (IP) valorisation, helping them to protect their valuable IP. To date, over 1.000 SMEs from 30 countries have benefited from the programme.

IPA4SME offers SMEs that have been awarded the Horizon 2020 SME Instrument Seal of Excellence a unique opportunity to acquire IP valorisation and protection by co-financing a range of IP-related services, worth up to EUR 15 000.

These services include free IP pre-diagnostics, where a verified IP expert provides the companies with a customised report on their IP business strategy and advises on how to exploit their assets efficiently and securely. Beneficiaries can also have their IP protection costs reimbursed, particularly IP attorney and European patent application fees.

Cut-off closing date approaching

The closing date for the eighth cut-off in the current call is 25 February 2021. This is an excellent chance for eligible SMEs to receive up to EUR 15,000 to support their IP strategy or patent registration. Interested SMEs can apply here.

Feedback from beneficiaries in the previous cut-offs has been very positive – they found the action to be an excellent chance to summarise, reflect on and improve their IP strategy. In general, thanks to the programme they are more aware of their IP situation and view the recommendations in the IP Diagnostic Report as critical for their long-term business strategies. You can read some of their Success stories here.

Feedback from beneficiaries shows that:

  • 97% of applicants are interested in additional support;
  • 87% of beneficiary SMEs have a better understanding of their IP and its value than before;
  • 90% consider the IP pre-diagnostic report a useful resource; and
  • 91% would recommend the IP pre-diagnostic to other innovative SMEs.

Information available

IPA4SME also provides detailed information on the different IP valorisation services that are available, in addition to what actions selected beneficiaries should take to access these services. To view the webinars, click here.

For more information on IPA4SME and its services, visit the website. To keep up to date on IPA4SME actions and events, make sure to follow the programme on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook.

Uplift Albania Demo Day

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Uplift Albania is an early-stage startup accelerator programme focused on growing business and increasing valuation. Founded by ICTSmedia publishing house in cooperation with SOVVA and SlovakAid, Uplift Albania is a golden opportunity for Albanian startups but also a regional innovation ecosystem and attracted startups and young entrepreneurs from nine different industries and six regional countries.

On Friday 29 January 2021, Uplift Albania hosted ‘Demo Day’ during which the latest winners from their programme were announced after 4 months of training and mentoring. The second batch winners were Crossplag, Hermex and Udhë.

Demo Day is the final step in the Uplift Albania acceleration programme and features an Investor Connect session where startups meet a panel of investors, as well as startup pitches to an audience of investors, partners, and experts from Israel, Slovakia, Germany, the US and startup communities in Albania. Within the acceleration programme startups are mentored and trained and learn how to attract investors, to protect their intellectual property, to improve their business models, and to build a better future by transforming themselves to successful businesses.

Read more about the Uplift Albania event here.

Uplift Albania comes as a close cooperation of a broad network of partners and supporters led by ICTSmedia, SOVVA and SlovakAid with the support of Vodafone, Raiffeisen Bank, Huawei, Albvision, EU for Innovation, Municipality of Tirana, Swissep, ICTSlab, PCWorld Albanian, CIO, SCAN TV and Geek Room.

ICTSmedia co-founder founder, Kushtrim Shala was featured in the 2018-2019 European Commission Secrets of Success brochure. Make sure to follow his entrepreneurial journey and learn about the birth of ICTSmedia and his story of success.

Would you like to feature on the Promoting Enterprise News Portal or in the SME Week newsletter? Get in touch at promotingenterprise@gopacom.eu we would love to hear your stories!

Looking back at 2020

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It is the end of 2020 and what a year we have had here on Promoting Enterprise. This year has been challenging and forced us all to find creative solutions and work through uncertainties.

COVID-19 has had a tremendous impact, and before anything we would like to thank all of our community for continuing to inspire us and support the EEPA, SME Week and the SME Assembly.

Throughout the year we have had the pleasure of bringing you many success stories that have inspired us all despite the circumstances. From the EEPA competition, which still brought us many outstanding projects from across Europe, to our COVID Stories campaign, which highlighted how businesses and individuals responded to crisis with innovation.

We also heard from younger members of our community through the fifth edition of the annual SME Week Youth Essay competition. Our three talented finalists, Pablo, Georgina and Sabine took to the SME Assembly stage, sharing their ideas and asking for the votes of hundreds of SME Assembly delegates.

2020 was the year that the SME Assembly went virtual for the very first time, seeing Promoting Enterprise community members join us from all over the world, across sectors and industries, and truly show just how important the European enterprise ecosystem is to us all.

With that we bring 2020 to a close. We look forward to continuing to bring you content throughout 2021, and we wish you a safe, happy and healthy new year.

Pact for Skills launched by Commissioners Schmit and Breton

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The original press release is available in the Commission Press Corner.

Commissioners Schmit and Breton officially launched the Pact for Skills on 10 November during the fifth edition of the European Vocational Skills Week 2020, organised by the European Commission in partnership with the German Presidency of the Council of the EU.

Europe’s skill needs are affected by mismatches and shortages, and it is only through relevant partnerships that substantial progress can be made. The focus on skills is essential to recovery from the coronavirus pandemic and for mastering the digital and green transitions.

What is the Pact for Skills?

The Pact for Skills promotes joint action to maximise the impact of investing in improving existing skills (upskilling) and training in new skills (reskilling). It calls on industry, employers, social partners, chambers of commerce, public authorities, education and training providers and employment agencies to work together and make a clear commitment to invest in training for all working age people across the Union. It also aims to support green and digital transition and assist with local and regional growth strategies.

The Pact is a flagship initiative under the European Skills Agenda for sustainable competitiveness, social fairness and resilience, presented on 1 July 2020.

First European skills partnerships announced

In addition to launching the Pact, Commissioners Breton and Schmit also announced the first European skills partnerships. These partnerships focus on strategic industrial ecosystems heavily affected by the current crisis and the priority areas identified in the European Green Deal to achieve ambitious commitments. The first European skills partnerships in key industrial ecosystems are as follows:

  • Automotive: The ambition to upskill 5% of the workforce each year would result in around 700,000 people being upskilled throughout the entire ecosystem, representing a potential overall private and public investment of €7bn starting with regional pilot schemes.
  • Microelectronics: Initiatives underpinning the ambition of the partnership represent an overall public and private investment of €2bn providing upskilling and reskilling opportunities for more than 250,000 workers and students (2021-2025) in Europe’s electronics clusters.
  • Aerospace and defence: The ambition is to upskill around 6% of the workforce each year reaching 200,000 people, and to reskill 300,000 people to enter the ecosystem representing a public and private investment of €1bn over the next ten years.

Find out more about the Pact for Skills, additional questions and answers covered during the launch as well as how to join the pact on the website.

Call for applications – Science is Wonderful! 2020

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Science is Wonderful! brings the world of science, research and innovation to the public. This year, the exhibition will take place fully online from 22 to 24 September as part of the second edition of the European Research and Innovation Days.

Through an array of digital activities, researchers will interact with children, students and citizens,explain what researchers’ role is in a post-crisis context and highlight how research impacts citizens’ daily lives. The event will also address hundreds of stakeholders from all over Europe in the framework of the European Research and Innovation Days.

This is a unique opportunity to put your outreach and communication skills into action, be impactful andshow how you are contributing to develop solutions addressing the current crisis, its consequences and the priorities that will be at the core of the recovery.

We are looking for EU-funded projects working in all disciplines and speaking all languages to participate in the online exhibition. If you are convinced that you are up to this exciting e-encounter with many fledgling future scientists, citizens and stakeholders, please fill in the online form by 5 July 2020.

If your application is successful, you will be contacted to prepare your activities.

For any questions concerning your application, please contact the EU R&I Days communication team.

The SME Strategy

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“SMEs are the backbone of Europe’s economy” is a statement that many of us have likely heard or come across in various European publications. But how is this essential backbone supported? What policy exists to ensure that our European SMEs are able to operate and thrive within our entrepreneurial ecosystems?

One important part of the European framework that exists to support SMEs is the SME Strategy, released by the European Commission in March 2020. In developing this Strategy, the European Commission kept the variety in function, size and make-up of European SMEs firmly in mind, while also recognising their individual requirements and the need to support the innovation, jobs and diversity that they bring to the EU economy.

Within the SME Strategy the Commission puts forwards actions clustered around three main pillars:

  • Capacity-building and support for the transition to sustainability and digitalisation;
  • Reducing regulatory burden and improving market access; and
  • Improving access to financing.

The SME Strategy is part of the “New Industrial Strategy for Europe” and can be consulted in full here.

The European Entrepreneurial Region Award 2021-2022 – Call to Apply

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The European Entrepreneurial Region (EER) Award, run by the Secretary-General of the European Committee of the Regions (CoR), is now open for applications. The submission deadline is 28 October 2020.

The current call for applications covers the merged 2021 and 2022 edition of the EER Award and is open to “all EU territories below the level of the Member State that are endowed with competences at a political level and able to implement an overall entrepreneurial vision, regardless of their size, wealth or specific competences”.

The original EER 2021 call was launched at the SME Assembly 2019 in Helsinki with an original deadline of 31 March 2020, later extended to 15 April 2020. However, due to the COVID-19 crisis, the EER jury decided to re-open the call and change the focus to Entrepreneurship for a sustainable recovery. In light of the current health crisis and economic circumstances, the EER jury also decided to merge both the 2020 and 2021 calls, in order to allow for the challenging need to re-draft various regional development plans and strategies that were in force prior to the crisis.

The application form is available on the EER web page. Any applications received after the deadline of 28 October 2020 will not be eligible.

For more information on eligibility, evaluation criteria and the Award please visit the EER website.

PARSEC Accelerator launches Open Call 2 for SMEs innovating in food, energy or environment

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The PARSEC Accelerator invites SMEs and start-ups to meet the 100 winners of Open Call 1 to jointly develop Earth Observation-based business solutions for the food, energy or environment sectors and apply to the Open Call 2.

The PARSEC Open Call 2 will distribute €1.5 million equity-free funding to 15 winning consortia and provide access to business support services (investment readiness program, export promotion and coaching) and the PARSEC Business Catalysts in order to help their solutions enter the global market.

The PARSEC Accelerator is uniquely positioned to help SMEs and start-ups benefit from the rapid evolution of the Earth Observation sector, enabled by new, maturing and converging technologies such as cloud computing, big data and artificial intelligence. The PARSEC Business Catalysts, three tools supporting big data processing, in situ data access and access to an Earth Observation marketplace, represent an exceptional opportunity for start-ups and innovative SMEs looking for efficient ways to launch their innovations.

In order to apply for the second Open Call, external SMEs or start-ups have to team up with one of the winners from Open Call 1 and form a cross-sectoral and/or cross-border consortium of 2-4 organisations. The PARSEC Accelerator will facilitate networking for interested SMEs and startups via the online PARSEC matchmaking platform. To join the matchmaking register for free here. You will receive an invitation to join within 48 hours of registering.

The deadline to apply is 20 June 2020 at 17:00 CET. Eligible consortia will be invited to pitch their business ideas in front of a jury of experts at the PARSEC Demo Days on 2-3 July 2020.

For more information visit the PARSEC website, watch the Info Webinar and for any questions get in touch with the Accelerator here.

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