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Archive for ‘Promoting Enterprise News’

ELIIT Project – Call for applications

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The European light industries innovation and technology project (ELIIT Project) seeks to support textile, clothing, leather and footwear (TCLF) SMEs in enhancing their competitiveness while helping them integrate new technologies in innovative or high added-value products, processes or services.

ELIIT will support TCLF SMEs in implementing the excellent research results achieved in many technological areas by providers and owners of novel innovative and disruptive technologies such as Key Enabling Technologies (KETs), digital technologies, artificial intelligence, Internet of Things (IoT), etc.

These partnerships will pair technology owners/providers and TCLF SMEs for a period of 12-18 months during which each partnership will receive:

  • €70,000 in financial support to develop products or prototypes with high added-value and profitability
  • tailor-made coaching and advice to improve project relevancy and increase capabilities
  • networking activities and participation in workshops/conferences and exhibitions to aid market-positioning as well as build business relationships
  • SME tailored support to strengthen intellectual property rights protection

So how can you apply for ELIIT support? Applicants will need to register and apply before 17 March 2020.

Visit the ELIIT page for more information.

The 2019 Round Up – See you in 2020!

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It is the last day of 2019 and what a year it has been for Promoting Enterprise! Here on the News Portal we have been very lucky to meet some inspiring individuals in the world of entrepreneurship, who have taken the time to share their valuable insights and experiences with us. As this year draws to an end we have taken some time to look back on some of the highlights from 2019.

The year started off with a bang with the launch of the highly anticipated European Enterprise Promotion Awards (EEPA), which went into their 13th edition. This year saw some fierce competition with the announcement of a stellar EEPA shortlist, that went on to compete to become the EEPA Class of 2019 at the SME Assembly in Finland. You can find out more about all the projects in the EEPA 2019 Compendium.  

The Youth Essay Competition ran again for the fourth consecutive year and shook things up with two challenging questions for participants to answer, and asking for their speech as the next Commissioner. The standard of entries was very high, and the jury struggled to narrow the entries down to the top four finalists Radu Dumitrescu, Enzo Ercole Ribagnac, Estelle Beuve and Aureliano Ulndreaj. Our top four took on their final challenge, presenting and speaking at the SME Assembly 2019, where our delegates chose Radu Dumitrescu as this year’s winner. Congratulations Radu!

2019 also saw the launch of the next edition of the Secrets of Success brochure, “Entrepreneurs of Europe – Connecting, Sharing and Innovating”, featuring previous Ideas from Europe winners with cutting edge innovative ideas and businesses.

The SME Assembly 2019 was the flagship event of the year and took place in Helsinki, Finland under the Finnish Presidency of the European Commission. This year’s Assembly featured many inspiring and well-known speakers, including famed economist Mariana Mazzucato, the 2019 Schumpeter Lecturer, Professor Daniel Isenberg, the 2019 keynote speaker, Alberto Onetti, Chairman and Founder of Mind the Bridge and Petri Peltonen, Finland’s Under-secretary of state. If you missed out on our live coverage of the Assembly you can still read the Day 1, Day 2 and Day 3 summary posts right here on the News Portal. You can also continue the conversation in the Online SME Assembly LinkedIn group and get involved in the ongoing SME Strategy Exchange.

We hope that you have enjoyed following us in 2019 and see you in 2020!

INNOSUP Innovation Associate programme: making SMEs thrive

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SMEs encounter multiple challenges over their life cycle. They are often unable to access skills and knowledge and they experience more obstacles when having to recruit specialised professionals. 

This is where the INNOSUP Innovation Associate programme comes into play. The programme provides grants at European level to SMEs to employ a highly-skilled researcher – the ‘innovation associate’ – for a continuous period of one year. The associate’s task will be to turn the SME’s innovative idea into an innovation project.

Gaining such expertise can have many advantages. In the case of Intrapore GmbH, a German SME working on groundwater decontamination, the innovation associate brought knowledge from previous international research projects. The associate’s work enabled the company to modernise its remediation planning approach completely and helped unlock the potential of Intrapore business plan.

According to AMIGO, an Italian SME working on climate system analysis, its innovative project could not have proceeded without the innovation associate. Firstly, the SME was able to acquire her scientific background and expertise in extreme events identification and attribution. Secondly the associate supported the consolidation of an existing climate service prototype.

In the case of TubaScan, a Dutch SME dealing with molecular diagnostics, the associate managed to broaden the network of the SME thanks to new partnerships and collaborations. 

All three researchers received a longer contract in the SME at the end of the one year. Furthermore, they were able to gain new expertise through training courses organised by the programme.

In fact, during the 12 months of employment covered by the grant, as a part of the funding scheme, every associate participates in a training programme on industrial innovation and business management. At the same time, SMEs get financial support to implement a training and development plan tailored to the needs of the associate and the enterprise. 

Personnel costs, relocation costs, and travel and subsistence costs: everything is covered by the grant. 

The new call for the INNOSUP Innovation associate programme is now open until 15 January 2020. Do not miss this opportunity. Submit your application!

Read the original article on the EASME website.

Skills for the industry of the future!

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Can you imagine what the jobs will look like in the industry of the future? Innovation, digitalisation and technology are driving the industry towards more competitiveness and change. Workforce needs new skills, competencies and creativity. The project ‘Skills for Smart Industrial and Digital Transformation’, launched two years ago by the European Commission, has helped cities, regions and Member States shape policies tackling this new challenge.

The overall objective of the project was to develop a shared vision and supporting actions on skills for smart industrial specialisation and digital transformation. The challenge was to help policymakers, industry, and social partners in shaping the workforce’s transformation.

Throughout two years, the initiative has helped regions, cities and Member States in designing ambitious skills policies for smart industrial specialisation and digital transformation strategies.

Recommendations

After an extensive analysis of the current strategies, policies and initiatives on high-tech “T-shaped” skills in the EU and following a consultation process of more than 100 stakeholders, a comprehensive and ambitious “Skills for Industry Strategy 2030” has been put forward. 

The policy recommendations encourage the development of forward-looking, dynamic and interactive upskilling initiatives and call for significant investments mobilising and combining resources at local, national and EU level. They also underline the need for a data and technology-driven industry strategy and highlight the need for motivated and engaged leadership.

Best practices

Among the twenty best practices selected to inspire other interested players, many break with traditional ‘silo’ organisation structures. All of them encourage active collaboration and show that Europe needs new innovative and agile skills initiatives.

Airbus Engineer of the Future & AGUPP, Bosch Centre for Artificial Intelligence, Brainport Development, Cisco Networking Academy, or Skillnet Ireland are among the selected examples.

To find detailed and extensive information on the project and its results, check the full report and brochure.

Read the original article on the EASME website.

ARLEM Award 2020 – Apply to be the next winner

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Are you a young entrepreneur under the age of 35? Are you based in one of the following countries: Albania, Algeria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Mauritania, Monaco, Montenegro, Morocco, Palestine, Tunisia and Turkey?

The ARLEM Award is looking for its next winner, and it could be you! The award is looking to award an entrepreneur up to the age of 35 that runs their own company and has had their company registered for at least three years. The company will be evaluated on the following criteria:

  • Impact on the community, social progress and development
  • Support received from the local or regional authority
  • Impact on job creation
  • Percentage of women in its workforce
  • Degree of innovation
  • Respect of workers’ social rights
  • How the project can serve as a model for other countries in the region

Registration is open from 16 September 2019 to 31 October 2019.

Still have questions? Watch the Facebook live Q&A or contact the ARLEM Secretariat.

For more information on the award visit: cor.europa.eu/arlem-award-2020.go

EIC: 261 proposals seek funding under Fast Track to Innovation

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The European Commission received 261 proposals for Fast Track to Innovation (FTI) before the latest cut-off date on 25 May 2019.

FTI promotes close-to-the market innovation activities open to all types of participants. The programme offers € 3 million to consortia composed of 3 to 5 partners including mainly industrial participants.

FTI is fully bottom-up. As there are no set topics, proposals are classified according to the keywords introduced by applicants. The top keywords introduced were engineering, health and ICT.

The proposals include participants from 28 countries, the largest number of proposals being submitted by Spanish, Italian and Dutch applicants.

Fast Track to innovation (FTI) is part of the European Innovation Council (EIC) pilot and helps close-to-the-market innovations jointly developed by small companies and their industrial partners get on the market faster.

Results will be available in autumn 2019.

Read the original article on the EASME website.

U-START – Startup program by Veolia

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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.

European innovation in space – EU Space Programme

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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.

Connecting social innovators with modern challenges

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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: 

EIC Investor Day: Empowering women innovators

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Companies that have women in leading positions consistently perform better than companies that don’t. However, innovative, techy and digital companies still excruciatingly lack women entrepreneurs. On 4 April, 33 innovative companies led by women and funded by the European Innovation Council (EIC) pilot met for an EIC Investor Day in Brussels to promote the access of women entrepreneurs to finance. In addition to panel discussions with investors and plenty of networking, 12 innovative companies got to pitch in front of investors. In addition, European Commissioner for Innovation Carlos Moedas announced the 13 finalists for the EU Prize for Women Innovators 2019, two of which are funded by the EIC. 

Only 30% of enterpreneurs in Europe are women. “No matter what way you look at it, it poses a problem. Socially, yes, of course, this is a recipe for an unequal society. But how about economically? We know that start-ups founded or co-founded by women generate higher revenues than those by men, and we are missing out”, commented Commissioner Moedas. One of the EU’s initiatives to encourage women to innovate and start their companies by promoting positive role-models is the EU Prize for Women Innovators 2019. The Commissioner announced the 13 finalists for the 2019 prize. Among the finalists are two women co-founders from the EIC backed companies: Nuria Espallargas, a co-founder of Seram Coatings, and Cécile Réal, co-founder and CTO of Endodiag.

Ambassador Luminita Odobescu, Permanent Representative of Romania to the European Union and a mother of two, stressed the importance of educating young boys towards a goal of gender balance. “Political actors and business support organisations need to support women entrepreneurs in access to credit, cut red tape and mainstream gender perspective in all EU policies”.

Gitte Pederson – a co-founder of Genomic Expression, emphasised the significance of networks among entrepreneurs: “It is important that women connect and help each other. You are trained so well in that first stage of the relationship, but since your investors are usually your partners, there is the whole other side to it which is all about getting to know each other”.

The event hosted 17 investors from the private sector and investors from the European Investment Bank.

The EIC Corporate Days link entrepreneurs with international companies to engage in open innovation towards new products, pilot projects and new business models. Since 2017, more than 400 companies funded under the SME InstrumentFast Track to Innovation and FET Open have participated in matchmaking events with large corporates across Europe.

Read the original article on the EASME website here.

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    • SME Week Newsletter 2020: Issue #1 January 13, 2020
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    • ELIIT Project – Call for applications January 7, 2020
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    • The 2019 Round Up – See you in 2020! December 31, 2019
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    • INNOSUP Innovation Associate programme: making SMEs thrive December 17, 2019
      SMEs encounter multiple challenges over their life cycle. They are often unable to access skills and knowledge and they experience more obstacles when having to recruit specialised professionals.  This is where the INNOSUP Innovation Associate programme comes into play. The programme provides grants at European level to SMEs to employ a highly-skilled researcher – the […]
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