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Archive for ‘Promoting Enterprise News’

MSME Day 2018 – The Youth Dimension

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This year the annual MSME (Micro, Small-Medium Enterprises) Day was celebrated on 27 June and was dedicated to youth. This year the main event focused on youth entrepreneurship and youth employment, and aimed to advocate for the importance of MSMEs in youth employment, raise awareness around the skills needed by youth to acquire decent jobs and finally raise awareness around youth entrepreneurship.

The MSME Day may have passed but the campaign is still going and the need to advocate for youth employment and youth entrepreneurship continues. But why the particular focus on youth for 2018? This year the MSME Day campaign communicated about the difficulties that youth face in securing steady jobs and the hurdles faced when entering the workforce. This in itself is a large contributor to the rate of youth unemployment, which currently stands at 15.6% in the EU according to Statista.

In addition to the challenges, MSME DAY 2018 highlights the reasons why a focus on youth would be ultimately beneficial for industry including the fact that young entrepreneurs are more active in high-growth sectors and are more likely to hire other young employees and pay higher wages than ‘older’ firms. Youth-led enterprises can also trigger youth-led job creation, with start-ups accounting for up to 50% of new jobs, and finally young people show higher levels of entrepreneurial initiative than adults do.

Visit the MSME Day 2018 website to find out more and support this campaign to support youth in industry.

The European Commission is also interested in supporting youth and particularly in hearing their voices, which is why the SME Week European Youth Essay Competition was created back in 2016. Two years and two winners later, the competition is back for a third edition and with another question:

“What steps should entrepreneurs and government take to become more innovative?”

Find out more about the competition and how to enter here on the News Portal.

Corporates and investors to look out for at #EICSummit18

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The European Innovation Council (EIC) pilot is inviting the small companies it funds to Berlin on 10-11 September to meet investors and big corporate players. Further investors and corporates will be announced but here are the 10 first names not to be missed in Berlin!

The EIC Innovators Summit will bring together small companies, start-ups, innovators and researchers to meet and find potential partners. The two-day conference will be filled with pitches, workshops, networking and matchmaking opportunities.

From the corporate side the following names will be present:

MicrosoftIberdrolaSolvayFaureciaDOWAirbus

The following investors will also join the event:

Balderton,​ EQT VenturesOmnes CapitalGIMV

Registration and Invitees

The event is on invitation only so check out your mailbox; the event registration code is in your email invitation. The event is primarily designed for selected participants of the European Innovation Council (EIC) pilot programmes (SME InstrumentFast Track to Innovation and FET-OpenEIC Horizon Prizes), which will receive their invitations as a priority. Other invitees will be considered should there be additional spaces avilable. 

Interested in being considered for the guest list? Participate in one of our pitching contests in front of a Jury of investors and try and catch their attention with your idea! When registering you can apply to one of the pitching sessions: life science, medical devices, software, Industry 4.0, new materials, mobility, green energy, Food/Agritech. Places are limited so be sure to sell your case well!

For more information on the event, visit the event website, and follow #EICSummit18 on Twitter.

Read the full article on the EASME website.

European Innovation Council Fast Track to Innovation: 216 proposals seek funding

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The European Commission received 216 proposals for Fast Track to Innovation (FTI) before the latest cut-off date on 31 May 2018.

Fast Track to Innovation (FTI) is a fully-bottom-up measure that promotes close-to-the-market innovation activities that is open to all types of participants.
As there are no set topics, proposals are classified according to the keywords introduced by applicants. The top keywords introduced were engineering, health and energy.

The proposals include participants from 31 countries, the biggest number of application were submitted by project proposals coordinated in Spanish, Italian and German applicants. Most of the proposals have four participants.

The Fast Track to Innovation (FTI) is now central part of the European Innovation Council (EIC) pilot, targeting radically new, breakthrough products, services, processes or business models that open up new markets. 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.

The next cut-off date for FTI is 23 October 2018.

Read the original article on the EASME website.

Ready to grow with Enterprise Europe Network

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The Enterprise Europe Network is a support network that helps small and medium-sized business (SMEs) grow and innovate internationally. Active in over 60 countries worldwide, the network draws on the skills and services of 3 000 experts from over 600 member organisations to offer business support to SMEs.

Members of the network are varied and include: technology poles, innovation support organisations, universities and research institutes, regional development organisations and chambers of commerce and industry.

Today Promoting Enterprise will be showcasing one specific aspect of the Enterprise Europe Network, their extensive collection of SME Success Stories, which are all available on their website. These Success Stories come from across European Union Member States and COSME countries, and highlight the diversity of innovative businesses in need of financial and business support.

Have look through the Success Stories catalogue and look out for the individual companies across our social media!

Not following us yet? Head on over to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube to stay up to date on all Promoting Enterprise activities.

Have your say – EYE2018 begins tomorrow

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The European Youth Event (EYE) 2018 is almost here! Tomorrow on 1 June 2018, over 8 000 young Europeans will come together in Strasbourg to discuss the future of Europe with European decision makers.

The EYE 2018 will feature over 300 activities over the course of two days and will be covered by the EYE Reporters, a team of young journalists chosen especially for the event. This year the event will focus around five main themes:

  • Young and old: Keeping up with the digital revolution
  • Rich and poor: Calling for a fair share
  • Apart and together: Working out for a stronger Europe
  • Safe and dangerous: Staying alive in turbulent times
  • Local and global: Protecting our planet

Have a look at the programme to find out more about the sessions.

How can you be a part of the event?

Not able to attend EYE 2018 but still want to make your voice heard? This year you can! This event is a chance for all young Europeans, those attending and those unable to attend, to voice their opinions. In order to ensure that everyone has that opportunity the EYE will be interacting with online participants as well as the attendees.

The top activities will be live streamed via Facebook live, as well as the European Parliament Multimedia website. Questions will be taken from both participants in the room, and those joining via the live stream. You can also participate via the hashtag #EYE2018 across all social media to have your say on the discussed topics.

There will also be an announcement about the SME Week Youth Essay Competition 2018 during the event, so stay tuned to find out what it is!

This year also sees the launch of the new EYE2018 app, which is free to download from both the App Store and Google Play. The app will allow you to be a part of various aspects of the event and features an ‘ideas wall’ for participants to post their thoughts and opinions.

For more information on EYE 2018 visit the official website and don’t forget to get involved and have your say!

SME Instrument companies take home the gold

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What can the SME Instrument do for you? The Instrument, promoted by the European Innovation Council is able to provide support through funding and access to expertise for SMEs looking to grow and innovate. Not only can the support lead to direct success, but can also contribute later down the line as was the case for companies Radisurf and Applied Nano Surfaces. Radisurf took home the prize for the most innovative company and Applied Nanosurfaces won best pitch at an exclusive brokerage event promoted by the European Innovation Council pilot in the world leading industry trade show in Germany. After a very demanding selection process, 70 SME Instrument funded companies were selected to pitch their ideas and vision for the future of industry, under the motto ‘Industry 4.0 and Smart Factory solutions’.

The event was organised by the EIC SME Instrument Business Acceleration Services, the Enterprise Europe Network and NBank, as part of a service promoting deals and business ventures between upcoming SMEs funded by the European Innovation Council pilot and corporate leaders.

Learn more about the winning companies:

Radisurf is developing and producing a specialised nanocoating for direct, strong, and tight adhesion between hard materials and polymer materials called Radibond. Radibond is a patented methodology and formulation for producing a nanometer thin, strongly bonded coating on metals, glass, ceramic, or carbon. With the Radibond coating on your materials, you can apply the polymer material through direct overmolding or a variety of standard welding techniques and obtain strong metal-polymer assemblies.

Applied Nano Surfaces has developed unique technologies to treat the surfaces of mechanical parts to lower friction losses, increase durability and minimise the wear in industrial machines and equipment. ANS products consist of: ANS Triboconditioning®, a mechano-chemical surface finishing process that improves the tribological properties of components made of steel and cast iron, ANS TriboNite®, an advanced thermal processing and coating technology that combines the advantages of nitriding processes with the superior properties of solid lubricant coatings and ANS Tricolit®, a series of thermocured surface coatings serving to reduce friction and wear, and suitable for use on a variety of materials.

For more information and the full article, visit the EASME website

European Innovation Council pilot to support 257 SMEs with 13 million EUR

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The EU will support 257 small and medium-sized companies (SMEs) from 31 countries who aim to get their innovations faster to the market. The companies have been selected in the latest round of the SME Instrument, which is part of the recently launched European Innovation Council (EIC) pilot. The funding of €12.65 million in total comes from Horizon 2020, the EU research and innovation programme.

Examples of the projects selected to receive EU funding include solar street lights, software that uses augmented reality to help industrial plants monitor their production chain, a diagnosis tool for sleep apnoea, an innovative mobile payment technology, a custom-made paint vending machine and a wrapping machine for sustainable packaging.

In this phase of the SME Instrument (the so-called Phase 1), each project will receive €50 000 to draft a business plan. There are 253 projects in total as several companies can team up to propose one project. The companies will also get three days of free coaching and business acceleration services.

Most companies selected for funding work in the field of health, engineering and information and communication technology (ICT). Most companies are based in Spain (45), Italy (28) and Israel (23).

The European Commission received 2009 proposals for this first Phase 1 cut-off of the SME Instrument this year. The next application deadline for SME Instrument Phase 1 is in May 2018.

Applications for phase 1 or phase 2 can be submitted at any time, as the SME Instrument is managed as a permanently open call with several cut off dates per year. Applications are evaluated as soon as there are submitted.

For more information, read the full article here and consult the Horizon 2020 online participant manual.

Towards industry 4.0: a unique pitching contest for Europe’s upcoming SMEs

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Are you a small fast-growing company working on Industry 4.0? The European Innovation Council (EIC) pilot’s SME Instrument invites you to pitch your business cases and ideas to top investors in the South Moravian Innovation Centre (JIC) in Brno, Czech Republic. Apply before 13 May!

On 12 June, a limited number of SME Instrument companies working in Industry 4.0 smart factory solutions will have the opportunity to pitch their ideas to investors and network with corporate representatives and other entrepreneurs in an exclusive event promoted by the SME Instrument Business Acceleration Services.

The event welcomes all innovative approaches to industrial automation and innovative manufacturing technologies. Prepare yourself to make a short pitch about your company (5 minutes), which will be followed by a brief question and answer session. If you are a Phase 1 or Phase 2 SME Instrument company with a solid international business strategy and are committed to participating in the event, we welcome you to apply.

Innovation is the best way to increase productivity and growth. Implementing industry 4.0 solutions and systems might generate enough momentum to ensure the EU’s position as a global manufacturing and industry leader. By enabling innovations across the entire value chain, start-ups and medium-sized companies are in a privileged position to tackle the new challenges posed by digitalisation and interconnection of products.

If you fit the description above then don’t miss out on this opportunity to join the next industrial revolution, and apply here until 13 May.

For more information on the competition, and to learn about similar events, read the full article on the EASME website.

Could you be the next EBAN Scaleup of the Month?

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Are you looking for an opportunity to present your scale up on a European stage? Think you have what it takes to be recognised as a European best practice? Then look no further than the EBAN (the European Trade Association for Business Angels, Seed Funds and Early Stage Market Players), Scaleup of the Month webinar!

The SME Instrument and EBAN are looking to invite participants to the first joint EBAN Scaleup of the Month webinar, where SMEs can present their innovations to a Jury of investors and get a pass and a pitching slot at one of EBAN’s flagship events!

Every month, EBAN holds a one-hour webinar where selected entrepreneurs and the investor who backs them present their projects to a jury of investors and an international audience, for a chance to become the Scaleup of the Month. Each Scaleup of the Month and their investor receive complimentary passes and a pitching slot to one of EBAN’s flagship events as well as premium visibility within the EBAN network.

This month the webinar is organised with the SME Instrument to give visibility to companies that have received investment from an early stage investor or have received an SME Instrument grant.

Companies looking to apply to the Scaleup of the Month initiative need to satisfy the following criteria:

  1. Have received investment in the form of a seed round OR are a beneficiary of SME Instrument 1/SME Instrument 2;
  2. Were incorporated no later than 5 years ago (exceptions made for companies certain industries like life sciences);
  3. Are looking for a follow-on round of equity investment between 1 Million Euros – 5 Million Euros;
  4. Can come from all sectors and industries.

The joint EBAN/EASME Scaleup of the Month webinar is scheduled for the last week of May. The date will be announced shortly. Don’t miss this great opportunity to give your company a boost – apply here or send your investor deck to director@eban.org.

Read the original article on EASME news here.

Inspiring to Transform: Showcasing the WATIFY Journey in Sofia, Bulgaria

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The WATIFY project is proud to announce the event ‘WATIFY: Inspire to Transform,’ which will be taking place on 2 May in Sofia, Bulgaria. This event will bring together innovation leaders from across Europe to discuss the latest insights in technology, transformation and innovation. There will also be opportunities to pitch your projects and ideas, as well as exchange experience with innovative European SMEs that will be showcasing their technological transformations, and sharing their success stories through live 3D printing visualisations, virtual reality demonstrations and other interactive activities.

High-level keynote speakers, including Slawek Tokarski, Director of Innovation and Advanced Manufacturing from the Directorate General Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs (DG GROW) and the Bulgarian Presidency of the Council of the EU will present their vision on the WATIFY initiative. The event will also feature a WATIFY matchmaking event with a keynote from Sasha Bezuhanova – founder and chairperson of MOVE.BG – and show & tell brainstorming sessions in different technology domains. The closing for the event will be just as exciting, when the most prominent SME success story from the WATIFY campaign will be honoured and presented during the WATIFY Awards ceremony.

Don’t miss this opportunity to be part of the technological transformation conversation, and register today! Don’t wait too long – registrations close on 16 April and there are a limited number of places available.

‘WATIFY: Inspire to Transform’ is organised with the support of MOVE.BG and Enterprise Europe Network Bulgaria and will also be partnering with the high-level event Smart Specialisation and Technology Transfer as Innovation Drivers for Regional Growth, organised by the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre under the auspices of the Bulgarian Presidency of the EU Council. This event will follow the WATIFY conference, and take place from 3-4 May also in Sofia, Bulgaria. If you are also interested in attending this event and especially the WATIFY story-telling session on 3 May, have a look at the event website for more information.

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