Each year, in the European Enterprise Promotion Awards, an independent high-level Jury is faced with the difficult task of drawing up a shortlist of projects that will compete for the first prize during the SME Assembly. This year is no different – the EEPA Jury should select three shortlisted projects in each of the six project categories by mid-September, a task that is made especially difficult by the high quality of the participating projects.
This year’s Jury includes representatives from government, business and academia and also includes a representative from Slovakia, as Slovakia will host the SME Assembly in Bratislava in November as part of the Slovak EU presidency. There are two permanent representatives on the Jury, one from the European Commission’s Directorate General for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs and one from the Committee of the Regions. The winner of the previous year’s Grand Jury Prize is also invited to sit on the Jury.
Over the next few weeks we will introduce you to all of the people who make up this year’s EEPA Jury. This week we start, in no particular order, with a representative from academia and the representative from the Committee of the Regions.
Prof. Thomas M. Cooney
Professor of Entrepreneurship, Dublin Institute of Technology
Thomas is Professor of Entrepreneurship at the Dublin Institute of Technology (Ireland) and Visiting Professor at the University of Turku (Finland). He is also Academic Director of the Institute for Minority Entrepreneurship, a Board Member of Startup Ireland and works in a supportive capacity with a number of businesses.
As an expert in entrepreneurship policy, he has worked with the Irish Government, the European Commission, the OECD, the European Training Foundation and other international organisations. He has published widely on the topic of entrepreneurship and full details of his career can be found at www.thomascooney.com.
Committee of the Regions
After studying Economics and Politics, Thomas worked for voluntary sector organisations. In 1993 he joined the European policy services of Saxony-Anhalt and in 1995 he began working in the Liaison Office of Saxony-Anhalt in Brussels taking over as Director in 2000.
Since March 2012 he has been Director for Horizontal Policies and Networks and, later on, for legislative works at the Committee of the Regions.
The judging process
For the EEPA Awards, individual countries were invited to conduct national competitions to determine the best projects to represent their nation. Hundreds of projects competed in these national competitions in 2016 for a chance to vie for an EEPA. Countries were allowed to nominate a maximum of two entries per category to the European competition. Each Jury member reads and assesses every entry against defined criteria covering: originality and feasibility, impact on the economy, improvement of stakeholder relations and transferability. The Jury then meets to discuss their top entries in each category, before agreeing on winners, runners up and any special mentions. The shortlist is published shortly after the jury meeting and the winners are announced during the Awards Ceremony at the SME Assembly.
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