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EEPA 2020 Testimonial – BIND 4.0 – Basque Industry 4.0 Accelerator Program

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We are back with another European Enterprise Promotion Awards (EEPA) winner testimonial! Last time we brought you the story of our ‘Investing in Entrepreneurial Skills’ winner – Merkuur Mobile Workshops from Estonia. If you haven’t read it yet, make sure you do!

This week we are in the Basque Country to meet our ‘Improving the Business Environment’ winner BIND 4.0, a public-private acceleration programme specialising in promoting Industry 4.0 projects. BIND 4.0 is targeted at technological start-ups with 4.0 solutions in the fields of advanced manufacturing, energy, health and food. The programme has been set up as an open innovation platform, where start-ups from all over the world and large industrial companies established in the Basque Country interact in an agile way to develop innovative high-impact projects. The start-ups receive intensive support and benefit from activities aimed at accelerating their development and immersion in the Basque industrial ecosystem.

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

The EEPA are well known throughout Europe for recognising initiatives that improve business at the local, regional or national levels. BIND 4.0 offers something valuable to all parties involved in our programme and our main goals are to increase talent, innovation and competition in our region. We decided to apply and see how we compare to the other incredible initiatives focused on start-ups and business development, and we are quite pleased with the results.

How did you prepare your application?

Our main goal is to contribute to improving the society in which we live through innovation and technology, so we felt our objectives were in line with those of the EEPA. We filled out the application by detailing the impact that BIND 4.0 has had on the industrial and entrepreneurial ecosystem. We explained how our programme is symbiotic; there are benefits for technology start-ups, for the local economy and for established companies looking to collaborate on pilot projects.

What was it like to win the award?

It is a great honour for BIND 4.0 to receive this award from among 13 other stellar candidates throughout Europe. The EEPA is an official recognition of our on-going commitment to business development through the acceleration of start-ups, and of the collaboration between public institutions and private companies. We are thrilled to be acknowledged, at the European level, for our efforts over the last five years.

How did winning the award impact your work?

This award is a source of pride, for consistently accomplishing our goal to promote entrepreneurship and innovation. Since our inception, we’ve accelerated over 100 start-ups and facilitated the development of more than 170 Industry 4.0 projects. This award provides additional validity to our international initiative so we can continue to attract talent to the Basque region and promote collaboration between young start-ups and large corporations.

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

If you would like to see how your programme and efforts measure up against the other programmes being implemented throughout Europe, we recommend applying. The EEPA is a great way to stay informed about impactful programmes, ground-breaking initiatives and the benchmark models in the marketplace.

What are your plans for the future?

The BIND 4.0 Team is currently preparing for the fifth edition of the programme that begins in January 2021. We are also organising a new edition for the post-COVID climate, so we have redesigned the programme to continue supporting start-ups in an online format. The Basque Country is one of the strongest industrial ecosystems in Europe and this award helps enforce the impact BIND 4.0 continues to make toward innovation in entrepreneurship.

We have a positive outlook for the year ahead, as we offer a bridge between flexible, innovative start-ups and proficient, forward-thinking corporates. The COVID pandemic brought numerous significant changes, from establishing remote working conditions to creating new safety measures; we saw innovation in so many new areas. The health and technology innovations this year have been inspiring and are an indication of the direction on which all businesses will need to focus in the year ahead. We feel BIND 4.0 is in the best position to help connect start-ups and corporations and turn innovation into action. 

Congratulations to BIND 4.0! Re-live their winning moment and make sure to keep up with their work and future innovations on their website.

You can also catch up with the SME Assembly 2020 highlights:

European Enterprise Promotion Awards – Class of 2020

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Today during the yearly SME Assembly, the most important event for small and medium enterprises in Europe, the European Commission announced the winners of the 2020 European Enterprise Promotion Awards (EEPA). The initiative rewards entities promoting entrepreneurship and small businesses at national, regional and local level.

The 2020 winners are as follows:

The Grand Jury Prize: France: Le PORTAIL DU REBOND

CATEGORY 1 – Promoting the Entrepreneurial Spirit

Denmark: Open Entrepreneurship

CATEGORY 2 – Investing in Entrepreneurial Skills

Estonia:  Mobile Workshops, Merkuur OY

CATEGORY 3 – Improving the Business Environment

Spain: BIND 4.0 – Basque Industry 4.0 Accelerator Program

CATEGORY 4 – Supporting the Internationalisation of Business

Portugal: Portugal Bike Value

CATEGORY 5 – Supporting the Development of Green Markets and Resource Efficiency

Germany: Greentech.Ruhr

CATEGORY 6 – Responsible and Inclusive Entrepreneurship

Netherlands: Social Enterprise NL

Congratulations to our class of 2020! Re-live their winning moments by watching their videos and stay tuned for the winner testimonials.

EEPA 2020 Shortlist – Improving the business environment

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Another week and another round of introductions to the projects that have been shortlisted by the European Enterprise Promotion Awards (EEPA) jury for the 2020 European finals!

Today we are meeting the projects competing in Category 3: Improving the business environment. Our 2020 finalists come from Finland, Germany and Spain. The work that made the jury take notice of these projects focuses on: providing a wide range of entrepreneur support services from a single hub, facilitating the development of local start-up friendly structures and public-private acceleration specialised in promoting Industry 4.0 projects

Finland: Business Espoo – Helping companies thrive

Business Espoo is a business service network that supports the vitality of local entrepreneurs and companies by providing a wide range of high-quality business support services from one hub. For example, the network provides advisory services to entrepreneurs setting up or developing a company, in addition to support in acquiring skilled workers, finding access to funding, and in conducting international recruitment campaigns. Entrepreneurs are also offered opportunities to network through various events and trainings. Business Espoo supports entrepreneurs and companies through all stages of the business life cycle.

Germany: Start-up BW Local –Landeswettbewerb für gründungsfreundliche Kommunen

Start-up BW Local is a regional competition in Baden-Württemberg that helps communities, cities and districts develop concepts for startup-friendly local structures. Entrepreneurs then evaluate these concepts and award a “Startup-friendly” label to the best ones. The award has helped to increase the founding of start-ups and enterprises in Baden-Württemberg. In the first round of the competition, 75 municipalities were awarded the title “Excellent place for founders and start-ups”. The competition has strengthened the community of startup supporters and has helped to establish un-bureaucratic structures from which startup entrepreneurs can really benefit.

Spain: BIND 4.0 – Basque Industry 4.0 Accelerator Program

BIND 4.0 is a public-private acceleration programme specialised in promoting Industry 4.0 projects. It is aimed at technological startups with 4.0 solutions in the fields of advanced manufacturing, energy, health and food. The programme has been set up as an open innovation platform, where startups from all over the world and large industrial companies established in the Basque Country interact in an agile way to develop innovative high-impact projects. The startups receive intensive support and benefit from activities aimed at accelerating their development and immersion in the Basque industrial ecosystem.

Be sure to read about the EEPA 2020 Special Mentions and the finalists for Promoting the Entrepreneurial Spirit, and Investing in Entrepreneurial Skills, and don’t forget to come back every week to meet more EEPA 2020 finalists!

Want to watch the EEPA 2020 finals? Register for the SME Assembly 2020 and secure your place.

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