The European EEPA deadline is approaching, but who will be judging all of the national entries this year? Who is responsible for creating the EEPA 2018 European shortlist? Meet your 2018 EEPA jury!
On this year’s jury we have some familiar retuning faces and some new members. This year seven jurors from different disciplines and backgrounds will collaboratively review all of the national submissions before meeting in Brussels to decide the 2018 European shortlist. In addition to coming from different backgrounds our jury members also come from across Europe so as to bring their own national contexts and expertise to the judging panel.
This year we are pleased to welcome back Prof. Thomas M. Cooney (Professor in Entrepreneurship, Dublin Institute of Technology), Thomas Wobben (Committee of the Regions), Lisa Steigertahl (Entrepreneurship Consultant) and Kristin Schreiber (DG for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs) to once again sit on the EEPA jury.
We would also like to welcome our new jury members Jesús Casado Navarro-Rubio (Secretary General of European Family Business), Dr. Matthias Tschirf (Austrian SME Envoy), Anna van Nunen (Director of Grand Jury Prize Winner 2017 Innofest) and Alexander Manolev (Bulgarian SME Envoy).
Stay tuned to Promoting Enterprise to meet all of the new jury members over the next few weeks and be sure to read up on our veteran jury members Prof. Thomas M. Cooney, Thomas Wobben, Lisa Steigertahl and Kristin Schreiber right here on the News Portal!
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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Speaking at The Third Act Conference in Dublin, Anne Connolly, CEO of ISAX, the Ireland Smart Ageing Exchange, said that new roles need to be invented to allow people to continue in the workforce.
In an interview given at the conference, the ISAX CEO said that the Ireland Smart Ageing Exchange is looking at ways to increase opportunities for people wishing to continue longer in the workforce, adding that this would require inventing new roles to accommodate them and allow them to design their own futures.
Populations are ageing very rapidly across the world – due to increases in life expectancy. This means that the number of people over 60 will more than double from 895 million (12.18% of the world’s population) in 2015 to 2.1 billion (22%) by 2050. Those over 80 will increase from 143 million (1.85%) in 2010 to 379 million by 2050 (3.9%).
This new global economy is projected by Merrill Lynch to be worth US$ 15 trillion (EUR 13.5 trillion) by 2020. The aim of ISAX, and other such initiatives, is to develop solutions for the global smart ageing economy that allow the elderly to continue to be economically active. Another key aim of the initiative is to inform them of the opportunities that are available to them and to guide them in their choices.
Mature entrepreneurship is one such area of opportunity, and ISAX actively encourages people to think about starting their own business as an alternative to retirement. Connolly noted that, with this in mind, ISAX is implementing a joint programme with the Bank of Ireland that aims to promote entrepreneurship among the elderly and allow them to tap into the smart ageing economy.
Connolly said that the Third Act Conference provided the Exchange with an opportunity to tell people about this programme, to show them some of the evidence as to why they would make good entrepreneurs and to get them to think about possibilities that they hadn’t considered before. She noted that setting up a business would allow elderly entrepreneurs to put the accumulated life experience and industry-specific expertise that they had acquired to good use.
The theme of the conference, which was held in Dublin in April, was ‘Gearing up for Your Third Act’. At the conference, breakout groups with speakers and panel members addressed Transitioning to the Third Act, Employment and Purpose in The Third Act and Health and Wellbeing in The Third Act, amongst other topics.
The ISAX exchange is one example of a national initiative aimed at the smart ageing economy. You can find information on ongoing EU actions related to the Silver Economy here. If you are interested in information on national initiatives, you should check with your local labour or social welfare departments or with business intermediary organisations in your region to see if they have support programmes aimed at the mature entrepreneur.
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