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EEPA 2020 Testimonial – Open Entrepreneurship

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Here on Promoting Enterprise we are thrilled to bring you the first of our European Enterprise Promotion Award winner testimonials! Throughout this series we will be interviewing the EEPA Class of 2020 to find out more about these outstanding projects, what they do, what winning the awards means to them, their journey to the finals and more.

Let us kick things off with the winner of our first category ‘Promoting the Entrepreneurial Spirit’. The 2020 winner is “Open Entrepreneurship” from Denmark, who won with their project that connects researchers, investors and entrepreneurs to develop collaborations between them and improve the role of research in startup creation.

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

We were introduced to the EEPA 2020 award via the Danish Chamber of Commerce and decided to enter. They then went on to nominate us for the award at European level.

How did you prepare your application?

The process of preparing the application was an important and sound exercise. We used the application to reflect on our activities, as well as refresh our minds on what the impact and purpose of our project is. These are the elements that we made sure to communicate in our original application.

What was it like to win the award?

It was a great honour to receive this award. We are very proud on behalf of the whole team that includes seven university partners in Denmark.

In the Open Entrepreneurship programme, we work together to help successful entrepreneurs from Denmark and across the globe to come and have a conversation with our researchers – and together we see that this conversation leads to the co-creation and development of some amazing spinouts. We see that this is a great combination as it allows the researchers to focus on what they are good at, namely their research – and at the same time they get resources and the experience from the external entrepreneurs and their network – we see that they inspire each other in both domains.

We are very grateful for the support from our sponsor the Danish Industry Foundation who helped us launch this programme. We also want to thank the Danish Chamber of Commerce for nominating us for this prestigious award.

How did winning the award impact your work and what are your plans for the future?

Open Entrepreneurship winning the award has already gained political attention in Denmark, and we are confident that this alone will support our collaboration across universities and our long-term financial anchoring of the project. Being recognised by EEPA and the European Commission has also strengthened our presence in the Danish innovation ecosystem.

It is of great importance to us, that a project that celebrates the collaboration between seven Danish universities, wins a European level award.

Congratulations to Open Entrepreneurship! Re-live their winning moment below and find out more about their work in the EEPA 2020 Compendium.

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 – Promoting the Entrepreneurial Spirit

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The time has come to meet each project on the European Enterprise Promotion Awards (EEPA) 2020 shortlist! Over the next few weeks we will be introducing you to each project that has been carefully evaluated and selected by our EEPA 2020 jury.

Today we are meeting the projects competing in Category 1: Promoting the Entrepreneurial Spirit. This year our finalists come from France, Greece and Denmark, and their projects focus on providing youth with transferable entrepreneurial skills, creating a national open entrepreneurial ecosystem with state-of-the-art infrastructure in exponential technologies, and formalising collaboration between researchers, investors and private business, to increase the role of research in startup creation.

France: Atlantic Futures

The Atlantic Futures programme, developed by the Atlantic Cities association in 2018, is a transnational programme offering young people opportunities to develop their entrepreneurial skills at European level. Existing initiatives are combined with personalised and targeted support to help the programme participants build upon their ambitions, make their projects a reality, and to develop and nurture their talents. The scheme benefits young job-seekers by providing them with experience and transferable skills that they can take forward into their careers.

Greece: ‘Demokritos’: Innovation Ecosystem for Sustainable Entrepreneurship

Greek public research institution Demokritos transformed itself, with financing from the European Investment Bank, into a smart and autonomous open entrepreneurial ecosystem, with state-of-the-art infrastructure in exponential technologies. This dynamic innovation ecosystem houses numerous programmes and activities that are accessible to all innovative enterprises in the country, such as the Industrial Scholarships Programme, the ‘Lefkippos’ Technological Park and the AHEDD digital innovation hub. The institution’s interdisciplinary environment attracts international investment and research talent from all over the world.

Denmark: Open Entrepreneurship

The Open Entrepreneurship project works to formalise collaboration between researchers, investors and private business, with a view to improving and increasing the role of research in startup creation. By developing a new approach to the commercialisation of research, the project aims to make better use of existing research to fuel innovation, facilitate knowledge transfer to SMEs, and increase the number and quality of startups emerging from universities. To date, the project has led to the establishment of over 35 new companies and increased the knowledge surrounding the commercialisation of research amongst hundreds of students and researchers.

Be sure to read about the EEPA 2020 Special Mentions 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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