Alps4eu Final conference_Final bsr innovation express overview


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Alps4eu Final conference_Final bsr innovation express overview

  1. 1. BSR Innovation Express Transnational call for proposals for the internationalisation of SMEs through cluster initiatives and business networks Presentation for Alps4EU conference 16 January 2014
  2. 2. At the outset... • Desire to promote international cooperation • Desire to engage more SMEs • Lack of financing instruments that provided ”quick support” to good ideas – mobilizing initial international collaboration • ...and one country (DK) with positive experience from an existing pilot instrument
  3. 3. What is Innovation Express? • • • • • • Common European approach for supporting internationalisation needs/opps of SMEs – through cluster initiatives Joint call, coordinated by BSR Stars (in cooperation with the Nordic Council of Ministers) Cluster/network organisation applies to ’home’ funding agency (explaining target geography(ies) and activity(ies))…driven by needs of SMEs Amount of financing from regional/national programmes dependent on schemes applied (expected to be between 10-60.000 EUR per project grant/country) Duration of project activities 12-18 months Top-up financing (10.000 EUR) from NCM possible for projects with consortia from two BSR Innovation Express funding partner countries (of which one Nordic); additional possible if more partners (up to max 20.000 EUR)
  4. 4. Who is part of BSR Innovation Express? Funding partners Associated partners
  5. 5. Targeted applicants • The applicant is a legal entity representing an SME network, cluster initiative or other specialised research and innovation environment. • The applicant is located in a geographical area where a BSR Innovation Express funding partner is present (i.e. DK, FI, IS, LT, NO, SE). • Proposals must aim to benefit SME members – developed in accordance with them and driven by their internationalisation needs. • Proposed activities must include the participation of at least 3 SMEs. (The participation of even more SMEs is strongly recommended. Participation of large companies, company associations, universities, research organisations, and other public organisations is encouraged; however these cannot be the sole beneficiaries.) • Applications must target another cluster initiative or SME consortia in at least one other country (within the BSR or elsewhere internationally).
  6. 6. What can Innovation Express fund? Possible Activities A. B. C. D. E. F. G. H. I. J. K. Dissemination and promotion Technological/Innovation advice Networking and speed-dating activities Technology transfer Financial engineering linked to RDI activities Recruitment/training/education Workshops and study trips Cross-sectorial inter-cluster activities Market research activities Feasibility studies prior to RDI projects Inter-cluster strategy development activities
  7. 7. Matchmaking event in Copenhagen 9-10 April 2013 In connection with the BSR Innovation Express call, NetMatch (supported by the Danish Agency for Science, Technology and Innovation) led the organisation of a Cluster2Cluster conference and matchmaking event ( which targeted cluster organisations and SME networks wishing to explore opportunities for international collaboration on behalf of their members. 165 participants from 15 countries and more than 70 cluster organizations attended the event. An evaluation of the event revealed: • 86% answered that the event met their expectations excellent or good. • 98 % believe that the general organization of the event was excellent or good. • 90% said that there is excellent or good chance that they would participate in the event again (if to be repeated). • 30 clusters responded that there is an excellent or good chance that they will apply for the BSR Innovation Express Call.
  8. 8. Applications – submissions and approvals Funding Partner Country Applications Approved Received Projects Eligible for NCM top-up Denmark 17 16 4 Finland 3 3 3 Iceland 3 3 3 Lithuania 4 4 2 Norway 8 6 6 Sweden 12 8 5 TOTAL 47 40 23
  9. 9. Summary of Results • 40 approved applications, resulting in 28 new international collaboration projects – 23 applicants teaming up in 11 joint projects (receiving funding from both their home countries and top-up funding from the Nordic Council of Ministers) – 17 additional approved projects • Projects directly engaging more than 900 SMEs in international collaboration • Projects in a range of sectors – some combining partners with expertise in different business, service or research sectors • Nearly all targeted partners located within other Baltic Sea Region countries
  10. 10. Approved Projects by Business Sector 0 ICT Mechatronics Metal Processing/Manufacturing Wood processing Biotechnology Maritime Plastics Agro-Food Construction (incl. equipment) Materials and new Materials Energy Environment/Green Technologies Health Care/Medical Devices Other 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
  11. 11. Countries of Target Partners 12 11 9 9 7 4 3 3 3 3 1 DE DK EE FI IS LT LV NO PL SE UK
  12. 12. Some challenges • Securing budget for calls with little advanced notice (and general timing...) • Communicating separate applications and ”divided budgets” for joint projects • Having different rules (% costs covered, amount covered for intermediary organization or companies) • Working with top-up financing