Expanding high-tech business across borders

A cross-border initiative, “Top-Technology-Cluster” (TTC), has been helping technology SMEs located in the Southern Netherlands, Western Germany and Eastern Belgium conduct successful and sustainable business together.

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The TTC project closing conference. The TTC project closing conference.

" The TTC voucher helped us to reduce the size of our 'Life Observer by 2 Observe' device - a real-time technology that monitors respiratory movements 24 hours a day. We also met one of our voucher partners at a TTC event and discovered that we had a complementary offering. The TTC voucher has definitely contributed to bringing our product to the market. Crucially, it was an easy to access fund, which is good news for SMEs. "

Jean-Philippe Hermanne, 2-Observe, Belgium

TTC aimed at enhancing the Euregio Maas-Rhein's competitiveness in four promising technology fields: life sciences, advanced materials, information and communications technology (ICT) and energy. These fields were identified in an international benchmarking study, which also revealed the need to combine the significant technological and economic potential across the region.

Open for business

TTC opened up exciting new opportunities for developing new value chains, established competitive technology clusters and positioned the Euregio Maas-Rhein as a region open for business. The 21 voucher applications granted to SMEs under the project proved particularly useful for boosting cross-border cooperation initiatives.

These grants equate to a total of EUR 105 000 in funding for 69 parties and were used to complete various feasibility studies and patent research. Of the 21 vouchers, 8 were granted to ICT projects, 7 to life sciences, 5 to energy and 1 to advanced materials. This high uptake is a testament to the project's success.

Networking events, BDS and financial assistance

The project team also held various networking events on specific technology topics and held inter cluster meetings that served the purpose of uniting companies, universities and individuals from different disciplines. Business development support (BDS) through a bespoke euregional network of experts was also provided to interested parties.

Total investment and EU funding

Total investment for the project “Towards Top Technology Cluster (TTC)” was EUR 5 000 000 of which the EU’s European Regional Development Fund contributed EUR 2 500 000 from the operational programme “Interreg IVA Euregio Maas-Rhein” for the 2007 to 2013 programming period.

Draft date

10/12/2014

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