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SMEs in the European Innovation Area: how can we help them grow?

Fringe session organised by EUREKA and the European Network of Innovation Agencies (TAFTIE)

Studio 201, 10/03/2014 (16:30-18:30)

90% of European investment in Research and Innovation is national. In a Europe with many countries this is a paradox. Most knowledge is generated outside our own countries. As a result international cooperation on research and innovation provides access to more knowledge and is generally more profitable than innovation activities in a closed national environment.

In this session we will focus on best practices and short-comings of initiatives, programmes and financial services offered to European SME wanting to cooperate internationally on innovation.

The workshop will be organized around 3 themes centred on the different stages of an innovation project from the first creative idea, the project period and market introduction.

Panels of invited guest will be cross examined in “hard talk” interviews by a TV journalist. In the interviews issues introduced by video recorded experts will be discussed.

Target audience: Politicians (EU and national level), national and regional SME programme administrators, representatives from national and regional agencies, consultants and SME-representatives, other innovation stakeholders.

Setting the stage: The Innovation Challenge for SMEs in Europe

Theme 1: Are we really providing the best services for our SMEs in the pre-project phase?

Questions: How could we be better in helping SMEs to participate in international innovation programmes? How can we better collaborate across networks to make the European Innovation Area work in practice? Best and worst practices to illustrate the challenge.

Theme 2: Who says that our administration and funding of innovation programmes are SME friendly?

Questions: Are the funding programmes meetings the SMEs needs (Fast time to contract, simple application process)? Aren’t the funding programmes to bureaucratic (difficulties in reporting, payments delayed, very detailed auditing requirements etc.)? Do the funding programmes at regional, national and European levels complement each other?

Theme 3: Are you really preparing your SMEs for success on the market?

Questions: If so, how can we be better at providing better access to private sector funding by working together, especially since most private equity is invested locally and even the EIB delivers through national venture funds?


  • Dr. Kristin Danielsen, Director Norwegian Research Council, EUREKA HLG Chair 2013-14
  • Mrs Anna Wrobel, Advisor to President of PARP, 2014 TAFTIE Chair
  • Mr Jens Peter Vittrup, Norwegian Research Council, EUREKA NPC Chair 2013-14
  • Mr David Garlot, Strategy Advisor, EUREKA Secretariat
  • Dr. Anne Kjesti Fahlvik, Director of Department for Innovation, Norwegian Research Council, Norway
  • Dr. Thomas Alslev Christensen, Head of International Division, Danish Agency for Science, Technology and Innovation, Denmark
  • Mrs Anna Hejka, Heyka Capital Markets Group, Poland

Guest Experts:

  • Dr. Charlotte Dyring, CEO of the Danish biotech start-up Expres2ion.
  • Mr Chris Purslow, Managing Director, atg UV Technology
  • Ms Andrea Kindler, Technology Transfer expert, EEN Representative, FFG Austria.
  • Mr John Hill, Executive Chairman, PERA Consulting Ltd.
  • Mrs Ana Tomasek, EUREKA and Eurostars National Project Coordinator, Business Innovation Croatian Agency
  • Mr Bernd Reichert, Head of Unit "SMEs in Horizon 2020" at European Agency for Small and Medium Enterprises
  • Dr. Peter Chisnall, EUREKA Secretariat, Eurostars Call Coordinator
  • Mr Javier Garcia Serrano, Director of Global Innovation Programmes, Centre of Industrial Technology Development (CDTI)
  • Mr Philippe Vanrie, CEO of EBN – European Business and Innovation Centre Networks
  • Mr Steve Rogers, European Commission, DG Research and Innovation, Deputy Head of Unit, SMEs, Financial instruments and State Aid

Moderator: Mr. Martin Krasnik, TV Hard Talk Journalist from Danish "Deadline" programme (tbc)

Links and Documents

ID: 12250

Practical information

List of Participants

Convention Programme  PDF icon

Poster of the event  PDF icon

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