Cutting-edge SMEs share spotlight at the Enterprise Europe Network Awards

Today the European Commission honoured innovative small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) at the Enterprise Europe Network Awards in Bratislava, Slovakia.

The Enterprise Europe Network is the world's largest support Network for SMEs with international ambitions and helps them innovate and grow internationally. Each year the Network recognises successful companies that have surpassed expectations and seized the unparalleled businesses opportunities in the EU Single Market. The awards are given across three key categories:

  • The New Directions Award was presented to Germany’s Novihum Technologies which, thanks to the Network, was able to access funding from the SME Instrument and develop a production plant for its new business and hire 20 new people.  
  • The New Horizons Award honoured Smartive from Spain which was also able to access funding from the SME instrument after guidance from the Network. They used the funds to expand their market share which is expected to increase the company’s annual turnover from EUR 500 000 to EUR 5 million in 2019.

From the nine finalists competing for the awards, four businesses received funding from the SME Instrument, which provides about € 3 billion in funding over the period 2014-2020 in order to help high-potential SMEs to develop groundbreaking innovative ideas for products, services or processes that are ready to face global market competition.


Ms Kristin Schreiber, Director, SME Policy & COSME, DG GROW, European Commission, said:

The Network is one of the most important programmes that the European Commission has ever conceived to assist companies take advantage of business and innovation opportunities made available by exploiting at the very best the European Single Market.


Mr Marco Malacarne, Head of Department at the Executive Agency for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (EASME) said:

These small businesses are the drivers of sustainable growth in Europe. The Enterprise Europe Network provides the expertise to help them prosper. These awards demonstrate that with the right support it is possible to pursue your ideas and achieve your international business ambitions.


The awards ceremony was held at the Refinery Gallery in Bratislava, Slovakia, where it was attended by European Commission officials, businesses, intermediaries, journalists and Enterprise Europe Network members. Jury members of the awards included Ms Kaja Kallas, Member of the European Parliament; Ms Kristin Schreiber, Director, SME Policy & COSME, DG GROW, European Commission;  Mr Marco Malacarne, Head of Department at the EASME; Mr Francesco Guerrera, Associate Editor, Chief Financial Correspondent at Politico EU and Mr Juraj Vaculik, co-founder and CEO of AeroMobil.

For more information on the Enterprise Europe Network:


The Enterprise Europe Network Awards nominees:


New Partnerships

Winner: Aquabion GmbH Germany and Rabmer GreenTech GmbH, Austria

Network members: Zenit GmbH and Business Upper Austria


Finalist: Medins Havs och Vattenkonsulter AB, Sweden and Seastar Survey, UK

Network members: Business Region and Greenwich Research & Enterprise

Finalist: TriROOM Innovation, Sweden, and University of Verona’s Department of Neurological and Movement Sciences, Italy

Network members: Ab Centek Vid Mlulea Tekniska Universitet and Veneto Innovazione SPA


New Directions

Winner: Novihum Technologies GmbH, Dresden, Germany

Network members: Zenit GmbH


Finalist: Blue Abyss, Colchester, UK

Network members: Exemplas Holdings and St John’s Innovation Centre

Finalist: BalBok Engineering, Sofia, Bulgaria

Network members: ARC Consulting


New Horizons

Winner: Smartive, Barcelona, Spain  

Network members: ACCIÓ


Finalist: Intale, Athens, Greece

Network members: National Documentation Centre

Finalist: Emulsar, Paris, France

Network members: CCI Paris Île-de-France


Contact us
About Enterprise Europe Network 2018

The Enterprise Europe Network, which celebrates its 10th anniversary this year, brings together around 600 business support organisations from more than 60 countries. Together, they offer small businesses advice and technical help to nurture their international ambitions, find business partners, and access funding and finance. 

The Network was launched by the European Commission in 2008. Over the past 10 years, the Network supported 2.6 million SMEs across Europe, providing information services and training sessions. Over 9,500 SMEs received guidance to take their innovation to market, while over 230,000 SMEs participated in brokerage events held by the Network, and over 415,000 SMEs benefited from tailored business advice. 

This support is crucial for Europe’s economy. New companies mean new jobs and new products on the market, and early targeted support to help small businesses is a crucial investment in the future. The Enterprise Europe Network is a key instrument in the EU’s strategy to boost growth and jobs. 

For more information on the Enterprise Europe Network: 

For more information on Web Summit: