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 Partnerships Award was given to Aquabion GmbH from Germany and Rabmer GreenTech in Austria after the Network facilitated contact between the two SMEs. Aquabion GmbH's turnover has increased by 10-15 % while both business have hired new personnel.
- 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: http://een.ec.europa.eu
The Enterprise Europe Network Awards nominees:
Network members: Zenit GmbH and Business Upper Austria
Network members: Business Region and Greenwich Research & Enterprise
Network members: Ab Centek Vid Mlulea Tekniska Universitet and Veneto Innovazione SPA
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
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