The support that Enterprise Europe Network (EEN) can offer Scottish companies falls into 2 main categories – support for competitive funding streams (that are not from Scottish Enterprise) and support in finding international business partners. These are discussed below along with upcoming events and other services.
EEN is a network that spans 60 countries, 600 organisations and with 4000 EEN points of contact across these organisations. With such a large network, EEN has specific sector groups – I am a member of the Maritime sector group and the Energy sector group. In Scotland the EEN contacts are all full time employees of Scottish Enterprise or Highland Council.
More info here – https://www.enterprise-europe-scotland.com
Support for Competitive Funding
EEN can support companies by providing a review of proposals before they are submitted to funding competitions. This has mainly been for the various Innovate UK competitions such as Smart and also for EU funding streams such as SME Instrument and Eurostars. We are now starting to support companies with reviews of the MarRI calls. In general, a team of 2-4 people will be assembled for the review and detailed comments of the teams opinions will be given back to the company via a meeting along with an annotated copy of the proposal. These funding streams tend to be very competitive and we have received positive feedback from companies for providing our opinions on their proposals – these often include some of the common issues we are aware of when answering these competitive calls. Ideally, if a first draft is given 3-4 weeks before deadline, this would give enough time for us to review and give feedback in time for the company to complete another iteration. It is always recommended to get in touch as early as possible if your company is thinking of submitting to a call and would like review – it has become a popular service and although we do try to help as many companies as possible, we are limited by what we can do with the size of the team. Get in early with the support request so we can set aside time for your company.
First point of contact for more information on support for competitive funding is Liam Angus – firstname.lastname@example.org
We are happy to support companies in finding new international business partners; we have helped SMEs promote their innovative business services all the way through to supporting multinationals with specific technology requests to access the greater SME community. We are also happy to support companies when they are looking for additional partners for specific funding projects such as with H2020
Where there is a short timescale with a request from a Scottish company, we could approach the EEN country contacts of the appropriate sector group directly and ask for any interested companies within their network.
If time is less of an issue we can publish a “profile” on the EEN database and an example maritime profile from the Netherlands is here – https://www.enterprise-europe-scotland.com/content/search/profile-detail/?TechRef=TRNL20191003001
Profiles are anonymous and are available for anyone to read. We have found that the greatest number of expressions of interest arise from “technology requests”. Technology and business offers tend to get less expressions of interest unless they are something that is quite innovative. There are internal and external review of profiles before they are published and therefore it can take up to a couple of weeks before they are live.
The partnering database can be searched here – https://www.enterprise-europe-scotland.com/content/search/
The main point of contact for all Maritime and Energy partnering enquiries is myself, Craig Moir at email@example.com
NB – I will be in Rotterdam for the maritime sector group meeting at the start of November – if any company has a specific partnering request I would be more than happy to represent them. Over 20 countries will be assembled at this meeting and each EEN contact will bring a slide deck with requests and offers from their companies – 1 slide per company. Hot topics such as green shipping and digitalisation will also be discussed along with any updates from each countries maritime clusters and support organisations.
There is an Aberdeen event on Innovate UK funding at the end of November – event is almost full so there are limited places. There will be another event in Spring next year – venue and date TBC.
Business innovation coaching – we are running a pilot programme for SMEs to help with aspects of innovation in their company. The coaching is squarely aimed at innovative companies that have international ambitions. This could be for a variety of areas such as innovation management, leadership or even marketing. Several offshore energy companies have now used this service and there has been good feedback on the positive impact that coaching has had on the companies involved.
To access this, a short, anonymous online form will be completed by the senior team at a company. Following this there will be a meeting to discuss which areas the senior team, through the form, has itself identified as being weak or strong. The meeting will conclude with a decision on where a coach would have most benefit for the company. A shortlist of coaches, both from UK and international, will be presented to the company, one of which will be chosen by the company. Coaching can last up to 10 days.
First point of contact for more information on business coaching is Alex Blackshaw – firstname.lastname@example.org
H2020 and Brexit guidance
There are specific H2020 calls related to maritime including decarbonising shipping. The UK government has provided guidance on H2020 after Brexit and this is included here: