11m euro boost for UK based SMEs looking to innovate and expand overseas

Swansea University is delighted that it has entered into a partnership with the new ambitious UK-wide Enterprise Europe Network (EEN) and Innovate UK consortium.

Enterprise Europe Network (EEN) is the largest SME and business intermediary network in the world. Led by Innovate UK and comprising 21 UK regional partners, the consortium has won EU funding of Euro 11M to provide SME support to the whole of Wales, England and Northern Ireland.

The consortium offers support, particularly for high growth potential SME’s, with international trade, emerging technologies and research collaboration. Services include support in identifying new International business and academic partners, help finding overseas suppliers and distributors, help to develop your innovation and R&D, guidance on Intellectual Property, information on legislation, competition and market intelligence and support in accessing EU funding for research and innovation.

In Wales this service is delivered by the Department of Research and Innovation, Swansea University and BIC Innovation Ltd. 

Ceri Jones, Director of the Department for Research and Innovation, Swansea University said:

“Swansea University is delighted to be able to announce its partnership with the new EEN and Innovate UK consortium. Founded ‘by industry, for industry’, Swansea has a long heritage of supporting businesses to commercialise new ideas and EEN’s position as the largest SME and University business network globally, means that we will be able to offer businesses even more opportunities to grow.

“EEN can help businesses and Universities to search for partners, internationalise, develop business skills and receive 1-1 innovation and technology transfer support. EEN has a very neat strategic fit for Swansea University, given our extraordinary strong links with technology businesses, the investment community and other Universities in Wales.”

A vast community of 600 business development offices across 54 countries, EEN has provided technology transfer and internationalisation services since 2008. It offers trans-national business introductions and vetting services to support a range of collaborative activities including commercial trade, emerging technologies and the facilitation of innovative  research activities.

Example of support given by EEN Wales through the Department for Research & Innovation

EEN Wales assisted Monmouth based SME, E2L Ltd, to identify new business partners in Canada and the Czech Republic who were interested in distributing their novel light products. The company has developed a range of innovative enabling technologies specifically aimed at the elderly and disabled.

E2L’s latest nightlight is a safe light-emitting platform, which can be dimmed sufficiently to allow uninterrupted sleep, yet makes it easy for the user to see/locate essential items (e.g. medications, glasses, clock, water), without switching the room light on.

Enterprise Europe Network Wales helped Managing Director Lyndon Owen to navigate EU legislation, gain help with Intellectual Property rights and identify new worldwide partners. Within weeks, E2L Ltd was introduced to international companies with distribution capabilities for E2L’s novel lighting products.

Lyndon Owen said; “ I had not come across Enterprise Europe Network before, but nothing was too much trouble for them. I can’t think why other companies would not use their free services. My experience has been first class and it has already added real value to my business.”