Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Abstract

2004 was the year in which the EU saw its biggest ever expansion, with the accession of ten new Member States. Although already established in the Czech and Slovak Re publics as well as in Hungary, this provided EBN with an opportunity to further expand the network Eastwards, taking advantage of the new target market of potential entrepreneurs. As a result, new BICs were opened in Lithuania and Poland and work started on a programme of awareness raising in the new Member States (particularly in Malta, Cyprus, Slovenia and Estonia) and also in Bulgaria and Turkey.
This report is based on a new way of collecting data from individual BICs. A comprehensive on-line questionnaire was used and this technologically advanced method has enabled the creation of the on-line Observatory. The on-line Observatory is interactive and enables members to choose the data from the annual report that they specifically want to see. Members can measure their own performance over a range of indicators against the average for their own country and the average for the entire network.
The on-line Observatory also has a number of useful tools for members, including an automatic SWOT analysis, calculated from the data provided on the performance of the BIC. In addition there is a search engine, which allows members to look for potential partners for projects, for example.
From a possible total of 155 questionnaires, 126 were started i.e. these BICs logged on to the website and started entering data. The EBN Quality Team undertook a rigorous process of validation, which involved firstly checking every answer on every questionnaire and secondly contacting BICs to check entries that were either not complete or contained data that was either ¿extreme¿ in comparison to the average given by the network, or was not clear. This process took a little over two months and from the BICs contacted, the EBN Quality Team was satisfied that 73% of the questionnaires could be used for the Annual Observatory.

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Record Number: 7408 / Last updated on: 2006-06-02
Category: MISC