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Expanding the BC-NET (Business Cooperation Network) in the Member States

The European Commission, DG XXIII, has published a call for applications aimed at expanding the existing Business Cooperation Network (BC-NET) in the Member States.

Within the context of its action aimed at helping small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to become stronger through transnational cooperation agreements, the European Commission has developed the Business Cooperation Network (BC-NET), a network with some 300 members throughout the EU and also in approximately 25 non-EU countries. The network members are private consultants, chambers of commerce and industry, professional organizations, consulting groups, banks, or members of other networks such as the EIC, the BIC or the IRC networks.

This network provides assistance/advice for transnational cooperation and helps SMEs to identify potential partners and establish cooperation agreements of all kinds and in all sectors of activity. With this notice the Commission is putting out a call for applications with a view to expanding the network in the Member States.

BC-NET members are private or public organizations specialized in cooperation among enterprises. Their role is to help SMEs in their search for cooperation possibilities with other enterprises, by offering them assistance and consultancy services in this field. They sign an annually renewable agreement with the Commission and undertake to adhere to a code of professional conduct. They also pay an annual membership fee, which will not exceed ECU 1,000 per year.

Besides promoting cooperation, each member should have the mission of assisting SMEs in finding cross-border business partners. The Commission manages and coordinates the BC-NET and, in particular, the computerized system for handling the cooperation profiles generated by the members. To be able to take full advantage of this system, the members should be equipped with at least a Pentium PC with Windows 95 and a modem.

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