A limited number of experimental projects between the network sector groups and overseas partners of the Enterprise Europe Network shall be supported by grants. The objective is to better capitalise the industrial R&D stock of overseas OECD countries in the context of sector groups of the Enterprise Europe Network in collaboration with clusters. The action should develop and test new service formats by taking up elements of the technology and knowledge transfer practices of the network partners in the US, Japan and Korea – and other countries as appropriate - to assist SMEs to tap the pool of industrial knowledge and technologies in these countries.
Project partners shall be partners in the Enterprise Europe Network; collaborating or supporting entities overseas do not have to be partners in the Enterprise Europe Network – cluster organisation in Europe shall be included as collaborating / supporting entities.
According to the OECD, the US and Japan dominate R&D stocks for technologies ready for uptake by industry. 40% and 28% of the R&D stock held in OECD countries are located in the US and Japan respectively. Korea further contributes a significant share as a result of an active technology development policy followed for decades.
Technologies are however hardly accessible for European SMEs – while multinational companies face less challenges in this respect. Access to technologies overseas is hampered amongst others by a mismatch of institutions and methodologies for technologies transfer. The friction from differences in approaches to technology transfer becomes evident in the daily work of the Enterprise Europe Network in which overseas entities became members on a self-financing basis. These network partners adopt the network’s working methods but face the challenge that direct interaction is hampered by the geographic distance, as a result, real hand-on cooperation with overseas partners in the Enterprise Europe Network remain limited.
The projects to be supported shall mainly achieve a structural impact by:
- Better integrating overseas partners in the sector groups of the Enterprise Europe Network, further developing the methods used by the Network for collaboration with overseas partners, and thereby providing a lasting better access to the results of applied industrial research in the US, Japan and Korea for European SMEs.
- From the supported actions a significant number of European SMEs will get into contact with the developers of technologies ready for application overseas and possibly conclude cooperation agreements.