The Enterprise Europe Network can help you with developing business activities or technological cooperation, provide advice on support for innovative business and how to access risk finance. It can also explain the opportunities available from EU programmes and funding. All services are offered by each network partner as a one stop shop service for companies. They are mainly directed at start-ups and existing small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), but may also be used by larger companies, research institutes, universities, technology centres and business and innovation development agencies. More than 500 contact points in some 40 European countries are part of the network.
2. Can network partners help organise meetings with companies in other European
Yes, network partners regularly organise missions and brokerage events for local SMEs everywhere in Europe and beyond. On the basis of their clients' particular interests, they take care of all the logistics - arrange meetings, provide venues, make travel and accommodation arrangements - to ensure the process of business and technology cooperation runs smoothly.
3. Is European funding available through the network?
The network can provide assistance and advice to enterprises seeking help in looking for debt and risk capital, participating in the various EU funded programmes, particularly those that target SMEs, but does not provide finance directly to companies. The network can also help businesses to exploit the results which stem from European RTD projects.
4. Can the network assist with marketing and commercial transactions?
The network can assist in finding business partners and in the development of cross-border business and technology cooperation between companies or research institutes, but cannot help companies sell their products and services.
5. What about the legal and IPR aspects of technology transfer?
A network partner can advise on intellectual property rights in general. When dealing with complex matters, it will indicate experts, such as the IPR Helpdesk (www.ipr-helpdesk. org) or patent lawyers. The same working method is used for all legal and contractual issues in technology transfers.
6. Does the network handle all types of businesses and technologies?
Yes. Although some partners are focussed on business cooperation, while others specialise in technology transfers, SMEs have local access to both types of services through the one stop shop. Partner organisations can easily forward requests to, and receive information from, colleagues across Europe.
7. Can the network help with business and technology cooperation outside
Yes. The network has contact points outside the Union as well. Besides the 27 Member States the Enterprise Europe Network has partners in Turkey, the Western Balkans, the EEA countries and other third countries. However, in practice, the vast majority of activities are expected to be within the EU.
8. How can I be sure that the particular organisation I am dealing with
is a member of the network?
You can find a list of all network partners at the following address: http://ec.europa.eu/enterprise-europe-network
9. Will my request be treated in confidence?
Yes. Any commercially sensitive information will be treated in confidence. Only data that is specifically linked to your request - for example looking for a business partner in another country - will be made public with your agreement.
10. What about languages?
As the network is present everywhere in Europe, there are no linguistic problems at all and all EU languages can be used. A local network partner may provide linguistic assistance and arrange for accurate translations of documents and interpretation when needed.
11. What to do, if I have difficulties with a particular contact point?
The Executive Agency for Competitiveness and Innovation (EACI) in Brussels, established by the European Commission, is responsible for supervising the network. This role involves network governance and quality control. You can find EACI at the following address: http://ec.europa.eu/energy/intelligent/contact/index_en.htm