Enterprise Europe Network South East Update

August 17, 2016

Enterprise Europe Network South East Update

Food Matters Live Conference
22–24 November 2016 – ExCeL London

The UK’s only cross-sector event bringing together the food and drink industry, retailers, foodservice providers, government and those working in nutrition, to enable collaboration and innovation to support a sustainable food landscape for the future. Food Matters Live provides a platform for thought-provoking, cross-sector debate and encourages cross-sector collaboration.

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An excellent example of sourcing new EU partners via networking events

Ming Foods met a range of new local and European Business Partners at a targeted brokerage event held alongside Food Matters Live.

At Food Matters Live last year more than 85 businesses from 13 European Countries took part in 183 meetings, with participants including Ming Foods, a Kent-based company and Britain’s leading Chinese pastry specialists.

Sam Duong, CEO of Ming Foods, was delighted with the event. “I had some really cool encounters to form worthwhile connections with people and businesses I would otherwise never known or approached,” he said. “The whole event was great for sparking ideas and illuminating viable pathways to bring them into fruition. I am now on that path.”

Another good reason to join us at Food Matters Live in November!

Partnering Opportunities: Research and Development

Blue Technology: Transfer of innovative solutions to sea basin economies project, a European Maritime and Fisheries Fund call (call deadline 30/09/2016)

A French cluster dedicated to the valorisation of aquatic products, tackling the challenges of seafood depletion, the increase in food demand and sustainable development is looking for partners in order to establish a transnational consortium focused on the Atlantic or North Sea Basins and related to blue growth challenges and opportunities.

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Development of a new T-commerce technology for TV shopping

A Korean SME specializing in TV applications (Interactive data broadcasting systems) is preparing an international joint R&D proposal under the EUREKA programme. The project is about developing a new T-commerce technology for TV shopping. They are looking for a partner who can analyze set top box log and big data or develop a numbers-screen system. The proposal should be submitted by the third quarter of 2016.

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Case Study

New partnership to protect ecosystems in lakes, rivers and seas

Marine geologist-turned-businessman Olof Nilsson has always been inspired by the sea. Since 2012, he has served as CEO of Medins Havs och Vattenkonsulter AB (Medins), a Swedish SME that conducts biological studies of aquatic environments and performs tests to make sure plant and animal species are safe and healthy.

The tests, conducted on behalf of public authorities and private companies, ensure that building and infrastructure projects are planned without causing harm to endangered species.

Always on the lookout for new business opportunities, Olof attended a clean technology seminar hosted by his local Enterprise Europe Network branch in Gothenburg. He was excited to learn about how the Network helps busy entrepreneurs expand abroad. Lacking the contacts and resources to find an international partner alone, Olof asked Network advisor Maria Lundin from Business Region Göteborg for help.

Soon after the event, Maria visited the company in Mölnlycke, where she gathered information about the company’s activities and expansion plans. She used it to draft a company profile and partner request for the Network’s extensive business database. Medins, which mainly studies freshwater samples from lakes and rivers, sought marine biologists in other European countries to analyse seawater samples with special focus on the UK market.

Maria reached out to several Network colleagues, including Valerie Pondaven at the University of Greenwich who found three potential partners right away.

The strongest match was clearly Seastar Survey Ltd., a seven-employee SME in Southampton that provides environmental, oceanographic and hydrographic services to the offshore and coastal industries. Although Seastar had worked on international projects with other U.K. companies, it jumped at the chance to find a partner abroad.

The Network put the companies in touch with each other and the companies set up several meetings where there was instant chemistry and excitement on both sides. The companies agreed to cooperate and have already collaborated on five projects, including testing water for electric fishing in Sweden, with more on the horizon.

“We have hired new staff, increased our market share and are now exporting our services outside Sweden, thanks to the professional work of the Enterprise Europe Network,” said Olof.
Magnus Axelsson, Seastar’s director and co-owner, is equally enthusiastic, saying the partnership “will put us in a stronger position going forward.”

Search Opportunities

EU Data Protection Regulation: Where do businesses need to take action now?

After a protracted negotiation and design phase, the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) was adopted by the European Parliament on 14/04/2016 and entered into force on 24/05/2016. After 20 years, data protection law is at a whole new level and particularly uniform for the European Union.

This regulation will be in application as of 25/05/2018 and replace the EU Data Protection Directive (95/46/EC) which has been in force since 1995.

There are some major changes, even if the time until these changes are applied seems far away, companies should be prepared and deal quickly with the changes in legislation.

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Innovate UK: Funding Competition Global Co-operation Feasibility Studies

The aim of this competition is to support innovative UK small to medium sized enterprises (SMEs) to carry out short international cooperation feasibility studies. These studies should build new international business networks. This can enable commercial research and innovation partnerships, and future collaboration.

We are looking to increase the international engagement of innovative UK SMEs. The competition will focus on supporting companies that have strong innovative ideas.

The proposed activities or studies should show the development potential of an idea. They should also show the opportunities available from international partnerships and access to new markets. The feasibility studies can focus on any global market. You must explain the reasons for pursuing a specific market. Applications should also detail the potential impacts and follow-on activities envisaged.

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Innovate UK: Open Funding Competition

Innovate UK is to invest up to £15 million in innovative R&D projects. These projects are designed to help businesses develop new products, processes and services with commercial potential. The aim is to enhance UK competitiveness, growth and improve national productivity.

The competition is open to the best business-led ideas or concepts. These can be drawn from any technology, engineering or industrial area, including Innovate UK’s 4 priority sectors for growth.

They are looking to fast-track ideas to commercial success. Projects should demonstrate disruptive, cutting-edge innovations and businesses should demonstrate ambition and potential for growth.

The competition is open to both small and medium-sized enterprises and large companies. They can work individually or collaboratively.

Projects may focus on:

  • Feasibility studies which may include a proof of market
  • Industrial research
  • Experimental development

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Funding competition: EDF Energy Inspection Innovation Challenge

Business and consortia can apply for up to £10,000 to develop new inspection methods for nuclear reactors and offshore wind farms.

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Funding competition: Agri-Tech Catalyst

UK businesses and universities can apply for a share of £4 million to work with developing country partners on agri-tech innovations.

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