INNOWWIDE, a seed for a new European SME internationalisation funding instrument | INNOWWIDE final event outcomes

INNOWWIDE organised its final conference on July 7th, 2021, online: European INNOvative business solutions in WorldWIDE markets | INNOWWIDE FINAL EVENT

Attended by more than 105 participants, the event  presented and highlighted the INNOWWIDE programme scope, goals, results, achievements and impact in terms of efficiency (appropriateness of the instrument) and effectiveness (actual collaborative product & market development) and setting the basis for future work in this field.  

The final event provided evidence of the high leverage effects of the INNOWWIDE programme and its related VAP (Viability Assessment Project) instrument to a wide range of stakeholders interested in SME innovation internationalization programmes: National Funding Bodies, innovative SMEs, research organizations and innovation support communities and networks. In addition, it represented an opportunity to explore possibilities for scaling up VAPs and further disseminating their results to potential partners and customers abroad.

Facilitated by SPI and EBN, the event was structured along five main sessions aimed at introducing the INNOWWIDE pilot programme and main outputs, discussing the impact achieved by the programme and the VAPs with different stakeholders (including the European Commission (EC), a national innovation funding agency and an EU|BIC Business Innovation Centre located in the South Moravian regional development agency). Jointly they presented key strategic observations and recommendations from INNOWWIDE Advisory Board members, shared stories of four  funded VAPs, and hosted a high-level policy panel between the EC and Eureka Network on the future of INNOWWIDE funding scheme in Horizon Europe.

During the event, ENRICH Global was invited to present on behalf of all ENRICH centres the non-financial support services offered by these programmes for the internationalisation of innovative European start-ups and SMEs, while CUBE-IN addressed a very interesting presentation on the importance of understanding and managing the cultural dimension of the internationalisation processes.


Designed to answer the challenges of the declining share of third-country participation in H2020 compared to FP7, and of the unmet SME needs at the international technological cooperation level, the INNOWWIDE programme was designed according to three  key driving principles:

  1. SIMPLICITY > lump-sum scheme reducing paperwork at submission and monitoring stage.
  2. FLEXIBILITY > customised approach allowing applicants to pick the activities that best met their international cooperation needs.
  3. BOTTOM-UP APPROACH > leaving applicants the freedom to chose the sector of interest, the target country of destination and the activities they wanted to implement with the grant.

INNOWWIDE implemented two calls for Viability Assessment Projects (VAPs), one in 2019 and one in 2020, receiving more than 2000 registrations on the calls portal, 976 total submissions, of which 700 are eligible for the grant. 250 projects scored above the threshold and 120 finally got the grant (a lumpsum of €60,000).

This translated into € 7,2 million distributed to 120 European SMEs (85%) and start-ups (15%) over 2 calls for VAPS, and a balanced allocation per 3rd country distribution (34 countries outside EU).

Danila Conte, Project Adviser, stressed the fact that the innovation brought by INNOWWIDE scheme consists of a new methodology based on its bottom-up approach, the lump-sum granting scheme and the strong emphasis on the co-creation processes between the European grantees and the local partners in the targeted

As stated by Heikki Uusi-Honko, Head of International Networks at Business Finland, “INNOWWIDE proved that there is a high number of SMEs in Europe with strong capabilities to do high-quality work in internationalisation. The VAPs design allowed applicants to chose among a pre-defined set of activities while defining their internationalisation path. In the future, a co-funding by EU Member States the scheme would be beneficial for better use of both national and EU funds”.

This last comment was central in the strategic assessment provided by the Advisory Board representatives, who insisted on the need of integrating INNOWWIDE in ongoing and other initiatives from EC and Member States, as it covers a clear gap in the framework of the current programmes European SMEs can look at.

The programme still needs some improvements, and key areas to address in the future are: how can it better support European companies to overcome cultural and political barriers, and how can it expand its impact by offering non-financial support too? And, how to encourage more start-ups to apply for this programme?

Four successful grantees (Paula Sole-Jimenez, LSAqua; Joaquin Alviz, Renacens Sistemas SL; Sarfarazuddin Syed, Next Generation Sensors B.V; Emanuele Guglielmino, Microturbines) then shared their direct experience with the INNOWWIDE programme.

“Amazing experience, we learned a lot and we created a technology! INNOWWIDE allowed us to learn along the way by encouraging co-creation approaches to international cooperation with local partners”. Joaquin Alviz, Renacens Sistemas SL

“INNOWWIDE helped us to get out of national borders! It was instrumental to start-up our activity in Latin America, that otherwise wouldn’t have been so easy”. Emanuele Guglielmino, Microturbines

“INNOWWIDE is a network of people and organisations. Open your eyes and keep your mind open”. Sarfarazuddin Syed, Next Generation Sensors B.V

“Thanks to the INNOWIDE granting we had the chance to open the market in Indonesia since it facilitated and accelerated the process. In parallel, it allowed us to discover the procedures and methodologies for product adaptation and innovation, making industrial collaborations smoother through co-creation approaches”. Paula Sole-Jimenez, LSAqua

Luis González Souto, Deputy Director of Technology Cooperation at CDTI and project coordinator, opened the policy dialogue between the EC and Eureka by saying that INNOWWIDE could be a precursor of a more established funding instrument for internationalization of EU SMEs under Horizon Europe. A seed for a new European SME internationalization funding instrument

Ms Anna Panagopoulou, Director, Directorate J – DG Research and Innovation, European Commission, announced that INNOWWIDE will be integrated into the Horizon Europe partnership programme with a budget of € 25 million (10% of the total contribution to Horizon Europe partnerships).

INNOWWIDE scheme proved to strengthen international collaboration by establishing win-win international collaboration partnerships. The European Commission is therefore very much willing to reinforce and capitalize on INNOWWIDE programme results.

INNOWWIDE final event agenda and speakers’ presentations

Welcome & introduction


Francisco Rocha, Senior Project Manager at SPI

The INNOWWIDE programme essentials. Viability Assessment Projects (VAPs), international technological cooperation, innovative product-market development, co-creation and future bilateral RTDI


  • Carlos García Delgado, Head of Sector at CTA 
  • Isabel De Vera, Project Monitoring Coordinator at Eureka Secretariat 


The INNOWWIDE VAPs as a door opener for the internationalisation of European SMEs. INNOWWIDE programme results and metrics and panel discussion on the programme impact, leverage effect, efficiency, and effectiveness


  • Oliver Rohde, DLR 


  • Heikki Uusi-Honko, Head of International Networks at Business Finland
  • Danila Conte, Project Advisor, Unit REA C1- Inclusive Society 
  •  Monika Vrbková, Head of Technological Cooperation Team at JIC, Brno (EU|BIC South Moravian Region)


The INNOWWIDE programme Strategic Assessment. Views from the INNOWWIDE External Expert Advisory Board (EEAB)


  •  Carlos García Delgado, Head of Sector at CTA


  • Brigitte Ecker, Managing Director of WPZ Research 
  • Jana Kolar, Executive Director of Central European Research Infrastructure Consortium


The INNOWWIDE reality – Focus on  European SMEs International Outreach. Views from VAP beneficiaries


  • Faith Blakemore, International Project Manager at Steinbeis 2i GmbH 


  • Paula Sole-Jimenez, LSAqua
  • Joaquin Alviz, Renacens Sistemas SL
  • Sarfarazuddin Syed, Next Generation Sensors B.V.
  • Emanuele Guglielmino, Microturbines


INNOWWIDE: innovation and international cooperation policy. Views from the EC and the Eureka Initiative


  • Luis González Souto, Deputy Director of Technology Cooperation at CDTI


  • Ms Anna Panagopoulou, Director, Directorate J – DG Research and Innovation European Commission
  • Mr Miguel Bello, EUREKA Chairman – Portuguese Presidency
  • Mr Ulrich Schuh, EUREKA Chairman – Austrian Presidency


Taking European Innovation Global with the ENRICH centres and CUBE IN


  • Francisco Rocha, SPI


  • Svetlana Klessova, Director, Research and Innovation Partnerships G.A.C. Group – Innovation & Performance for Impact 
  • Egbert Schram, CEO of Hofstede Insights 

Conclusions and closing remarks


  •  Luis González Souto, Deputy Director of Technology Cooperation at CDTI
  • Danila Conte, Project Advisor, Unit REA C1- Inclusive Society


The event has been recorded, and the full video is now available both on the INNOWWIDE website (https://innowwide.eu/resources/videos/) and YouTube Channel (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cbI2ZcdQiSc).


INNOWWIDE: European INNOvative business solutions in WorldWIDE markets – Final Event

Paving the way for European SMEs to go global

The INNOWWIDE consortium is organizing this final event to present and highlight the INNOWWIDE programme scope, goals, results, achievements and impact in terms of efficiency (appropriateness of the instrument) and effectiveness (actual collaborative product & market development) and set the basis for future work in this field.  

This final event will provide evidence of the high leverage effects of the INNOWWIDE programme and its related Viability Assessment Projects (VAP) instrument to a wide range of stakeholders interested in SME innovation internationalization programmes. If you are one of them, please don’t hesitate to join us on July 7th.

Event date: July 7th, 2021 10:00 – 12:30 CET

Registration link: https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_RVsZs-jmT_GbbOb2_pdLLw

1 Call for application Twitter (002)

ENRICH in Africa’s Horizon 2020 Project Officially Kicks Off

The European Commission has granted EUR 3.5 million to ENRICH in Africa (EiA), a three-year Horizon 2020 project to create a network that strengthens and connects the EU and Africa innovation ecosystems. EiA will be building on the work and the numerous established tech hub linkages of the Africa Europe Innovation Partnership (AEIP), and will provide a wide variety of programmes, activities and services for entrepreneurs and the incubators and accelerators supporting them. Interested to discover the latest insights into the European and African innovation ecosystems? Subscribe to EiA Innovation Insights newsletter here.

Ready to explore other markets?

With our Soft – Landing programmes, European and Africa SMEs and start-ups dive deep into exciting new markets and ecosystems with EiA partners actively supporting their adaptation and growth internationally. Our holistic programmes provide a one – stop – shops for business support services including access to the local business networks, meeting potential investors, tailored trainings, and many more services.

Interested in having additional information, please click here.


CTA presents INNOWWIDE at the Global Innovation Summit and promotes collaboration between the EU and LatAm

CTA participated in the Global Innovation Summit, an event celebrated from the 18th to the 20th of May in a hybrid format from Austria and organised by Eureka with the collaboration of SFG and FFG. This summit, with over 3.000 participants, is an international event for innovative companies, researchers and funding experts that allows them to stablish contacts, share knowledge and develop new business ideas.

The Civil Engineering and Building Technical Officer, Carlos García, and the consultants José Díaz and Marta Macías presented the results of the European project INNOWWIDE at this event, in a session dedicated to talk about associations between the European Union (EU) and Latin America to promote innovation, organised by ENRICH.

Coordinated by CDTI, INNOWWIDE has funded 120 Viability Assesment Projects (VAPS) of innovative SMEs from Europe, in collaboration with technological providers from third countries.

Collaboration to innovate

Emerging markets, like the Latin American, offer huge opportunities to promote new products, services or processes based on innovative technologies. To compete there effectively, European companies, especially SMEs, need to develop alliances with the main innovation actors from these regions and better understand their context, their needs and the demands from the users. This contributes to guarantee acceptance and local success.   

The European project INNOWWIDE has shown to be an effective funding instrument in the internationalisation of SMEs from Europe and the creation of alliances with third countries. Over 1.000 SMEs from all over Europe have participated in two INNOWWIDE calls, and 120 received funds.  

Latin America represents 29% of the funded projects, with 428.000 euros. Brazil, Colombia, Chile and Mexico are the most popular target countries. Most funded projects of this region are from the energy, agriculture and environmental sectors.


Global Innovation Summit 2021

Welcome to

#GIS2021 – Global Innovation Summit 2021

Exploring new perspectives

In a changing world, the brave take the path of uncertainty to explore, innovate and create. Their journey goes onwards and upwards, as ideas grow and evolve and challenges change perspectives, processes and principles.

  • Are you in the business of innovation?
  • Are you looking to collaborate globally?
  • Are you at the scale up point in your business cycle?

Be part of something bigger!

18 – 20 May 2021 – Meet like-minded people, meet people you want to learn from!

During the Austrian Eureka Chairmanship 2020-2021, the Styrian Business Promotion Agency (SFG) and the Austrian Research Promotion Agency (FFG) are joining forces to organise the “Global Innovation Summit 2021”. B2B meetings are brought to you by Enterprise Europe Network. Many national and international organisations, companies and clusters are supporting the themes of the conference and organising engaging sessions on both 18 and 19 May.
The Global Innovation Summit is an international meeting place for businesses and innovators to share and exchange knowledge, to network, to collaborate and secure future business growth opportunities. Businesses from across the globe will come together and share their distinctive insights and collaborative solutions. International speakers will tell their exciting stories, share the growth and journey of their ideas and innovations. You will be networking in your own field of interest and expertise. Participation is free of charge.

Main Topics

Green Transition

The Green Deal as an economic, ecological and social transformation process is one of the centre pieces of political discourse at both international and national levels. One objective of the summit is to support the innovative developments towards green transition and the associated importance of the role of research and innovation programmes.


The reconstruction of the economy and international cooperation after the Corona crisis will play an important role in 2021. The summit’s goal is to take stock of the situation one year after the outbreak of the Corona crisis and to reflect on the resulting consequences for the European and international economic and RTI system.

Digital Transformation

Digital Transition and its impact is another priority of this year’s summit. Here we seek to promote networking among innovative international SMEs and global companies from the Eureka network during a structured exchange of innovative ideas with regard to digital and sustainable development goals.

Participation is free of charge

Due to the current situation we are planning a virtual event with limited on-site attendance for speakers, panelists and interview partners and organisational/technical staff only. Unfortunately we have to insist on virtual attendance for all other participants. Our approved COV-19 security concept will provide all the necessary security measures for our on-site speakers, panelists and interview partners and other people working at the event.   

For more information on #GIS2021, its speakers and a more detailed agenda please visit https://www.gis2021.com/ or have a look here https://gis2021.b2match.io/age…

To add sessions to you personal agenda you need to log in or register. 

Screenshot 2021-04-28 163014

INNOWWIDE as an “Internationalisation Lab”: Interim assessment shows high impact of VAPs

While the 70 Viability Assessment Projects (VAPs) funded under Call 2 of INNOWWIDE are coming to an end, the results of the impact assessment of Call 1 have confirmed the highly positive effects of VAPs on the internationalisation of innovative European small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

The impact assessment of the 50 VAPs funded under Call 1 comprised comprehensive surveys and focus groups among the beneficiaries which covered the outcome of the VAPs as well as the perception of the call implementation.

As a key result, the VAPs have proven to be door-openers for internationalisation – or as one beneficiary put it: “INNOWWIDE served as a great ‘internationalisation lab’ for our company”. Two-thirds of the beneficiaries cooperated with their VAP target country for the first time. Due to the VAPs, over 90% of the European SMEs have created new networks in the respective international target markets and will continue to cooperate with their local partners. Moreover, more than 90% have gained access to new customers. The beneficiaries reported that the VAPs have produced valuable outcomes for their companies such as e.g. a refined market knowledge and positioning and improvements of their business model viability and their collaboration and innovation culture. Thus, 94% of all 50 European SMEs said that the VAP had an impact on their competitiveness.

Regarding the implementation of Call 1, the majority of focus group participants perceived the processes for reporting and receiving funding as good and intuitive in general. Moreover, the participants emphasised that INNOWWIDE was particularly useful for them as it filled a current gap in EU and national funding programmes for SMEs. As a potential area of improvement, the INNOWWIDE consortium identified the need to provide more follow-up support to the beneficiaries which was addressed by introducing a dedicated follow-up process.

While the interim assessment has demonstrated the high impact of the VAPs under Call 1, the INNOWWIDE consortium will now extensively assess the projects funded under Call 2. The conclusions of the final impact assessment will be reflected in recommendations on R&I policy which will be delivered at the end of the INNOWWIDE project.  

INNOWWIDE Call 1: Selected key results of the ex-post impact assessment


Spanish Innovation Empowers Chilean Clinician’s In the Fight Against Cardiovascular Disease

Leveraging the INNOWWIDE grant, Biosfer Teslab aims to bring a mainly Spanish technology service into Chilean clinics to boost better clinical management, and empower clinicians in difficult and stressful decisions. ‘’It has paved the way for internationalisation proof-of-concept. The explored model will be replicated in other South American countries by deploying a functional prototype in pre-clinical settings. It allows for validation of the optimal user-centric experience leading to improved clinical management’’, says Núria Amigo, CEO and co-founder of Biosfer Teslab. INNOWWIDE had the chance to interview Ms Amigo about the impact of Biosfer Teslab’s participation in the VAP1 grant. 

Team Biosfer Teslab in Spain

Emerging from a research and university setting, could you explain how Biosfer Teslab’s was founded?

As a biophysicist focused on biomarker discovery, biostatistics, NMR spectroscopy and machine learning techniques application in the context of cardiovascular research, Ms Amigo stood at the cradle of the innovation in NMR spectroscopy application. Following her doctoral studies in the Metabolomics Platform (URV) centred on lipoprotein profiling by using NMR spectroscopy, Biosfer Teslab emerged as a spin-off company of the Rovira i Virgili University (URV) and the Pere Virgili Health Research Institute (IISPV).

Biosfer Teslab operates in the field of in-vitro diagnostics to provide analytical services to study and monitor alterations in metabolism. The lab provides services of analysis of fluids and biological tissues by Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) and develops medical software, to help and facilitate to the health professionals and the scientific community to study, diagnose and treat metabolic disorders to advance in knowledge and improve the health of people.

What makes the solution unique?

Biosfer appeared intending to reduce the time between the basic scientific results and their future application in patients and of becoming a reference company at the European level in the analysis of biofluids using the Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) high-performance technology.

As a result of this vocation, the “Liposcale” test was born, which revolutionizes the characterization of the lipoprotein profile (particles that transport lipids through the bloodstream), allowing a direct and rapid determination of the size and number of particles of the main classes of Lipoproteins (VLDL, LDL and HDL), as well as the concentration of particles of nine different subclasses, without having to fractionate the plasma.

Since August 2014, Laboratorios Rubio, a family-owned pharmaceutical company specialized in therapeutic solutions for low’ prevalence diseases, has been part of Biosfer Teslab’s social capital, enabling the industrial development of the Liposcale® test to launch the test at a European level. Besides, Rubió Laboratories are the national and European marketers of the Liposcale® test.

The Chilean health care system attracts considerable praiseworthy attention. Besides this fact, how did the international growth strategy and choice for Chile come about?

Although Chile has been viewed as an exemplar of social and economic progress in Latin America, during the INNOWWIDE project it has suffered an economic collapse and an eruption of widespread civil disorder at the end of 2019. These external factors were not previously contemplated in the Viability Assessment Plan. Biosfer’s choice for the smaller market in Chile compared to the one in Mexico, was decided after a market analysis pointing to higher regulatory burdens and widerspread corruption in the latter market. With roughly half of Chile’s population concentrated in the main capital Santiago, it enabled us to more easily target partners in such a concentrated market. 

The analytical validation under the VAP project succeeded in leading Biosfer to the implementation of a new measurement system of lipoproteins in the Chilean market for the improvement of cardiovascular risk assessment. Although delayed by six months due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

How did the INNOWWIDE VAP grant and network support you?

Our participation and the VAP grant within INNOWWIDE helps Biosfer to consolidate in its mission to deliver products and services for healthcare transformation in Europe and beyond. Through the project, we seek to shorten the time-to-market for NMR-metabolomics as a concrete solution to wider medical applications. By bringing metabolomics into the real clinical practice in the Chilean market, it will create new jobs, industries, partnerships and strengths for local health systems and practitioners.

The INNOWWIDE participant network offered us skills and resources helping enclose the complex pathway from lab to market in clinical health. In the four complementary clinical, business, technology and regulatory perspectives, INNOWWIDE provides the strategical and critical skills to bring excellence, efficiency and collaboration on Biosfer’s pathway to market success and scale-out as quickly as possible.

Concretely, INNOWWIDE helped Biosfer to collaborate with our local partner Andinno in Santiago to actualise benefits in:

  • Technological: development and implementation of a functional workflow enabling us to operate on clinical use in the Chilean market (during 2021).
  • Clinical: collaboration with clinical groups for Chilean market validation (end 2021) and implementation of the Biosfer’s solution in local societies’ clinical consensus.
  • Regulatory: generation of all technical file documentation (end 2021) for IVD-R CE for the final project; regulatory approval by a notified organism with new regulation (2022).
  • Business: estimation of Chilean initials sales revenues and profit margins (2023).

What are your next steps?

The ADINA NMR project brings a Spanish technology service into Chilean clinics increasing the number of uses and screened patients, reducing the average cardiovascular diseases, boosting better clinical management, empowering clinicians in difficult and stressful decisions.

With a concluded proof-of-concept for the successful scaling of the technology to foreign markets, the explored model will be replicated in other Southern American countries. This step will follow after the initial delivery of a functional prototype in pre-clinical settings to validate the optimal user-centric experience – leading to improved clinical management.

In terms of economic growth, the present project enabled the preparation and realisation of investment readiness status, enabling the next growth step in the next funding cycle.

More information

Read more about the INNOWWIDE VAP Grant and Biosfer Teslab in the case study here.

Extended application of virtual reality to the aeronautics industry: Feasibility of Software for ENhanced Simulation Experience (F-SENSE)

Our technology allows users to know, in detail, the seat they are going to choose on an airline during a booking, manage your booking or check-in process. By providing the best possible information to the user, we help people to better select their seat, avoid seat selection complaints, and help airlines to more easily sell special seats and premium classes, with increased conversions and revenue.
This, all in all, results in optimal aircraft occupancy, and even translates into savings in boarding times, travellers flying with more confidence as they know the interior of the aircraft they are on, the services available on board, etc.
Now, with INNOWWIDE, we have analysed the feasibility of introducing a number of new, ground-breaking features that will take the user experience to a new level of interactivity and immersion.

VR Digital rEhabilitation System for Occupational Therapy

We are introducing a platform that enables immersive delivery of digital therapy through VR and electroneurography-based hand tracking. The platform’s initial use case targets occupational therapy and training of activities of daily life for patients who are recovering from stroke and other severe conditions.