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What it takes to scale innovative non-toxic pesticide solutions to the Brazilian market

Portugal-based SME EntoGenex Europe in collaboration with the Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation (EMBRAPA) is developing an innovative pesticide with disruptive potential, targeting insects that are harmful to Brazilian and European crops. Internationalisation of European innovative SMEs finds support from the InnoWWide programme, which grants companies the opportunity to collaborate, develop and test the viability of their solution in markets outside of the EU. As one of the 120 companies that will receive InnoWWide funding, EntoGenex is now well on its way to access the complex mosquito-insecticide market with an estimate global value of 8 billion Euro.

From Portalegre, close to Lisbon the team of five with pharmacists, engineers, R&D specialist and support-staff works on market entry of a highly effective, non-toxic to other species and environmentally friendly alternative to chemical pesticides. Born in 2018 as a spin-off from the pharmaceutical company Biolotus the technology has pivoted multiple times. It developed from a solution targeting the change of enzymes in the gut-system of tropical mosquito larva to broad applicability in the agricultural sector. Recently, with the support of the InnoWWide grant, EntoGenex once more improved their solution. With their biolarvicide targeting mosquito larvae already on the market, it has widened its expansion focus to the agricultural sector and emerging opportunities in the livestock market, with the aim to develop target-specific biopesticides based on existing technology targeting plagues from crops.

‘’If it were not for the InnoWWide VAP grant, the already planned expansion to Brazil would not have happened now. Nor at this pace. InnoWWide gave us a ‘stamp of approval’ that helped open closed doors. In addition to the financial support, which made a big difference in pushing us to take the risk at this stage of development, we created a tested, operational market penetration that we apply for the expansion to Brazil and the next markets we approach’’, explains Estevão Mano, Business Development Manager.

Building on the companies technological, R&D and entrepreneurial strengths EntoGenex Europe reached out to a local partner that could fill in the blanks on local regulatory expertise and local market knowledge. With EMBRAPA, one of the largest R&D companies in agriculture and livestock in the world and specialised in Brazilian crop and livestock market, they set out to better understand the potential of their innovative technology and the route to the Brazilian agricultural market.

The joint-project carried out under the InnoWWide grant specified four main aspects: technological, regulatory, intellectual property and market. In addition to EMBRAPA, local companies were consulted to analyse the Brazilian IP and regulatory landscape. A market specialist identified missing information on main players, distribution channels, consumer behaviours and needs, and market size. Brazil is one of the three largest consumers of pesticide in the world.

‘’With this comprehensive analysis and valuable new partnerships, we were able to outline a project to develop a new innovative product, targeting insects that are harmful to Brazilian crops, and are also present in other markets.’’

Reflecting on the scale-up activities of European SMEs and the challenges they bring, the example of EntoGenex Europe highlights the importance of connecting with local partners and networks. ‘’The main challenge was to find the right partners to provide the information we needed and help structure our local project, especially in this complex market.

Based on the solidified, long-term partnership with the Brazilian R&D leader, EntoGenex Europe will advance the research project and development of a new product. Among the next steps will be to analyse and explore the technology developed in Europe against plagues that harm livestock. Additional funding for both the R&D activities will be required as biopesticide development is cost and time-intensive. We are exploring both grants and venture capital investment options that will help us take the next growth and internationalisation step.

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INNOWWIDE-quote-case-story-Bomba-Elias

Does the Covid-19 pandemic threaten the internationalisation of European innovation? We asked Spanish SME Bomba Elias currently scaling to Iran.

Amid geopolitical unrest and the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, a family-owned SME set out to introduce their innovative machinery to the competitive oil, gas and petrochemical market in Iran. Supported with the INNOWWIDE VAP grant Bomba Elias uncovered new business segments, developed a new product and attracted new funding. The Viability Assessment Projects (VAPs) project with a funding of 60 k€ intended to identify strategic cooperation opportunities, combining the product expertise of the European company with the contacts and industry knowledge of the Iranian partner.

‘’INNOWWIDE puts on the map as an innovative European company, helps us attract new funding and a close international partnership. The VAP grant brings us unexpected results that surpass our initial intentions.’’, indicates Jacinto Soler-Matutes, Senior Partner at Emergia Partner and business development adviser to Bomba Elias.

The overall situation was difficult for the Barcelona-based micro-enterprise, with less than 10 employees. With limited financial means, they were able to build a valuable partnership abroad and discovered solid skills in their counterpart Naft Tejarat in Iran. The local partner contributed with valuable technical advice to the development of Bomba Elias’ new gear pump (RT-F). An innovation that is specifically suitable for operating with high-temperature fluids of around 300-400 degrees Celsius. It enables industrial facilities in the textile, fuel, plastic and oil and gas to reduce the energy consumption of up to 30 per cent. The product is now gradually marketed in Europe and is ready to enter the Iranian market. Naft Tejarat’s expertise in the oil and gas industry led to the discovery of new applications for the gear pump in tank farms, offshore platforms and terminals. Which opened doors to new potential clients.

Leaping forward in their partnership-building efforts with the Iranian partner resulted in the discovery of a new product idea. With Bomba Elias expertise and Naft Tejarat understanding of the current market development in the Middle Eastern region, a new pump was born. The upcoming electronic submersible pump (ESP) operates in deep oil and water wells, both upcoming and sizeable markets. Bomba Elias delivered their machinery to the oil and gas industry in Europe many years ago. Yet it saw itself pushed out of the market due to the growing market share of large US brands, along with costly certification requirements in the early 2000s. With a changing geopolitical situation more favourable towards trade and the Iranian government’s gradual phase-out of energy subsidies, Bomba Elias is confident about penetrating the lucrative industry again with their energy-efficient technology. Their relationship-building efforts and strengthened collaboration with Naft Tejarat reaped unexpected and strong results.

As a result of the InnoWWide grant, Bomba Elias indicates to be ready for the next step. Along with Naft Tejarat, the company moves forward to full commercialisation of the new gear pump RF-T in Iran and neighbouring countries, such as Iraq, Pakistan and Oman. Adding to the list of Elias’s traditional strong presence in other MENA markets, like Morocco, Algeria and Egypt. Depending on the sales quantity, a licensing agreement can be made in which their Iranian partner assembles the pump partially in Iran. A full multi-side production strategy with a factory in Iran is unfavourable. The quality stamp of a product made in Europe gives Bomba Elias’ technology a favourable position towards foreign competitors in the market. Lastly, the engineering and technical development of their ESP product continues under the newly fortified cooperation with their Iranian counterpart.

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INNOWWIDE Programme in full swing: 120 projects funded; an excellent prospect and tool for innovative, outward looking SMEs in Europe

The INNOWWIDE Call-2 grant process has now been finalized with an additional 70 Viability Assessment Projects (VAPs) ready to start. Lead by innovative European SMEs, these VAPs seek to explore and activate the company in developing new product-market combinations with local partners in their chosen foreign pilot country, boosting international growth opportunities for the best of European innovation.  Together with those 50 already funded in Call-1, this funding programme, whose pilot phase is now completed and will be finished mid-2021, will enable further internationalisation for key products and services that can have an impact worldwide.

This is a great and exciting result in the context of the ‘Open to the World’ H2020 strategy, and excellent news in view of the upcoming Horizon Europe Programme. The strong leverage effect of INNOWWIDE is now a reality, with more than 30 EU or EU Associated States and nearly 70 target countries worldwide now engaged in INNOWWIDE funded projects (and an excellent balance amongst developed and emerging economies).

More detailed information on home and target countries coverage, detailed analysis by sector and technology, success stories and expected impacts will follow in the coming weeks.

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INNOWWIDE Call 2: Funded Projects Announcement

The whole INNOWWIDE Call 2 evaluation process has come to its end, and the individual outcome of the two stage evaluation process has been communicated to all applicants. Now the INNOWWIDE consortium is starting the grant signature process with the SMEs that obtained the highest scores from the ranking list that can be accessed here:

RANKING LIST INNOWWIDE Call 2

IMPORTANT NOTE: Call 2 will grant the top 70 ranked proposals from this list. Only in exceptional and specific cases (in relation with ethic issues or by decision of the beneficiaries) in which the contracts with the SMEs are not possible to be signed, the INNOWWIDE team will call the next SMEs from this list, following strictly its score order.

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Update From INNOWWIDE About 2nd Round VAP Call For Funding Application Evaluation

Many of the applicants have been watching the INNOWWIDE website and social media channels tightly for the much-awaited update on the selected companies in the 2nd round VAP Call.

We are sorry to inform you that the evaluation of the shortlisted applications takes longer than expected. The impressive amount of nearly 600 applications from 36 EU and associate countries, targeting more than 60 destination countries worldwide put our capacities to the test while maintaining our strict standards and an independent evaluation approach.

As stated in the call guidelines, all eligible and complete applications went through a two-stage independent evaluation process by international experts. This is coordinated centrally by the INNOWWIDE Consortium.VAPs have been evaluated by two independent experts per proposal in stage 1, and an External Review Panel (ERP) in stage 2.

At the moment, the financial assessment redress procedure is still underway; only after its finalization INNOWWIDE team will start contacting the shortlisted proposals for starting the contract negotiations phase.

As soon as available, every applicant will receive an email with indications on how to consult the scores and comments received by its proposals.

We hope that the effort from our dedicated staff who are working around the clock will help us to communicate the final selection of companies shortly.

We apologise for the confusion this delay might cause and we are thankful for your patience. To stay up to date and be the first to know the latest news, subscribe to the INNOWWIDE newsletter at www.innowwide.eu/contact/.

The INNOWWIDE team is continuously committed to providing you with the instruments you need to pursue your path on internationalisation.

Your FAQ:

  • Have you started contacting the 70 shortlisted VAPs?

Not yet, the financial assessment redress procedure is still underway, only after its finalization a final ranking list will be made available. It will come about very soon.

  • Should we assume that companies that have not receive any feedback have not been listed for being granted?

 It is hoped that the scores and comments notifications will come out very soon, together with a preliminary estimate of the funding list score threshold, after which only applicants with shortlisted proposals will be approached for starting the contract negotiations phase.

  • How applicants will be notified?

 Every applicant will receive an email with indications on how to consult the scores and comments received by its proposal.

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Digital Transformation Assessment by the ENRICH Centres & EPIC

ENRICH in ChinaENRICH in BrazilENRICH in the USA and EPIC- Centre of Excellence have designed, in partnership a Digital Transformation Assessment for European companies.

With this self-assessment of Digital Transformation, you can find out in which areas of digital transformation your company is already well positioned and which areas have potential for optimization. It takes about 10-15 minutes to answer the questions. After you have completed the questionnaire, you will receive your company-specific evaluation online. The results will help you to understand where you currently stand on your digital journey.

The following seven key areas will be examined:

  • Corporate Strategy
  • Leadership and Corporate Culture
  • Organization and Processes
  • Employees and Competences
  • Technology
  • Products and Services
  • Supply Chain and Networks

Why you should take part:

  • Find out in which areas of digital transformation your company is already well positioned and which areas still have optimization potential!
  • Get your companies’ strengths and weaknesses report – directly after the survey!
  • Global Report: Benchmark your companies’ digital status quo worldwide!

The survey is available in five languages: ENG, GER, PT, CN and HU. 

Link to survey: https://bit.ly/3exmeEx

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INNOWWIDE Experts Information Session – 2nd VAP Call

On 18 May 2020, INNOWWIDE hosted an “Experts Information Session”, in webinar format, to share details about the evaluation process for the 2nd VAP Call with the Experts that will be responsible for analyzing the submitted applications.

The session was recorded and is now available to be watched on INNOWWIDE’s YouTube channel, divided in 3 different parts:

The questions collected during the Q&A session were replied in written form and can be found in this document, along with additional relevant information (this document can also be found on the Experts section of the INNOWWIDE website, under “Documents” with the title “Q&A INNOWWIDE Experts Webinar”).

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2nd call closed

INNOWWIDE CALL II: Nearly 600 applications from innovative SMEs in 36 EU and associated states, targeting more than 60 third countries worldwide

The second INNOWWIDE VAP Call was closed on April 7th with a total of 597 applications from 36 EU and associated countries. The submitted VAPs targeted a total of 61 different target markets.

The most popular overall third country for viability assessment projects was the USA with 19% of applicants, followed by India, China, Brazil, Mexico, Russia, Canada, Colombia, Chile and Japan, comprising the top 10 targeted markets.

61 target countries figured in the second call, which represented an increase in variety of more than 11% in comparison to the first call. The target countries had a widespread and balanced distribution between the three categories: developing, large emerging  and developed.

All applications will now go through a strict eligibility check and independent evaluation, with the applications selected for funding being announced around the end of June 2020.

This second, and last, call of the INNOWWIDE project has received great interest and attention, which came to be reflected on the impressive amount of applications received, near 600. In this way, it is evident that there is a clear need and demand in Europe for such an instrument for innovative SMEs to pursue their path on internationalization and that taking their endeavours abroad is clearly viewed by European SMEs as a strategic driver. Time has come to vouch for a reinforced mechanism as a follow up of the INNOWWIDE pilot phase.

More information and updates will be regularly published in the INNOWWIDE project website (https://innowwide.eu). Stay tuned!

To keep up to date on INNOWWIDE and be the first to know the latest news, subscribe to the INNOWWIDE newsletter at innowwide.eu/contact/

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“Nanocoloring in times of Coronavirus” by BIP-CO – a project granted by INNOWWIDE

Applied Nanoparticles SL (spin off of the Catalan Institute of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology -ICN2-, the Autonomous University of Barcelona -UAB- and the Catalan Institute of Research and Advanced Studies -ICREA-) and the Nanoscale Science and Technology Center –nanoCiTec– are developing the project “BIP-CO: Launching BioGAS + iron nanoparticles additive for biogas output optimization in Colombia“, which has received funding from the Research and Innovation Program Horizon 2020 of the European Union, through the INNOWWIDE project.

Confronted with the health emergency caused by COVID-19, and within the framework of the European Project “BIP-CO”, winner of a grant from the 1st INNOWWIDE VAP Call, Applied Nanoparticles SL and the Nanoscale Science and Technology Center –nanoCiTec- have developed materials to entertain, inform and educate the youngest and their families, at the intersection of the viral pandemic and the world of nanotechnology. An action to contribute to the collective effort against the pandemic and make #StayHome more bearable.

In the first Notebook, they try to answer questions and concerns about the Coronavirus, its symptoms and how to avoid them through a story created by the child psychologist Manuela Molina Cruz. The Notebook also aims to entertain them through a set of sheets for nanocoloring, painting and scribbling made up of images of inorganic nanoparticles extracted by Dr. Víctor Puntes (researcher at the Institut Català de Nanociència i Nanotecnologia -ICN2-, the Vall d’Hebron Institute of Research –VHIR- and the Institut Català de Recerca i Estudis Avançats -ICREA-) when observing with an electron microscope.

In the second Notebook, they present an introduction to Nanotechnology with different materials created by Dr. Edgar E. González (IP nanoCiTec and professor at the Pontificia Universidad Javeriana). The objective is to entertain through a set of sheets for nanocoloring, painting and scribbling made up of images of inorganic nanoparticles extracted by Dr. Víctor Puntes (researcher at the Institut Català de Nanociència i Nanotecnologia -ICN2-, the Vall d’Hebron Institute of Research –VHIR- and the Institut Català de Recerca i Estudis Avançats -ICREA-) when observing with an electron microscope.

The Notebooks can be freely downloaded at: https://www.nanocitec.org/nanocolorea/

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INNOWWIDE Call 2: Deadline extended!

The INNOWWIDE team is aware of the shifted priorities for many European SMEs due to the the COVID-19 emergency.

Therefore, we have decided to extend the deadline of the currently open 2nd VAP Call in order to help applicants better prepare during this challenging period:

The INNOWWIDE 2nd Call for applications for Viability Assessment Projects (VAPs) is closing on April 7th at 20:00 GMT.

Don’t forget we are here to help you in this final rush! Please contacts us at info@innowwide.eu, in case you have any inquires.

Note: all the references to the previous deadline (March 31st) are still being updated throughout the website.

Stay Safe!
INNOWWIDE Team

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