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).

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.

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.


How Italian IoT Microturbine Solution Powers Peruvian Smart Gas Grids Contributing to Global CO2 Reduction: Interview Founder Emanuele Guglielmino

Emanuele Guglielmino, PhD. – Founder and CEO, Advanced Microturbines Srl.

Granted the InnoWWide VAP Call 1, the IoT Microturbine project seeks to understand the industrialisation and commercialisation potential of their energy-harvesting, coin-sized microturbine in the Peruvian gas production sector. Founder and CEO, Emanuele Guglielmino PhD. explains their route to internationalisation and expansion to the Latin American market.

IoT Microturbine enables off-grid IoT applications and data-driven management of gas networks in Peru. Could you explain the project and its objectives in a few more words?

The microturbine has been designed to self-sufficiently and reliably monitor power and control apparatus helping to detect and reduce leaks in gas pipes. Ultimately, the technology assures gas pipeline infrastructure functionality. It is an innovative self-powered gas management system that simultaneously enables continuous remote monitoring and efficient pressure management of gas networks through data-driven decisions.

The architecture of the turbine is relatively like that of an aircraft engine. At the core of the technology sits this novel, patented, highly miniaturised microturbine (coin-sized, 14 mm diameter), designed to be introduced into the gas distribution pipelines, taking advantage of any existing pressure drop in the system to generate electricity in off-grid contexts (e.g. remote areas). It harvests the available energy for free, with no emissions or burning of fuel. The Microturbine together with a smart IoT technology for real-time monitoring and control in the project, allows a more energetically efficient management of pipelines with increased reliability, and reduces operational costs.

What other impact does the Microturbine have beyond operational cost-savings and reliability?

The IoT Microturbine addresses the “Secure, clean and efficient energy” societal challenge. The European Commission Energy Roadmap 2050, sets out that substituting coal and oil with gas, using new technologies, could help reduce emissions until 2035. Our solution contributes to lowered carbon emissions by reducing impaired performance, e.g. due to leaks.

Active pressure management enabled by the microturbine allows operating at low pressure. It offers energy savings and contributes to reduction of gas leakages, which contributes to lowering the impact of the greenhouse effect and global warming (methane has an impact 84 times higher than CO2 on global warming). Considering the 30 W microturbines, over a year microturbine installations produce 262.8 kWh for each installation point. Considering that only in Europe there are already about 200,000 potential installation points, based on the assumption that 25% will be equipped with our solution, this results in a production of 13,140,000 kWh that are equivalent to 5781 tons of CO2 saved. As such, our microturbine directly contributes to making the gas network more reliable, energetically efficient, more economically managed and more environmentally friendly.

The Peruvian gas production market knows many more competing countries in terms of yearly gas production quantities. How did your choice for expansion to Peru came about?

Based on existing contacts and awareness of the potential of the larger Latin American market we set out to analyse industrialisation and commercialisation of the microturbine in Peru.

How did the InnoWWide VAP grant and network supported you?

Encountering a different Latin American gas pipeline infrastructure compared to the European system, our main challenges focused on defining the requirements for technical installations and finding the right partners abroad with the right blend of technical and commercial skills.

The InnoWWide VAP grant enables Advanced MicroTurbines Srl to analyse in detail the Peruvian markets, including the regulatory and legal framework. Based on existing contacts with a local engineering company and technology consultancy partner which followed out of the earlier SME instrument grant and the latest collaboration with Themma S.A.C., new contacts could be established with local companies supporting in marketing and installations. As a result two major gas companies could be approached and pilot tests could be prepared.

The partnership with Themma S.A.C. helped to find the right local, potential distribution partners in Peru, with the appropriate blend of technical and commercial skills. It successfully bridged the Italian and Peruvian operating realities with the right contacts and has been instrumental in forming the foundation of the commercial expansion in Latin America – a region where Italian products are highly valued due to the quality stamp that comes with technology produced in the European Union.

Overcoming the foreign market entry barrier in Peru, has led to access other countries in Latin America such as neighbouring country Colombia.

Furthermore, the participation in the InnoWWide VAP grant call has opened doors for the IoT Microturbines project to other EU-funding opportunities.

What are your next steps?

We realised the commercial potential outside of Peru in neighbouring countries, such as Colombia. We now plan to realise a number of installations in Peru and subsequently expand to neighbouring countries. To stimulate large-scale implementation in Latin America we, the team of the Italy-based company Advanced Microturbines Srl, are seeking to obtain additional support from EU-funding..

More information

A detailed explanation of the concept and its application can be viewed in the product demo video here.

Read more about the InnoWWide VAP Grant and Microturbines IoT in the case study here.


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.


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.


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.


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:


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.