European Networks Widen the Scope of Support for Nanotechnology Sector
It’s no secret that the nanotechnology industry is a fast-growing sector, producing more and more products vital to our everyday life and well-being. In fact, a global market analysis published in August 2020 claims that the global nanotechnology market is expected to reach USD 24.56 billion by 2025.
But what kinds of support are there for European entities to claim their stake in this fast-moving market? Aside from NanoFabNet, another high-level framework, the Enterprise Europe Network, channels support into local-level and regional events to bring added value to nanotechnology-focused stakeholders.
The Enterprise Europe Network, or EEN, provides support for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) with international ambitions. The network was co-funded by the European Union’s COSME and Horizon 2020 programmes, and its main aim is to help businesses innovate and grow internationally. Active in more than 60 countries worldwide and supported by more than 600 member organisations, EEN pools together European experts from different focus areas in order to achieve business scale-up support and collaboration.
Within EEN, a specific sector group exists to support nano and micro technologies. Their main objective is to provide more specific assistance to both industry and research sectors through business promotion, technological and research collaborations in the micro and nano sectors, lifting market barriers, and assistance in dealing with related ethics issues. This EEN sector group also works to help European entities understand the state of art in the US and Japan and assists with communicating new EU policies and regulations in the field to SMEs, while also getting their feedback. This approach works well in tandem with the objectives of the upcoming NanoFabNet Hub, which will be a one-stop-shop for all matters and concerns pertaining to sustainable nanofabrication and its successful incorporation into the complex, large-scale, high-value industries. NanoFabNet, EEN and other important stakeholders will therefore play am important role in shaping the nanotechnology field as they develop and share relevant knowledge and practical expertise.
As the EEN sector group clarifies, the nano and micro technologies sector is very demanding in terms of technology development, but technology transfer potential is therefore quite high. With supporting members from 22 regions in 11 countries in Europe, companies are never far from an expert to seek advice about scaling-up. Specific activities to help support nano and micro-focused SMEs include:
-Brokerage events (covering business, technological and research partnerships), both online and in person
-Company Missions (bilateral between sector group members, as part of major events or stand alone, of one or many companies)
-Communication & feedback on policy topics (including, open consultation on Commission documents),
-Innovation Management & Technology Transfer activities (joint stands, specialized trainings, other joint sector activities),
-Contacts to other Sector Groups of EU Cluster Networks
NanoFabNet partners and EAB members are already active in several of the activities of the EEN sector group, which are leading naturally to cross-collaboration across the nano-focused ecosystem. Their services and targeting specifically towards SMEs, compliment nicely with the large-scale industries approached by NanoFabNet, with many further opportunities for cross-exchange and learning expected in the future.
NanoFabNet will be regularly highlighting key events and activities of the NMT EEN sector group, so keep visiting our website for regular updates on what’s happening across the nano sector!
For more information about EEN, check out their website here: https://een.ec.europa.eu/
Author: Dorothy Estrada, Steinbeis 2i GmbH