A Network for More Innovation and Internationalisation

Steinbeis Europa Zentrum supports SMEs in its role as a member of the Enterprise Europe Network

Its network of international partners allows Steinbeis Europa Zentrum to offer advice on innovation, internationalisation, EU proposal writing , financing, and access to new markets. As a long-standing member of the Enterprise Europe Network – the world’s largest network for internationalisation and technology transfer – Steinbeis experts work with more than 600 partners from 60 countries. Their aim is to help SMEs strengthen their competitiveness and boost innovative capabilities in Europe.

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The Enterprise Europe Network is supporting the goals of the EU Single Market Programme (SMP) by boosting the competitiveness and sustainability of SMEs in Europe, and by promoting entrepreneurship. The idea is to support this aim through the following measures:


  • Improvement of the economic, environmental, and social sustainability of SMEs
  • Measures that promote digital transformation and boost resilience to “shocks”
  • Strengthening of innovation and innovation processes
  • Facilitating access to EU markets and markets in third countries
  • Closer collaboration with (and, if necessary, integration into) local, regional, national, and European clusters, as well as industrial ecosystems and global value chains

The European Commission considers this network an indispensable and unique “European arm” for SMEs and stakeholders in Europe. As one of the most important regional and national business support systems, it drives funding opportunities and comprehensive national and regional policy. It also offers clear added value within Europe, making services available that help customers expand and become more competitive.

Sustainability services for SMEs

In the future, the network will play a crucial role in supporting all kinds of SMEs as they transition to more sustainable business models with the support of dedicated sustainability consultants. The network also drives digital transformation at companies by helping them to adapt business processes, make use of digital technology, and develop new products and services based on digital solutions – especially in collaboration with other key European networks. Importantly, the new focus adopted by the network will help SMEs become more resilient, enabling them to recover fully and emerge stronger from the coronavirus crisis.

Enterprise Europe Network annual conference 2021  Stuttgart

In the fall of 2021, we were delighted to meet our network colleagues again at the Enterprise Europe Network Annual Conference in Stuttgart. In addition to representatives of European institutions and organizations, around 70 network members attended the event. The conference was also streamed live to several hundred further participants.

Steinbeis Europa Zentrum supports successful project in Freiburg

During the event, Steinbeis Europa Zentrum presented a success story about Industrial Solar from Freiburg. The company received a €60,000 grant from the EU for a concept called SolarSteam-CL. It is now using this funding to conduct a feasibility study into the implementation of solar steam projects in Chile as part of a heat contracting model. The SolarSteam-CL project runs for six months and involves collaboration with Ingenieria InPower with the aim of evaluating a variety of factors, including market potential, technology adaptation, regulatory compliance, and cost reduction through local sourcing. Before the project, Steinbeis Europa Zentrum conducted an Enterprise Competence Check to identify the competences, strengths, and weaknesses of the company. Based on this assessment, potential areas of action were identified and tailored to the company, looking at funding options and international partnerships. In addition, profiles of the technology offered by Industrial Solar were shared several times within the Enterprise Europe Network, resulting in a large number of inquiries from interested parties.

EU funding for another 3.5 years

Steinbeis Europa Zentrum has been a partner in the Enterprise Europe Network since 2008. This partnership enters a new round in 2022, this time lasting until mid-2025. The  proposal has been approved by the European Commission and the experts at Steinbeis once again work with a Baden-Wuerttemberg consortium spearheaded by the manual trades association Handwerk International.

For more information on the network services, click here

To find out more about this project, watch the video: https://youtu.be/znt5jo2q8qQ


Alexandra Fezer (Autorin)
Senior Project Manager
Steinbeis Europa Zentrum | Steinbeis 2i GmbH (Stuttgart/Karlsruhe)