The EENBasque Network, run by SPRI, is promoting technology exchange in Europe. 45 countries are taking part in the scheme, which is run by the European Union. The contract with the EU is renewed every two years, depending on the results achieved, until 2014.
The SPRI Group, the major group of public enterprises belonging to the Department of Industry, Innovation, Trade and Tourism, heads the Basque consortium of the European Network for Consultancy and Support of Innovation (ENTERPRISE EUROPE NETWORK) in the Basque Country (EENBasque). Co-financed with European Union funds, the programme is geared to promoting companies’ competitiveness – that of SMEs particularly – through international cooperation in the fields of technology transfer and European R+D projects.
Within the framework of EENbasque, SPRI held 11 dissemination meetings last year, which were attended by over 1,000 people, a 30% increase on the figures for 2010. Additionally, as a mobiliser and facilitator of this initiative, SPRI provided technology transfer negotiation counselling for 55 companies in 2011, as compared to 48 in 2010.
Another of EENBasque’s activities for promoting Basque companies’ technology innovation is the organisation and promotion of business meetings, and 64 Basque companies have held meetings with 146 foreign firms as a result. The members of the network participate in 6 European sectoral groups with the aim of identifying and presenting new Basque technology offers and demands. In 2011, the general catalogue was increased by 20 new proposals. EENBasque’s actions are also complemented by monthly Alavaletters sent to over 7,000 subscribers interested in the possibilities of becoming involved in European R+D+I projects.
EENBasque’s contract with the European Commission is renewed every two years, depending on the results achieved. A new contract was thus formalised in 2011 with the EU Directorate-General for Enterprise, which will be valid until the end of the CIP Programme (Competitiveness and Innovation Programme) in 2013. The network has become firmly consolidated and is growing as regards the number of members and countries, and it is now the largest international cooperation support network for SMEs (Technology and Innovation), with a total of 600 organisations from 45 states throughout Europe, with agreements with other countries, e.g. Chile, China, South Korea, Egypt, Israel, Japan, Mexico, Russia, Turkey, the Ukraine and the USA.