The aim of the project is through transnational cooperation. to design and deliver a suite of tools for the successful development of knowledge intensive firms with high potential to export and through collaborative analysis and pilot actions. to enhance the partners’ regional innovation ecosystems to support such firms. including SMEs and Micro Enterprises. to secure export markets. In terms of European innovation. the NW European Zone is the principal engine of innovation growth. it is the centre of European prosperity and ultimately European economic potential. It is therefore critical that Regions within the NW E Area work closely together to ensure that best practices are jointly developed. transferred and applied and to ensure that supports for knowledge intensive firms are the most efficient and effective. The Europe 2020 Flagship Initiative Innovation Union recognises the importance of developing successful European Companies that can compete within the global marketplace.EU policy makers recognise that regions and cities are the basic spatial areas where innovation is fostered through the exchange of knowledge and the building of innovation ecosystems which support the growth of enterprises. These innovation ecosystems are mainly provided by the interactions of public sector agencies and research institutions. The effectiveness of these supports will be a key factor in achieving European growth targets. Regions & cities also represent opportunities for reciprocal supports for such firms. which. within a short time frame. need to develop export markets. within the EU and into third countries.
Since the TESLA project commenced in May 2012 much has been achieved across the Pilot Actions of the project. The project was first of all launched by the Irish Prime Minister, Enda Kenny. Following the completion of the terms of reference for all the pilot actions the initiatives were launched in 2013 by the Irish Minister for Research and Innovation, Mr. Sean Sherlock in Cork following a comprehensive consultation and preparation process with key stakeholders. Early Stage technology Based companies have benefitted from a comprehensive suite of supports over the period which has included one to one mentoring, group learning and workshops, transnational placements within Incubation centres in the partner regions and specialist expert assistance on key sectoral areas of interest. To date over 300 firms have engaged with the activities of the project which has included Internationalisation workshops held on entering the German and Chinese markets held in Ireland, Specialist workshops on Venture Finance held in Eindhoven, Netherlands, Procurement Training for HPSU companies held in Wales and Crowd Funding learning events held in Laval in France. In Belgium, EBN has been proactive in organising Internationalisation events to support Creative HPSU companies and co-incubation schemes. The Project has also been showcased at a number of high level events. The Annual Laval Virtual Technologies conference in France has been used as platform to showcase the many positive results and learning from the TESLA project. This event is attended by over 500 delegates from across the globe annually. The event showcases the latest in virtual technologies and promotes new innovations within HPSU companies. Trade Fair events and Business Breakfast Briefings organised in Germany have been used as a useful medium to engage with the business community and promote the TESLA pilot initiatives. The project has also been presented to high profile EU Enterprise Conferences such as the EU Week of Innovating Regions (WIRE) Conference held in Cork, Ireland in June 2013 and the EBN Congress held in Lleida, Spain in June 2014. The project continues to support early stage technology driven companies with high potential and a desire to internationalise their business.
For further information on the TESLA events and activities, see the news section of the project website; www.teslaproject.eu.