The Catalan agency ACCIÓ is Europe’s second agency in terms of capturing funds from the European Commission for the promotion of business competitiveness

Tue Apr 11 23:00:00 UTC 2017

  • In 2016, ACCIÓ, the Catalan Government agency for business competitiveness, participated in 16 European projects that received funding of 13 million euros from the European Commission. 
  • ACCIÓ managed to get funding in 80% of the projects it applied for. 
  • Noteworthy projects are, for example, TECNIOspring, boosting mobility for researchers in technology transfer, or the Enterprise Europe Network, which offers support to Catalan SMEs in innovation and internationalisation.

ACCIÓ, the Catalan Government agency for business competitiveness, was second in 2016 in terms of being Europe’s regional public business support agency that captured the most funding from the European Commission for business competitiveness programmes. Specifically, in 2016 ACCIÓ participated in 16 European projects with European Commission funding to a value of 13 million euros.

These programmes present and coordinate the agencies of the member states of the European Union and are co-financed by the European Commission, encouraging transnational cooperation to promote company innovation and internationalisation processes. In the case of ACCIÓ, funding was achieved in 80% of the projects where application were presented.

In this regard, noteworthy programmes are, for example, TECNIOspring, which promotes the hiring of Catalan researchers and of any other nationality in Catalan companies, and TECNIO — centres that develop and provide technologies for SMEs — to intensify technology transfer in Catalonia. It is also the case of the ERA-Nets, which provide funding for collaborative R&D projects performed by Catalan and European companies, or Links Up, which seeks to improve the competitiveness and access to financing of start-ups in Catalonia and in different regions in southern Europe in the sectors of tourism, biotechnology and health.

One of the European projects with more impact in Catalonia is the Enterprise Europe Network (EEN), which is run through a consortium led by ACCIÓ and formed by the Barcelona Chamber of Commerce and the General Council of Chambers of Catalonia. The balance of the last two years of the programme (the 2015 to 2016 operational plan) shows that the network has supported 2,600 Catalan SMEs to innovate and internationalise through personalised advice, participation in trade and technology missions and the organisation of Brokerage Events in major fairs and congresses such as the Mobile World Congress. Launched in 2008, the network consists of more than 600 economic, business and technology development organisations from 66 countries.

This type of funding is managed through the ACCIÓ’s European Projects Office, created in 2012. In fact, last year it was recognised by the EURADA network (the European Association of regional development agencies) as one of the top three initiatives for regional development agencies of the European Union.