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President Rabmer-Koller handed over the 2018 EEN award

25 October 2018
by UEAPME -- last modified 25 October 2018

At the Enterprise Europe Network (EEN) Award ceremony in Vienna yesterday, UEAPME President Ulrike Rabmer-Koller handed over the award to Nova Innovation Ltd, a world leader in tidal turbine technology and project development.


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The Network is the world's largest support system for SMEs with international ambitions, a network that brings together 3000 experts from more than 600 organisations. This is why UEAPME asks for a continuation of long-term financial support to the Enterprise Europe Network via the future Single Market Programme. On its 10th anniversary, the Network organised this special event to celebrate excellence by announcing the winner among five shortlisted finalists. Nova Innovation Ltd was the SME that most successfully benefited from the EEN's services in the last decade.

"Start small, think big, move fast" is not just a motto for Nova Innovation Ltd. Since its foundation in 2010, the company has grown rapidly, providing clean and constant energy to the Scottish community in Shetland. This SME has beat big multinationals in the tidal energy market by delivering the world's first grid compliant tidal energy turbines in 2017. Thanks to the Enterprise Europe Network's tailored support, Nova has become a world leader in tidal turbine technology.

First, with the support of the EEN, Nova secured € 2.25 million  in funds from the EU's Horizon 2020 SME Instrument in order to implement its innovation project. The Network then introduced Nova to ELSA Energy, a Belgian renewables company. The resulting partnership provided an investment of € 2.2 million, and it paved the way for further financing of £ 1.8 million from the Scottish Government. Nowadays, Nova is the coordinator of a € 20.2 million EU Horizon 2020 flagship project to make tidal a more competitive renewable energy option.

UEAPME President Ulrike Rabmer-Koller was a member of the 2018 EEN Award Jury that recognised Nova's ground-breaking ideas and she handed over the award to the winner. Commenting the results from the Annual Conference of the  Enterprise Europe Network, Ms Rabmer-Koller said "Nova Innovation Ltd is a remarkable example of how SMEs can benefit from the EEN's services and EU innovation support programmes. UEAPME recognises that the Enterprise Europe Network plays a fundamental role in helping SMEs, however we want to highlight the importance of better ensuring cooperation between the Network and SME organisations in all the associated countries".

Without the Enterprise Europe Network's guidance and support, this Scottish SME and many others all over Europe would have had more challenges in delivering their ideas and ensuring growth and job creation for Europe's economy. "SMEs need access to information and need know how to apply for European programmes and profit from Europe's Single Market.  SMEs can best be supported by the EEN if the network cooperates closely  with national and regional SME organisations. Therefore, the future Single Market Programme should continue to finance this important network, and should request close collaboration with representative business associations", concluded Ms Rabmer-Koller.

UEAPME is the employers' organisation representing Crafts and SMEs from the EU and accession countries at European level. UEAPME has 64 member organisations covering about 12 million enterprises with 55 million employees. UEAPME is a European Social Partner.

UEAPME - the European craft and SME employers' organisation
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