European project Connect-2-Ideas

Encouraging technology cooperations between SMEs and multinationals

The Connect-2-Ideas project aimed to support international co-operations in the technological area (technology transfer) between multinational companies (MNCs) and small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs). Background of this project was the trend especially of MNCs to exploit ideas and opportunities from external partners as a meaningful supplement to internal research and development activities. On the other hand MNCs offer own ideas and technologies to external partners as well. This thinking of provides new chances especially for SMEs, offering them hitherto unthinkable partnerships with major companies.

The Connect-2-Ideas project consortium comprised seven partners from Great Britain, Italy, Slovenia and Germany. Activities to achieve the aim of Connect-2-Ideas included

  • creation of a platform enabling coordination of technology requests and offers,
  • production of a "best practice guide" on international technology transfer with MNCs,
  • analyses of access routes for new technologies developed and offered by SMEs,
  • workshops on foresight and strategic technology management,
  • tailoured projects for selected supply chains.

To raise awareness of the strategic significance of future developments for companies and provide a platform for future-oriented innovation and technology partnerships, the SEZ carried out in 2007 in Baden-Württemberg under the auspices of the Ministry for Economic Affairs and in collaboration with regional partners workshops in the field of mechatronics as well as information and communication technologies. They brought together key cluster actors such as MNCs ((IBM, SAP, Siemens and many big family-owned enterprises), SMEs, research and development (e.g. FZI, Forschungszentrum Karlsruhe) and local authorities.

  • 25.06.2007:
  • 16.07.2007:

Further information can be found in the

  • 28.06.2007:
  • 31.07.2007:

Further information can be found in the

In November 2007, during the second „Connect-2-Ideas Multinationals Forum“ in the European Parliament in Brussels, the SEZ discussed, together with the project partners, the European Commission as well as nine multinationals participating in the project, the good practice regarding implementation of the Open Innovation strategies of MNCs and cooperation with external partners, especially SMEs.