European Project UpGradeSME

International cooperation for enhancing SME internationalisation

Business growth in Europe originates dominantly from export activities, where small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) are underrepresented. Less than one third of the SMEs are able to export and only 13% of SMEs export out of the EU. Meanwhile there is numerical evidence that exporting activity is in correlation with innovativeness and new employment.

UpGradeSME is an international cooperation project for enhancing SME internationalisation.  The project aims towards a joint analysis and improvement of inherited internationalisation policy instruments in the partners regions and countries for SMEs. 

UpGradeSME includes a 5 year learning process with the close cooperation of 8 actors representing 6 European regions of Hungary, Romania, the Netherlands, Germany, Portugal and Spain. Within the consortium, Steinbeis-Europa-Zentrum in Baden-Württemberg represents the innovation-oriented area, while other partners possess a more labor-intensive character.

By shared learning and via structured knowhow transfer partners commit themselves to bring added value in the policy instrument of internationalisation, achieving progressive change in the SME competitiveness. In the frame of the cooperation all partners will receive a mirror for their individual instrument provided by the partnership, when each policy instrument is discussed one-by-one in detail.

Thematic workshops, international staff exchange programs, interactive discussions with SMEs and continuous exchange of know-how will contribute to the improvement of each internationalisation policy instrument.

SEZ  is project partner and task leader and in charge of coordinating the policy analysis tool “Methodology” which analyses the history, economic and social background for each of the partner policy instruments.

Project Duration: 04/2016-03/2021

Countries involved: Germany, Hungary, The Netherlands, Portugal, Romania, Spain

Colleagues of Fomento San Sebastian took part on the staff exchange on the 21st November in Karlsruhe, Germany. 

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Portrait Daniela Chiran
Daniela Chiran
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