The two-day international conference held in Skopje, Macedonia on 9-10 November centered around the topics of the SME Instrument and Horizon 2020. The event was opened by Natascia LAI from the Executive Agency for SMEs, European Commission, who presented the possibilities the programme offered to companies, explained what the Commission was looking for in an innovative project and what the future brought in terms of funding of innovative ideas.
The participants received first-hand advice and support from a key person at the European Commission responsible for funding innovative small and medium-sized enterprises. They received information about the evaluation procedure, how companies should prepare if pre-selected and what mistakes ought to be avoided in order to have better chances of receiving a grant for their innovative projects.
The gathering also included presentations from companies that had received a grant from the SME Instrument Programme and from those, which could offer tips to companies willing to apply in the future. This proved very beneficial, as the companies were able to learn how to best present their ideas, how to prepare their application forms, which are the steps they should expect during the evaluation process and how to handle a grant from the European Commission successfully.
Finally, the conference provided an opportunity to all participants to schedule bilateral meetings with interested counterparts for establishing partnerships for EU funding progamme applications. More than 200 meetings were accomplished - and according to the feedback collected from the participants - 14 partnerships have already been established. 59 meetings have also been organised, which are possible to generate further partnership agreements.
This event was co-funded by the CEI Cooperation Fund.