During the past week, the Chairman of DIGIHUB Mr. Petko Georgiev and Prof. Sotir Sotirov (Board Member), participated in the annual conference of Enterprise Europe Network in Bilbao, Spain. This event, held from 15 to 17 November 2023, was all about innovation, collaboration and business growth, in line with the network’s mission to support SMEs in Europe and beyond.
Enterprise Europe Network: A catalyst for SME growth
The Enterprise Europe Network (EEN) is a key tool of the European Commission for the implementation of SME support policies, playing a crucial role in increasing the competitiveness of SMEs. It offers integrated consulting services in technology transfer, innovation and business and is represented in over 600 organizations in 66 countries. The network facilitates international partnerships, supports participation in global events and provides advice on various business aspects, including European legislation, entering new international markets, intellectual property protection and financing opportunities. More information about EEN and how you can register your business can be found here:
The technology park and the Basque digital innovation hub
Our first day of the conference included a visit to the Euskadi Technology Park, presented by Cristina Andres Urarte. This park is a leading technology-business ecosystem promoting innovation and business growth in Southern Europe. The visit also included an exchange with Basque Digital Innovation Hub (BDIH), a network driving the digital and sustainable transformation of Basque companies through technology. This interaction was particularly useful for our colleagues at Sofia Tech Park and especially for us at DIGIHUB as we prepare to start our activities in the Central Park complex next year. BDIH are now our partner. They offer invaluable networking opportunities and services such as training, research, testing and validation that are critical to an SME’s digital transformation journey.
The conference program was packed with sessions on the single market, innovation, industrial transition and impact assessment. The conference highlighted EEN’s role in upskilling SMEs, sustainability and the importance of intellectual property for EEN’s clients. These sessions provided insight into current trends and future directions for SMEs, offering a platform for learning and networking.
Key meetings and potential collaborations
Mr. Georgiev’s meetings with various international personalities from the network opened up opportunities for potential joint projects and activities. Discussions with Izaskun Arregui (Bilbao Chamber of Commerce), Pedro Pablo Uceda Carrillo (Innovation and Development Agency of Andalusia IDEA), Mirit Tsesis (Manufacturers Association of Israel), Jan Immel (Innovate UK) and Marinos Portokallides (Foundation for Research and innovation) played an important role in exploring opportunities for collaboration and innovation.
The EEN 2023 Annual Conference in Bilbao was not just an event, but a testament to the power of global collaboration and innovation. For DIGIHUB, it was an opportunity to gain valuable experience and knowledge, as well as to create new international connections and partnerships in the technology scene.