Thursday, 19 February 2015

ECRN SME Workshop

Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are of central importance to the European economy. They play a key role as providers of employment opportunities and serve an important function for the well-being and economies of local and regional communities. Moreover, they are often at the core of value networks and the creation of added value.

In this context European Chemical Regions Network (ECRN) is organising a workshop: ‘Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises – The Engine of the European Industry’ on 24 February from 14:00 to 17:00 at the Committee of the Regions in Brussels.

At the ECRN the workshop, the focus will focus on the important role of SMEs not only in the chemical industry but as an integral part of the overall European economic fabric. The event will bring together policy makers and practitioners to discuss how local authorities can design more efficient strategies to encourage the development of innovative SMEs. In particular, the workshop will provide substantive examples of how SMEs can be supported at the regional level and focus on the success factors and potentially transferable elements of such strategies or initiatives.

Cristina Gonzalez of SusChem Spain and Feique will be presenting at the workshop on behalf of SusChem. She will talk about “Chemical SMEs, making it happening” covering examples of innovative SMEs in Spain and how SusChem can help small enterprises to move forward, for example, by giving them support to get involved with European projects through information sessions, networking, etc.

Other presentations will include the ‘Key role of regional authorities in supporting SMEs’ from Thomas Wobben, Director of Horizontal Networks and Studies, Committee of the Regions and the ‘Importance of SME policy at all levels – European, national, regional’ by Joanna Drake, Director of Entrepreneurship and SMEs at the European Commission’s DG Growth.

Examples of good practise will be drawn from the regions of Bavaria, Wallonia, Flanders and North Rhine-Westphalia.

Further information
ECRN is committed to enhancing cooperation and exchange of experiences across regions and wants to draw attention to what can be achieved by leveraging regional competences and bringing concrete examples and experiences into European policy discussions.

You can view the event programme here and an ECRN background briefing on SMEs here. For more information and to register for the workshop contact the ECRN Secretariat by 20 February.

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