Innovate and go global

March 5, 2019

The Enterprise Europe Network, brought to the region by RTC North, is working with businesses to help them expand into new international markets – as programme manger Sarah Pavlou explains

As many UK SMEs and universities look to internationalise and expand their reach worldwide, and with Brexit looming, it’s appropriate that organisations seek what opportunities are out there when it comes to business support on an international level.

Who are we?

The largest business support network worldwide is Enterprise Europe Network (EEN), which is brought to the North of England by RTC North with offices in Sunderland, Leeds and Liverpool.

EEN’s mission is to help ambitious businesses innovate, scale and go global.

The network is at the heart of the EU and UK ’s growth and jobs strategy, increasingly reflected in this Government’s Industrial Strategy and its commitment to innovation and internationalisation.

Formed 11 years ago, the network is now a powerful tool connecting 3000 experts in 600
organisations across numerous sectors in more than 60 countries, including USA, Canada, India and China.

EEN is a fully-funded service designed to help businesses realise their full potential, providing them with business opportunities, cultural and local knowledge to grow and scale overseas, while ensuring they are collaborating with credible international businesses that are known to our EEN partners on the ground.

History has illustrated numerous examples of businesses – big and small –which fail to realise cross-continental expansion plans due to lack of professional support and ultimately knowledge about competitiveness of local rivals.

We demonstrate the importance of investing time and resource in forming credible partnerships and making the right connections.

How can we help?

Funded jointly with the European Commission, EEN has been part of the Innovate UK family since 2015, bringing a new emphasis on innovation and commercialisation support.

EEN can help you do business in Europe and beyond, providing you with the specialist support and reliable connections you need.

Does your business want to innovate and then grow? We can help improve the way you manage innovation, commercialise great ideas and grow your business to that next level.

We can support you accessing finance, by tracking down long-term finance from the public and private sectors, enabling you to make the necessary investments to further your growth.

We can assist your business to operate, collaborate and/or launch in international markets, expanding your horizons and opening up new opportunities not yet realised. With a ‘Glocal’ approach, we expand your reach, ensure reliable and relevant connections are made and provide you with the local insights crucially needed for ensuring a successful business outcome.

Impact so far

Latest statistics show that the combined
total funding for EEN across Europe is €180 million. SMEs from all over the UK are given the opportunity to tap into that resource and turn their innovation and internationalisation ambitions into reality.

The network recognises an SME’s innovation potential and helps them shape it into commercial success.

“Does your business want to innovate and then grow? We can help improve the way you manage innovation, commercialise great ideas and grow your business to that next level.”

Our EEN experts don’t do innovation for their clients, but work alongside the business to support the SMEs commercialise their innovations faster and place innovation at the heart of business expansion.

From figures recently released in 2018, the Enterprise Europe Network in the North of the UK has helped organisations to receive the following:

• North East €42,417,617.29
• North West €83,281,756.52
• Yorkshire & Humber €80,520,267.89

But there is so much more to the Enterprise Europe Network. It has a vast and complex database that lists thousands of opportunities for UK companies from other companies worldwide in all sectors, from manufacturing agreements, research and development requests, to distributor and licencing agreements.

In fact, globally, 37,060 SMEs received advice from the network in 2017 with 2594 of them being UK organisations. There is even more with 11,791 UK SMEs receiving information and training and 537 SMEs taking full advantage of our fully- funded innovation support programmes.

More recently, RTC North – on behalf of EEN and Innovate UK – has organised several sector- related high-profile missions to countries like China, Japan and the USA with some clients even signing agreements with other companies while on these missions.

One company that attended the mission was Pro Sport Support Ltd.

Managing director Guy Parkin said: “This opens up unthinkable opportunities for us over the next five years. In China, the sport sector is booming and being at the forefront of that for us is a great achievement.

“I would like to thank EEN team at RTC North who played a crucial role in making this happen.”

RTC North
For more information on how EEN and RTC North can help your business, please call the team on 0191 516 4400 or email:

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