Mainstreaming Innovative Instruments for SME development in Europe


Outcomes of the Stakeholders Conference, Lelystad – 19th March 2009


Innovation one of the keys to recovery from crisis

Lelystad, 19th March 2009

The setting in the meeting room of the provincial parliament evoked a comparison to the myth of King Arthur and his Round Table: there is no head of the table, all participants are equal, and equally contribute to this one goal: how to build a sound and lasting innovative infrastructure for entrepreneurs. This main question during the conference is an important one in these times of economic crisis. The Mini Europe project’s timing is therefore exactly right.

Ian Hill acted as moderator of the conference meeting. “What can we do to recover as quickly as possible from this crisis?

Ian Hill

A question we are unable to answer, but we can contribute by transferring good practices, exchange information about the instruments each of the eight regions use. We can really help to fill the gap in the regional infrastructure. So what we are talking about today is very real and very important.”
He was surprised by the similarity in the projects that were presented. “If you look in detail, it’s a sign that each region is tackling the same problems, that each one is trying to solve these problems in their own way, and that a solid innovative structure is one of the main keys for lasting success”

MINI EUROPE partners presented to the audience their best practices.

The presentations from project partners identified experiences they wished to export, and knowledge and good practice they wished to import. Those experiences and knowledge could be roughly grouped into 6 categories:

  1. Knowledge transfer between Higher Education institutes and SMEs
  2. Internationalisation of SMEs
  3. New financial instruments for SMEs and models of financial sustainability
  4. Support for innovation in SMEs
  5. Extending entrepreneurship to new target groups (women, young people…)
  6. Developing economic clusters in regional priority sectors

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