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Oost NL: committed to excellence in EURADA Awards

16 January, 2020 - 09:18

Oost NL (East Netherlands Development Agency) works in strengthening and stimulating the economy of East Netherlands. They play an important role in executing the economic policies of the Dutch government. They work closely with businesses, regional institutes, knowledge institutes, and intermediaries. Oost NL acts as a bridge between government, companies and knowledge institutes. Oost NL was the first EURADA Awards winner ever.

Their activities are various: Internationalisation, by which foreign companies gain access through the agency to their regional networks, and by which local SMEs get help to internationalise. Innovation: bringing innovation to the market through their knowledge, access to funding and one-on-one contacts. Investments, by which they invest in starting and scaling SMEs, and also co-invest with other public and with private investors.

In the last edition of EURADA Awards, Oost NL has been selected for a special mentioning of their tool ROCKET, launched under the Dutch-German Interreg 5a program. This tool supports consortia of SMEs from Dutch and German nationalities to jointly develop new products using Key Enabling Technologies. The ROCKET-initiative produced 6 feasibility studies, 11 cross-border innovation projects, more than € 10 million in investments, over 40 prototypes of products engineered, several awards and a stronger Dutch-German ecosystem with regards to developments in Key Enabling Technologies. A follow-up project, named ROCKET Reloaded, has recently started, which will be responsible for another 6 cross-border innovation projects.

The approach is innovative because there is a division of budget in a closed and open part: before the start of the project, there are 4 closed consortia of SMEs taking up the 40% of the budget; the other 60% of the budget is open for additional Dutch-German consortia to be built after the start of the project. Because of this, interested organizations can use the original projects as an example. In practice we see that this inspires companies that would normally not join international projects such as this one. It lowers the threshold for cross-border collaboration significantly. This is further motivated because Oost NL takes over around 70% percent of the administrative burden for SMEs, making it much less troublesome to participate, especially for those with little experience in these matters. Another innovative element is that Oost NL business developers get close and personal with the target group which builds trust; and because they serve as intermediary to shorten the applications for calls preparation time, which brings an average of 8 weeks to get an answer.

They built a digital portal to facilitate cross border collaboration.

We want to congratulate this agency for their great job of not getting only the prize the first ever edition, but also this special mention. By clicking on this link, you will be redirected to their webpage.