2018 has seen Enterprise Europe Network take on the world on behalf of Innovate UK and more than 200 ambitious companies looking to go global.
Funded by Innovate UK and delivered by EEN partners across the country, our Global Business Accelerator Programme (GBAP) is a programme to help companies prepare, visit and then exploit potential new international partnerships in targeted technology sectors.
The programme was designed to help UK companies forge strong international partnerships and collaborations, including to develop future joint project applications with the aim to support business growth.
So far in 2018 EEN has managed 18 technology-focused visits to 11 countries: Ireland, Singapore, China, Japan, USA (2), Canada (3), Denmark, Switzerland, India, Israel (2), South Korea (2). Many further chapters to the programme are now being planned and will be delivered later in 2018.
Crucially, GBAP has been designed to offer a programme of support with three important phases - get ready, visit and exploit:
Getting ready for market
A ‘getting ready for market’ phase (prior to going out to the country) ensures businesses are prepared for market expansion, understand the market and the target sectors in the country concerned, and get help to find partners in advance. Each business has pitch training to easily articulate their business and value proposition.
Visiting the market
This usually lasts about a week, with a typical programme involving:
- Orientation by local experts and officials at the British Embassy/High Commission
- Meeting with potential partners through a brokerage style event
- Visits to businesses, research centres, universities, etc. to better understand the market/technology area.
Exploiting the opportunity
This phase is vital as businesses can focus on realising the opportunities they have identified. Each business participating agrees and delivers a follow-up action plan with an EEN adviser.
Here are two overviews on the Cell and Gene Therapy trip to Japan...
...and the Artificial Intelligence trip to the USA.
Benefits of Global Accelerator Programme visits
These visits have been specifically designed to exploit growing and innovative industries in the technology areas and countries that the UK will increasingly work with as it implements its Industrial strategy.
Delegates on the programme have benefited from detailed pre-visit and in-country briefings in order to prepare them for the visit, providing market information on their sector, advice on cultural and business issues in country; training on how to improve their pitching skills; and training on how to protect their IP.
During the visit UK businesses had the opportunity to meet key players in their sector, a profile page in the visit brochure and a programme of meetings with key players and stakeholders.
A closer look at cyber technology and our trip to Israel
Israel is considered a cyber powerhouse, hosting the world’s largest cyber security sector, after the US. Historically security has always been a top priority, both socially and politically and Israel is home to the world’s most impressive cyber intelligence unit, Unit 8200 which is also the largest unit of the Israel Defence Force.
EEN took a delegation of 15 from the Cyber Tech industry plus representatives from EEN and Godfrey Gason, Centre for Secure Information Technologies at Queens University, to meet with Israeli government and businesses for discussions regarding collaborative R and D and technology transfer.
The visit coincided with Cybertech Tel Aviv, where delegates had the opportunity to meet Israeli cyber tech companies, research centres and key stakeholders, to develop strong international partnerships for future collaboration/commercialisation.
And then at battery technologies, also in Israel
Under its Fuel Choices and Smart Mobility Initiative, Israel has established itself as a global centre of excellence for alternative fuel and smart mobility technologies.
It’s a vibrant sector consisting of over 500 companies, 220 research groups and a thriving start-up eco system. The Israeli government has also just announced more than £50M of investment into its smart mobility and alternative fuels programmes, with a focus on international collaboration.
EEN took a delegation of 14 from the Battery Tech industry plus representatives from EEN and Anna Wise, lead technologist at Innovate UK to meet with Israeli government and businesses for discussions regarding collaborative R and D and technology transfer.
Advanced Materials in South Korea
South Korea is the 11th largest economy in the world and home to conglomerates such as Samsung, Hyundai and LG. In 2015, South Korea spent 4.23% of GDP on R&D, second only to Israel and almost three quarters of the R&D is business led.
In 2016 the Ministry of Trade, Industry & Energy confirmed investment into the development of 100 advanced material and component techniques, in preparation for the fourth industrial revolution.
These developments include high-strength and high-formability aluminium, bio-ceramic implant material, lithium ion batteries, power semiconductor OLED engine techniques and ceramic beauty care materials.
EEN took a delegation of 14 from the Advanced Materials Tech industry plus representatives from EEN and Ben Walsh, lead technologist at Innovate UK to meet with South Korean government and businesses for discussions regarding collaborative R and D and technology transfer.
Immersive technologies in South Korea
South Korea is known for its forward thinking and world-shaping tech. Their most recent enhancements have made the 2018 Winter Olympics the most high tech yet; the first to offer 360 video, augmented reality experiences for attendee wayfinding and virtual reality training for contestants.
Business Insider rated South Korea as the 11th most innovative country in the world. They are also the largest producer of some of the world’s most well-known electronics that are used to create immersive experiences, including mobile phones and displays.
EEN took a delegation of 18 from the Immersive Tech industry plus representatives from EEN and Matt Sansum, lead technologist at Innovate UK to meet with South Korean government and businesses for discussions regarding collaborative R and D and technology transfer.
This has been a fantastic trip. A well worth exercise in which we met a number of contacts, including a large corporate company, who we would not have been introduced if it wasn’t for EEN’s help.
John Tolhurst, Ioetec
This programme allowed us to open new doors and seize opportunities – commercial as well as developmental. One month on we are bidding jointly with Israeli companies for new business.
Athan Fox, Aurelius