Flanders and Netherlands join forces to encourage cooperation between SMEs
With European support, Flanders and the Netherlands are investing almost 25 million euros in cross-border cooperation between SMEs. Flemish minister for Economy and Innovation Jo Brouns (CD&V) launched the first call for projects on Friday.
SME networking too often stops at national borders, says Brouns. When an entrepreneur wants to innovate and is looking for complementary partners, they often miss out on cross-border opportunities.
Under the CrossRoads Flanders-Netherlands project, SMEs that work and innovate across borders can apply for grants for projects that address concrete societal challenges. These include sustainability, energy efficiency, technological progress and healthcare. CrossRoads Flanders-Netherlands will run from 2023 to 2029.
The first call for projects is open until 13 October. The innovation projects will last up to two years, with a maximum grant of 250,000 euros. Each project must involve at least one Flemish SME and one Dutch SME, but knowledge institutions can also join a consortium. The two countries aim to select at least 50 innovation projects involving at least 125 companies.
The CrossRoads Flanders-Netherlands project is funded by the European Regional Development Fund and the Flemish Region, the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate, and the Dutch and Flemish provinces. Flanders is contributing 950,000 euros.
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