The project JOSEFIN is part-financed by the European Union within the Baltic Sea Region Programme 2007-2013.
The Baltic Sea Region (BSR) shows a strong knowledge based and innovative economy. Accordingly, SMEs play a significant role as drivers of the innovation process. In the context of future-oriented understanding of territorial co-operation, regional development highly depends on the ability of key-actors to participate in international markets. However, especially SMEs often focus their business activities on rather local markets. Among others, through the predecessor INTERREG III C project TEICO-NET, JOSEFIN identifies key areas of intervention for providing targeted and individualised support to SMEs on their way to international markets. As nowadays, commercial banks are reluctant to provide access to finance for SMEs, the support of JOSEFIN consists of stimulation of direct transnational co-operation, as well as of provision of improved access to finance to innovate and to exploit innovative products and services.
For this, the key actors of the innovation process, namely Incubators, Technology Transfer Centres, as well as Public Development Banks will jointly take up and adjust or develop concrete tools and instruments to be used in Germany, Poland, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Sweden and Norway.
The JOSEFIN partners will identify a roadmap toward SMEs international activities as a highly individualised process in which generalised and standard instruments will be factors of limited impact. More concrete, JOSEFIN identifies two key-needs of SMEs support for assisting them in the process of bridging the significant development gaps.
Primarily, JOSEFIN supports innovative and technology-oriented SMEs in the Baltic Sea Region by opening up new markets. With the combination of innovative guarantee instruments (Innovation Loan Guaranties) and individual coaching, JOSEFIN will significantly reduce the risk for both financial institutions and companies. The JOSEFIN financial instrument will be backed-up by the European Union. Due to specific requirements of the participating regions, the financial instruments can be used by financial development institutions and financial institutions to advance their own financial support instruments, such as loans or venture capital.
SMEs will also benefit from individual coaching, including risk and opportunities assessment. In this framework, the individual coaching of SMEs will include the support for preparation and realisation of cooperative, transnational innovation projects and will fulfil the role of a useful tool for preparation of the application for their funding. In this field, JOSEFIN mainly will take up, adapt and apply the achievements of previous BSR projects. The new risk sharing model will enable SMEs to gain easier access to finace and to benefit from more favourable financial conditions for the implementation of their projects.
In this way, the access to finance for innovation projects will be improved by the JOSEFIN instruments and will unlock investments of SMEs in innovative products and services. JOSEFIN supports them on their way to business internationalisation by strengthening their competitiveness and sustainable growth. The market segment of small and medium-sized businesses becomes more attractive for financial institutions due to risk sharing. The participating regions and technological institutions benefit from knowledge and experience-transfer, as well as from the settlement of innovative companies from abroad.
The JOSEFIN Partnership is a network consisting of 23 institutions from 7 different countries, covering nearly the entire Baltic Sea Region
JOSEFIN is an initiative within the European Territorial Cooperation, with its aim 3 „Interregional Cooperation“ (INTERREG IVB) and priority 1 “Support for innovations“ in the Baltic Sea Region. The project started in February 2009 with a duration of 36 months.
The initiative contributes to the European Union Lisbon Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region by supporting entrepreneurship, especially by unlocking the innovative potential of SMEs and stimulating their entry into international markets.
Contracting phase: 3 months
Closure phase: 3 months
Total budget: 4.120 237,00
Total budget ERDF: 3.544 130,00
Total Norwegian budget: 324 107,00
Total ENPI budget: 252 000,00
ERDF co-financing: 2.849 313,20
Regional politicians and high ranked representatives of regional authorities have signed a joint Charta on the “Support of Innovation and Internationalisation Projects of Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises” at the final conference of the predecessor INTERREG III C project TEICO-Net in 2007, and have agreed to continue their co-operation in the established network and to enlarge the partnership. As one specific topic of the joint Charta, the partnership of the network got the political mandate to draft and implement within a follow-up project a model of a transnational (liability) fund with counterback guarantee to bridge the existing gaps in financing the foreign trade activities of small and medium-sized enterprises in the Baltic Sea Region.
Authorities and public equivalent bodies from regions out of 8 countries in the BSR have teamed up to form the JOSEFIN partnership and to fulfill their service mission.
The JOSEFIN partnership consists of regional and national authorities who are in charge for development and implementation of policies in their respective regions, of public equivalent bodies from the financial sector (public owned banks, fund entities, foundations etc.), and supporters of innovation and research and technical development with a public service mission. The latter are mainly partners of the European Enterprise Network.
The JOSEFIN partnership concept involves key actors in the respective regions who co-operate in
- providing improved access to finance for SMEs (partners from financial sector),
- offering advisory services and individual coaching to SMEs (technology partners),
- developing and implementing policies and framework conditions (regional/national authorities).
In extension of the proven partnership of the predecessor project, JOSEFIN involves partners from Estonia and Norway.
The JOSEFIN partnership gets support by associated organisations, namely national and regional ministries for the economy respectively science, regional committees and enterprise associations.
The JOSEFIN initiative has been developed in close tuning with the Baltic Metropoles Network BaltMet, and have received the support of the networks officials.
JOSEFIN goes to co-operate with other projects in the priority “Fostering innovations”, e.g. BaSIC , also driven by BaltMet.
Involvement of associated organisations
The JOSEFIN partnership received Letters of Support from authorities involved in policy development, i.e.
- Ministry of the Economy of the Land Brandenburg,
- The Governing Major of Berlin - Senate Chancellery,
- Ministry of the Economy of the Land Mecklenburg-Vorpommern,
- Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications of Estonia,
- Ministry of Economics of the Republic of Latvia,
- Ministry of the Economy of the Republic of Lithuania,
- UVB - Confederation of Employers and Business Associations of Berlin and Brandenburg
Brochure and handbook
Over the last three years, financial institutions, business development agencies and regional...
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