Making a difference for sustainable business

Around 22 million small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) make up 99.8% of all companies in Europe.

SMEs are key drivers of "build back better" where post-Covid recovery integrates green transitions. Our projects enable SMEs to innovate and create new sustainable products or services, build better workplaces, break into foreign markets, and thrive on emerging markets heading towards sustainability.  


Explore projects growing new markets 


CANAPE: Creating nature-based products

CANAPE develops methods and markets for eco-friendly peatland farming called paludiculture. This involves sustainable harvest of wild plants growing in restored peatlands.



Create Converge: Boosting the creative tech industry

Creative technology, such as virtual and augmented reality, is one of the top global business trends. How can createch SMEs and their buyers benefit from this? Create Converge provides some answers.   

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COM3: Helping rural business embrace the digital revolution

The digital transformation of business needs to expand from city hubs to benefit enterprises in the countryside as well. COM3 develops support models to help rural SMEs take the next step in digitalisation. 

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CUPIDO: Putting culture at the heart of  local business

CUPIDO takes an entrepreneurial look at cultural heritage. The project has discovered ways to build sustainable business around local culture and foster thriving communities.  





EXSKALLERATE: Boosting exoskeletons for heavy labour 

A healthy workplace where people thrive is key to building a sustainable business. EXSKALLERATE helps SMEs in manufacturing and construction to use exoskeletons for improved health and safety on the job as well as increased productivity. 



FBD: Enabling rural SMEs to engage in data-driven innovation

Futures by Design helps SMEs in rural parts of the North Sea Region to use data analysis to innovate, grow, and increase their productivity.

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Inn2POWER: Supporting SMEs to innovate for the offshore wind industry

Inn2POWER supports SMEs to innovate and meet the growing needs of the offshore wind industry.   

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InnoQuarter: Helping startups through festivals

Inno-Quarter supports startups to test their innovative products and service at festivals - a micro version of society. 

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Lean Landing: Helping micro-SMEs break into foreign markets

Lean Landing promoted an untraditional approach to help micro-SMEs and startups enter new markets abroad. The project received the European Enterprise Awards. 

Read the success story

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Northern Connections speaker explaining about energy needs for the city.  

Northern Connections: Cooperating for energy innovation

In Northern Connections, energy clusters worked together, using tool such as reverse pitching to help innovative SMEs find buyers across the region.

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Visit Northern Connections


PERISCOPE: Entering emerging blue markets

Drones, wave and tidal energy: PERISCOPE helped North Sea stakeholders get a handle on the opportunities of emerging sustainable blue markets. 



Prowad Link: Boosting nature-based business

The Prowad Link project worked with local businesses to create profit from non-destructive use of natural areas. Examples include ecotourism and local products based on sustainable harvest of wild plants. 

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REFRAME: Rebranding local food 

REFRAME helped SMEs in food supply chains to sell their products locally. Joint branding and local food product boxes, cooperation with supermarkets, food taste markets were part of the recipe for success.

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Scale-UP: Making matches to drive cleantech SMEs forward

Through targeted B2B matchmaking events, Scale-UP brought innovative, cleantech SMEs together with potential buyers. 

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SHINE: Designing novel business models for robust healthchare 

The SHINE project demonstrated the viability of new, more cost-effective healthcare business models. This opens new avenues for companies to be part of a smarter healthcare system focused on the patients' needs.

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