Home > Eu Cluster Partnerships > European Strategic Cluster Partnership for Going International > SMEs Go International: Technical Assistance Facility for SMEs

SMEs Go International: Technical Assistance Facility for SMEs

The call for applications for the 'SMEs Go International' Technical Assistance Facility is being relaunched on 23 September 2020.

The ‘SMEs Go International Technical Assistance Facility is a unique support service provided by the European Commission for eligible projects related to the ‘European Strategic Cluster Partnership for Going International’ (ESCP4i) and the H2020 INNOSUP-1 Initiative.

'SMEs Go International' aims to facilitate the internationalisation and scaling-up efforts of European SMEs by providing and advisory services to 25 selected projects. Depending on the market and country targeted by the project, beneficiaries will profit from the best-suited mix of business and legal expert support.

The vision of this Facility is to support SMEs to:

  • GROW - untapping the potential of European SMEs through tailored direct advisory support;
  • CONNECT - harnessing internationalisation of European SMEs by enabling partnerships with third country organisations; and
  • TRANSFORM - supporting European SMEs to diversify, innovate and generate employment.

Why apply?

Selected projects will receive tailored and in-depth consulting and support services to develop commercially viable and bankable business projects at markets outside the EU.

Beneficiaries will profit from the best-suited mix of business advisors and support experts, who will help projects to take their plans one step further, effectively tackling challenges and overcoming obstacles for their cross-national projects. NOTE: no direct financial support is provided by this action.

Technical assistance services consist of general and specific technical advisory support. Depending on the particular needs of each selected project, technical assistance services will be tailor-made and will focus on the specific market/country targeted by the project.

The benefits of internationalisation support include:

  1. Access to new markets and chance to reach more consumers, thus increasing sales.
  2. Chances to diversify to spread out your risks in these challenging times.  
  3. Gain competitive edge over the competition, along with access to new technologies and supply chains, which may significantly improve operations.
  4. Opportunity to access skills and knowledge, helping you gain access to talent and learn about innovation. 
  5. Forge foreign investment opportunities by developing new resources and establishing important connections.

How to apply?

Before applying, please read our Guidance Document and Frequently Asked Questions

On 1 October 2020 at 15:00 CET, join us in a Q&A webinar to address your questions on the application process and the technical assistance we offer. You can register here and the agenda is available here

When you are ready to apply, the application form can be accessed here.

Deadline to apply: 16 October 2020 at 18:00 CET.

Results of our survey on the impact of COVID-19 on SMEs

We continue to face unprecedented challenges as the COVID-19 outbreak impacts us all globally. SMEs are the driver of the European economy and in this context, the “SMEs Go International” Facility remains committed to support SMEs through business advisory services to grow, transform and connect. Given the rapidly changing situation, we carried out a survey to better understand how our advisory support can remain relevant to the challenges that SMEs face today. The key outcomes of the survey are published here:  European SMEs and the impact of COVID-19.pdf. 'SMEs Go International' aims to address some of these key challenges.

‘SMEs Go International’ Technical Assistance Facility is funded by the EU Programme for the Competitiveness of Enterprises and Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (COSME). The Programme is managed by the Executive Agency for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (EASME) of the European Commission.