About the European Business & Innovation Centre Network
On April 15th, 2010, in Brussels, the BIC Quality Seal Committee granted Technopark “Idea” the Full Membership and the permission to use the EC-BIC (European Community Business and Innovation Centre) brand for its further activity.
This decision was adopted subsequent to the results of the performance audit of Technopark “Idea”. Since 2008 the performance of the Technopark has been assessed according to two performance efficiency indicators of EU business-innovation centres. The two-stage audit looked into the values of these two indicators as well as the ways, the strategies and measure taken to increase innovation activity in the Republic of Tatarstan.
Technopark “Idea”’s European BIC Network Membership (EBN) and EC-BIC Quality Seal confirms the fact that all the BIC performance requirements are fully met and the Technopark conforms to the European standards.
The European Business & Innovation Centre Network (EBN) is a non-profit association opened in Brussels. The EBN offers services to coordinate the activities of the business and innovation centres, development and promotion of their visions both within and outside of the European Union. The European Business & Innovation Centre Network (EBN) was established in 1984 by the European Committee and the European Industrial leaders. Nowadays, it includes over 200 business and innovation centres, as well as establishments with a similar profile (business incubators, venture capital centres throughout Europe). The EBN is a leading European network.
The EBN’s aims and objectives are as follows:
to support and encourage interaction between EBN members;
to promote the European BIC model, the BIC quality trademark on behalf of the European Committee;
to promote progressive business incubation practices among the members and to provide existing small and medium companies with services to support the innovation activity and entrepreneurship;
to create European Programmes that would bring added value to both the members, their clients and the regions in which they operate.
Status of EBN full memeber is granted to business and innovation support organisations implementing the EBN quality assurance system involving a quality charter and a self-assessment protocol. Full Membership is awarded to organisations offering outstanding business innovation and incubation support to start-ups, spin-offs and SMEs. Their mission is to accelerate the generation of new innovative enterprises, to provide integrated incubation support to start-ups and spin-offs, to stimulate and mentor innovation projects in developing SMEs, and to create awareness for entrepreneurship, innovation and internationalisation at regional and local communities level.
10 Reasons to join EBN:
- Recognition: Fully accredited members are entitled to use the BIC logo, a registered trademark of the European Commission which is recognised as a standard for quality in innovation, incubation and entrepreneurship all over Europe and worldwide.
- Technical support: Customised technical support is available to assist new members in reaching the status of full BIC accreditation. Assistance in developing or updating BIC services is available as required by existing members.
- Quality assessment and benchmarking: Full BIC members participate in an annual quality survey the results of which allow both EBN and the BICs to benchmark their performance against their peers through the EBN Quality Observatory and benchmarking tools.
- Representation: EBN is engaged actively in policy support and EU recognition on behalf of their members. In particular EBN aims to continually position the BICs as a reference point for innovation, incubation and entrepreneurship both at regional level and as part of the European EBN network.
- Access to a European Network (BIC2BIC networking): Through the EBN community, BICs have access to a specialized network of like-minded organizations that are focused on innovation, incubation and business development at regional level. Through tools such as the Members’ Directory and the EBN calendar of training, information and events, active networking between members is encouraged and reinforced.
- Access to Thematic & Sectorial Networks (B2B networking): Following the successful collaboration between EBN and ESA in 2002 resulting in the creation of ESINET a thematic platform for the transfer of knowledge and technologies in the field of space, at the request of members, further sector-specific networks of members were established in 2008 in the sectors of maritime, agro-food and clean technologies. One of the objectives of these networks is to support technological or commercial partnerships between innovative SMEs Europe-wide.
EBN also actively supports “theme-specific” networks in themes such as female entrepreneurship, clustering, regeneration, seed-financing etc.
- Specialised Training: A series of technical training seminars is organised for members each year covering topics from BIC fundamentals for new members to developing and exploiting project opportunities for established BICs.
- Calendar of Events: The highlight of the annual event calendar is the EBN Annual Congress which usually takes place in June each year. In addition to this event, EBN organises and supports a specific calendar of events in partnership with local members. These events provide opportunities to meet with experts/practitioners in business incubation and innovation, and to exchange best practice and new market opportunities.
- Project opportunities: EBN publishes a regular ‘Tender Watch’ document highlighting all European funding opportunities of particular relevance to BICs. EBN can provide assistance to members in the construction of consortia to respond to these calls or in certain specific cases can lead the development of EU proposals involving several members. EBN also provides a pan-European dissemination platform to promote new best practices identified by BICs within the context of project or other activities.
- Keep informed: Through communication tools such as the EBN website, the EBN newsletter and periodic ‘Flash News Bulletins’, members are kept informed about the latest developments in the BIC network and in the wider EU policy field. Access to benchmarking tools, policy papers and up to date publications is assured through the project website.
The performance efficiency of Technopark “Idea” made it possible to stand next to the best practices of European Business & Innovation Centre Network and reveal similarities in many aspects, reflecting the performance efficiency of the innovative infrastructure.
The comparison of performance indicators with the EBN benchmark indicators showed that the performance of Technopark “Idea” is significantly higher than the average performance indicators of the best innovation centres of the European Business & Innovation Centre Network.
It is noteworthy that 85% of the budget of the European Innovation Centres consists of financing from different budgets, including the EU budget. Technopark “Idea” stopped using any budgetary funds in its operating activities since April 2007.