INCORE supported selected start-ups and SMEs from the EU Outermost Regions (ORs) through a support package on discovery, incubation, and acceleration. The initiative included online mentoring sessions and workshops to provide personalized consultancy on topics such as business validation, plan development, and market validation. The results of the mentoring process were analyzed to plan interventions that addressed the identified gaps and challenges. The package also included a webinar organized by Armilar Venture Partners, which provided valuable insights and guidance on securing external funding for the businesses. Overall, the initiative has played a significant role in supporting the growth and development of young entrepreneurs in the EU ORs, promoting innovation, entrepreneurship, and sustainable economic development.
Task 3.2 of the INCORE project aims to enhance cooperation between small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and universities in the outermost regions (ORs). The objective of the task was to identify the challenges and opportunities for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to collaborate with universities in the outermost regions (Azores, Madeira, Canarias, La Reunion). Based on the survey results, an HEI-SME cooperation model was developed to enhance collaboration. The survey found that SMEs value being part of regional innovation ecosystems and identified lack of incentives, high bureaucracy, and lack of support as major barriers to collaboration. However, SMEs also identified prototyping/testing, government incentives, and support from qualified researchers as opportunities for collaboration. The cooperation model is aimed at improving knowledge transfer and commercialization processes between SMEs and universities.
The entrepreneurship and innovation course is a program designed to teach participants the necessary skills of an entrepreneur through a structure of modules that can be taken sequentially or separately. The program uses methodologies like Design Thinking, Lean Startup, and User Experience, with a final project that applies everything studied in the different modules in generating a business idea. The program includes general modules and specific modules that can be taken by anyone interested in the program. The program is a response to the needs of education and training for innovation and entrepreneurship in the regions defined in multiple actions of INCORE. These include the need for expert advice, mentoring of projects, training programs for the self-employed, and more.
The European Commission believes that to achieve sustainable and inclusive growth in the EU’s outermost regions, a TWIN transition (a green and digital transition) must be pursued, prioritizing the well-being of people. The Master course proposed aims to teach sustainable innovation using Innovation Ecosystems, specifically Transformative Enterprises, to help entrepreneurs develop their ideas from start to finish using an ecosystem approach. The course consists of 6 disciplines, each with 5 ECTS, and takes two semesters to complete, with a student workload of 10 hours per week. The course is fully virtual and can be completed in 14 weeks. Upon completion, students will be better equipped to effectively and efficiently nurture ideas and launch entrepreneurial ventures using ecosystem approaches, increasing their chances of success.
UMa established an entrepreneurship ecosystem called OSEAN, which stands for “Outermost Regions Sustainable Ecosystem for Entrepreneurship and Innovation” (Figure). This research center was founded with the aim of promoting entrepreneurship, innovation, and research in Madeira, the EU Outermost Regions, and beyond. The scientific focus of OSEAN includes green and blue economy, ecopreneurship, Green Accounting and Sustainability Finance, innovation towards Sustainability and Digital, and Social Sustainability and Inclusion. OSEAN is currently supported by five integrated researchers and thirteen collaborative researchers. Additional information about OSEAN can be found at: https://osean.uma.pt/
- ESINOV: The partner ESIROI established ESINOV, a group of entrepreneurial and innovation facilities supported by the INCORE project. The four separate rooms are located within ESIROI – Ecole Supérieure d’Ingénieurs Réunion Océan Indien. ESI’DE was redesigned as a functional space for meetings between students, SMEs, and scientists, with ergonomic furniture. ESI’FAB contains infrastructure for prototyping, including a 3D printer, a 3D scan, a laser cutting machine, and a thermoforming machine. ESI’DO is a traditional workshop environment for creating and developing prototypes with tools such as saws, drills, cutters, and hammers. ESI’CAP consists of two capsules that can accommodate up to two people for private meetings or video conferences.
Collaborative support lab at UEC: To promote local entrepreneurship, the Universidad Europea de Canarias established two ecosystem infrastructures that facilitate interactions between industry, research, and academia. These spaces, called La Orotava and Santa Cruz, are located on the university campus and are utilized for mentoring activities, project tasks, and INCORE material development.