What do mushroom burgers, cicadas, cannabis fiber manufacturers and a clothing recycling company have in common? These are some of the most innovative small and medium-sized enterprises in the European Union, which have been named finalists for the Enterprise Europe Network Award 2021, announced by the European Commission and the European Innovation and SME Executive Agency (EISMEA).
Among them is the Greek company Biomimetic, which, through many years of research in the Laboratory of Micro and Nano-Laser Processing of IESL, has become an expert in a technology that imitates the structures and functionalities of various species found in nature.
The finalists are startups and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) covering a wide range of sectors, from textile and fashion industry to robotics, pharmaceuticals, agro-food, waste treatment, cutting-edge medical technology and laser technology, such as Biomimetic.
The Award recognises and honours creative entrepreneurs, characterised by digital and sustainable ambitions and making the most of the opportunities of the Single Market, through the services and support of the Enterprise Europe Network. The winners will be awarded in three categories in a ceremony to be held in Stuttgart on October 1 during the Network’s annual conference.
The Enterprise Europe Network is the world’s largest support network for small and medium-sized enterprises, funded by the EU. It helps businesses innovate and grow on an international scale and strengthen their resilience in Europe and beyond.
By combining international business experience with local knowledge, the Enterprise Europe Network helps businesses grow faster through personalized support, new commercial partnerships and access to funding.
This year’s nine finalists from seven EU countries include:
· BeefyGreen, a Dutch company, which produces a meat substitute from mushrooms, using the stems of oyster mushrooms.
· The Greek Biomimetic offers special laser treatment on glass, bio-inspired by the wings of some insects such as cicadas. The glass produced has anti-reflective, anti-glare and hyperhydrophilic features. The scope of the technology is the screens of consumer electronic devices, such as mobile phones, watches or laptops, which become better visible to the user.
· Comau, a leading company in the field of industrial automation. Based in Italy, the organization contributes to the full potential of digital production. French consulting firm COBO4YOU has partnered with Comau to focus on integrating composting solutions (neologism from the words “collaboration” and “robotics”) into the automated industry.
·Enviplan based in Germany is a small and medium-sized enterprise with experience in the engineering, design and manufacture of systems for the treatment, management and purification of drinking water and waste water, which applies micro-spraying technology to the treatment of industrial and urban waste water.
·Nuvisan, a French pharmaceutical company that provides research and development services for the production and design of local medicines.
·Also based in France, RBX Creations specialises in the use of hemp fibres for the manufacture of various materials, such as bioplastics, paper and textiles.
·Coming from Belgium, Resortecs is a start-up company in the textile and fashion sector, offering global, patented solutions that allow the recycling of clothes – thanks to the automatic disassembly of garments on an industrial scale.
·Spanish small and medium-sized enterprise Sant Aniol specialises in the production of water of volcanic origin from the Natural Park of La Garrotxa, a region of Girona.
·UBT SRL (Umbria Bioengineering Technologies), is a biomedical company that develops and trades technology instead of dangerous ionizing radiation (X-rays).
Three of the above participants will be honored with the top distinctions in the following categories:
‘Inspiring Client Journey’: The best example of positive results for SMEs that have successfully benefited from the Network’s services to reach their desired destination. An example of the Enterprise Europe Network as a “good compass or receiver of the Global Positioning System (GPS)” in SMEs’ journey towards internationalisation and development.
“Stepping Ahead”: The best example of positive results with an emphasis on the new priorities of the Network: digitalisation, sustainability and innovation for visionary SMEs that successfully started the “transition” to take advantage of the Network’s innovation services and develop a new product, service or technology.
‘Recovery’: The best example of remarkable adaptation to change and flexibility for recovery.