European bioeconomy clusters get new digital tools to help SMEs overcome the valley of death

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MPowerBIO press release
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European bioeconomy clusters get new digital tools to help SMEs overcome the valley of death
News Date Added

Press release,7 May 2020 

European clusters need to be better suited to help small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) overcome the valley of death – the difficult task of finding sufficient investment to get from idea to business. This is the main focus in the new project MPowerBIO.

Many SMEs experience that even though they have a good idea or a good product, they cannot get an investor. They need to be able to pitch their idea perfectly, to the right investors and at the right time. Now SMEs can get help in this new project MPowerBIO.

In the ambitious MPowerBIO programme, there will be 10 training the trainers’ events for a total of 90 clusters across the bioeconomy, covering most of Europe. The events are set up to help clusters understand how SMEs can obtain capital and grow.

The MPowerBIO project
The MPowerBIO project will obtain feedback from clusters, SMEs and investors on the concrete challenges they have regarding investments. From these experiences, an online platform will be set up containing digital tools for evaluating investment readiness.

Online training modules and regional trainers’ events will be organised to build the capacity of clusters to train their SME members and give them the best possibilities for preparing and presenting high quality projects to investors.

The best SME projects from these events will be selected by investors, and invited to one of two European finals, which are based on the European Bioeconomy Venture Forum model, run by several of the consortium members. At the final, the selected companies will present their ideas to a panel of investors and experts from large organisations and venture funds in Europe, with the aim of attracting capital to grow and develop their business. 

A total of 72 high-quality, screened and investment-ready SME are expected to pitch at the two final events. The project will screen and support 350 SMEs towards this goal.

About the project:
MPowerBIO (eM-POWERing SME Clusters to help SMEs to overcome the valley of death) has a budget of €1.5 mio., a duration of 30 months from 1 May 2020 and has received funding from the Bio-Based Industries Joint Undertaking under the European Union’s  Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No. 887501.

The 10 international project partners are: Food & Bio Cluster Denmark (DK) (lead partner), Tech Tour Global (BG), Cluster Industrielle Biotechnologie 2021 E.V (DE), Fundacion Corporacion Technologica de Andalucia (ES), Consorzio Italbiotec (IT), Foodscale Hub Entrepreneurship and Innovation Association (RS), EIT Food (BE), Irish Bioeconomy Foundation (IR), Q-Plan International Advisors PC (GR), Sustainable Innovations Europe SL.(ES).