INSTITUTE OF BUSINESS CONSULTING (IBC)
For further information firstname.lastname@example.org
The IBC is a non-profit, professional institute whose membership consists of business advisers, mentors and trainers, employed as independents or within business support organisations. Formed in 1989 as the Institute of Business Counsellors (IBC) by the Government's Small Firms Service, and with over 2,000 active members today, the organisation's mission is to "promote and develop for the public benefit the profession of advising, counselling, mentoring and training of small and medium-sized enterprises, and its activities include the prescription and testing of education, training and development standards, the identification and promotion of ongoing professional development training in the profession, as well as the promotion of research into business support service. These activities are supported by the organisation's extensive work in producing, publishing and distributing books and other literature, as well as its numerous conferences, meetings and seminars to maintain its members and other interested parties up to date with business management and support services. It also furthers its mission by collaborating closely with relevant government departments and other educational, professional and business support bodies in the UK and elsewhere.
IBC has initiated, developed and collaborated in numerous training, assessment and accreditation projects aimed specifically at business advisers. It was a founder member of the Small Firms Lead Body developing standards of competence for owner/managers and in 1993 formed Joint Awarding Bodies with RSA and ScotVEC for the NVQs and SVQs in Business Counselling and Business Information. In 1994 with the support of DTI, IBC joined with the National Federation of Enterprise Agencies and Durham University Business School to accredit and promote Training Courses in Small Business Support. A comprehensive list of accredited Courses is published each year; in 2006, over 20 courses are being offered in training centers throughout the UK.
IBC's role as the largest provider of dedicated business adviser training in Europe, as well as its position as an industry representative body at the cross roads of business advisery service and VET practices make it uniquely qualified to lead the ECON IT project, taking responsibility for Project Management and Quality Control. Its expertise and experience in similar initiatives, not to mention its reputation, credibility and influence with key decision making organisations, will be invaluable to the project and will come to the fore in the dissemination process.
CRAIGAVON INDUSTRIAL DEVELOPMENT ORGANISATION (CIDO) (UK)
For further information email@example.com
CIDO was founded in 1985 to increase the prosperity and employment opportunities available to the people of Craigavon and District by creating a favourable environment for business development. The company is a non-profit business development agency and any surplus generated is reinvested for the benefit of the community.
CIDO can track its positive impact on the local economy in job creation, workspace facilitation, investment in small businesses through grants and loans and the improvement of the local skill base through its personal development, business, community group and IT training programmes. In addition to local economic development programmes, CIDO has been involved in the management and delivery of a range of European Programmes and has established links with a European and cross border partners.
CIDO lead the Joint Opportunities Programme (JOP), involving a conference and trade exchange between Northern Ireland and Hungarian SMEs during 1998, and prior to this had undertaken a twelve month PHARE assignment to assist the Hungarian Local Enterprise Agency network to put in place economic development systems. CIDO has also been a key partner in two previous Leonardo Projects: Connect (2001 - 2003, PP-112132) developed an online training portal for SMEs in Germany, Poland, Spain, UK and Portugal, while Business Creation (1999 - 2001, D/98/2/06348/P1/11.1.1b/FPC) produced a skills learning CD ROM based on a training needs analysis of SMEs in Germany, Poland, Spain, Italy and UK.
Armed with this experience as a training organization specialising in non-traditional classroom training, and with a 20 year track record as a local enterprise agency, CIDO possesses both the experience and tools to effectively carry out the Materials Development stage of the project. In addition, CIDO will assist IBA by acting as Project Co-ordinator throughout the project, and like all partners, will play an important role in dissemination, specifically through its membership of Enterprising Northern Ireland (comprising 41 Local Enterprise Agencies).
EUROPEAN BUSINESS & INNOVATION CENTRE NETWORK (EBN) (BE)
For further information firstname.lastname@example.org
EBN is a European nonprofit organization created to help Business and Innovation Centres enhance their individual and collective performance, and to ensure the full exploitation of the benefits of the network by pooling experience and know-how. It is supported in its activities by the European Commission, and by about 50 Associate Members (financial institutions, public authorities or agencies, universities and technology centres, industrial associations and chambers of commerce.
Having worked consistently at European level, EBN is an experienced partner and leader of publicly funded projects, and is currently working on:
- Regio-Partenariat - the development of a new platform for international co-operation between innovative companies across Europe.
- An EBN portal site which will deliver a range of training and information services to SMEs throughout Europe.
- I-Cubed, a Leonardo project which is aimed at creating a multimedia training resource for the personnel of business incubators and business innovation centres (BICs), in order to enhance their expertise in areas of particular relevance to their 'incubatees'.
Given the focus of these projects on the needs of growth SMEs, EBN clearly has specific knowledge of the demands placed on business advisers and the difficulties they face. Nevertheless, it is EBNs membership base that really powers such understanding, as more than 2000 business support professionals and coaches who are entrepreneurs themselves make up the pool of BIC managers to whom EBN is primarily directed. This feature, and the extensive network relations with a wide range of public, private and third sector organisations at European and national level which BIC has developed as a result of its information and influencing policy, provide the organization witht eh experience and trust of others which is needed to be successful in realizing the Valorisation Strategy of the ECON IT project.
INSTITUTO DE ECONOMIA PUBLICA (ES)
For further information email@example.com
IEP is a service provider company in the field of local and regional development, specialised in the promotion and implementation of innovation as a factor in competitiveness. Within this innovation-driven framework, our company has become involved since the beginning of the 90’s decade in the study of Information Technologies requirements both in the private and public sectors, which led us to provide advice and support for the implementation of R&D projects at regional, national and transnational levels.
The company has thus been involved in the last years in a number of initiatives directed to carry technological audits and innovation management diagnosis in industrial SMEs and find their possibilities for technological innovation. Instituto de Economía Pública has also acquired a strong practical expertise in the whole range of R&D project implementation: Consortium building and co-ordination, Preparation of proposals, Task distribution, Project management, Cost control, Project scheduling and monitoring, Performance evaluation.
The company has been involved in more than a dozen different R&D projects of different sizes, at different territorial levels and with different responsibility ranges. Some examples of our activities in this field are:
- Design and develop of innovation management diagnosis methodology implemented in 8 European countries in the project INTEX of the Innovation-ETI programme of the European Commission.
- Direction and implementation of projects addressed to perform diagnostics in SMEs in order to design and deploy Implementation Plans to improve innovation in the companies.
- Direction and implementation of a project directed to find the penetration of IT in the industries of the metal mechanic sector in Valencia.
- Direction and implementation of technological audits in SMEs from different sectors: metal mechanic, wood and furniture, food processing, leather and shoes, ceramics.
- Co-ordination and execution in two Spanish regions (Valencia and Murcia) of TICTRAD, a nation-wide Technology Audit project directed to small and medium size industrial companies, partially funded by the Spanish Ministry of Science and Technology
- Management of the Innovative Actions Programme for the Valencia Region
- Co-ordinator partner in LEONARDO projects EUROMANAGEMENT and EUROPRENEURS, and partner in LEONARDO projects WANBO, AWARE and ASTUTE
LOCAL ENTERPRISE AGENCY OF HEVES COUNTY (HU)
For further information firstname.lastname@example.org
The Local Enterprise Development Agency of Heves County was founded in 1993 by the Hungarian Enterprise Development Foundation, and three local municipalities to:
- provide consultancy services - annually Heves LEA advises close to 3,000 existing and start up enterprises
- organise training programmes - Heves LEA provides courses of different levels to over 400 trainees annually
- manage national microcredit programmes for SMEs within Heves County: between 1992 and 2002, the organisation provided loans amounting to €4,600,000 to 775 start up enterprises and SMEs.
Heves LEA has built up considerable experience in project participation and management at local, regional, national and European level. Locally and regionally, it has specialised in integrated development programmes, while also dealing with sector specific issues, such as environmental protection or tourism development. Nationally, Heves LEA works regularly with a wide range of partners, including Chambers of Commerce, Chambers of Agriculture, Investment Trade and Development Agency, Local Enterprise Centres and the National Association of Entrepreneurs and Employers. Internationally, the Heves LEA has an expanded network of international connections, leading to its participation in a range of EU programmes, including JOB, PHARE and Leonardo. The foundation has also run common projects with the Romanian partners within the Carpathian Euro-Region.
It is this attuned sensitivity to both sides of the picture - the needs of small businesses and the demands and obstacles faced by business advisers - plus their experience of approaching small businesses and encouraging their participation in European initiatives, that allows Heves LEA to contribute most usefully to the project by leading the Market Assessment work package. Moreover, as a training organization based in Eastern Europe, Heves LEA will contribute significantly to this stage, and the project as a whole, through its understanding of the distinctive challenges facing business advisers in this zone.
MEATH COUNTY ENTERPRISE BOARD (IE)
For further information email@example.com
Meath CEB is a statutory authority established by the Department of Enterprise, Trade & Employment in 1993 and is supported by the Irish government and the European Commission under the National Development whose board members are drawn from a wide spectrum of industrial, commercial, public and social life. The primary task of the organisation is to assist and support small growth-orientated and start-up businesses and to promote their growth and competitivity in order to maintain and ensure future employment and socio-economic development of the county.
Since its inception Meath CEB has been at the forefront of the efforts to integrate ICT into the day-to-day operations of both start-up and existing business. This activity has included a range of ICT initiatives including awareness raising seminars, provision of related training and developed courses, grant assistance towards both hardware and software purchases and adoption of the latest technologies. Furthermore, Chief Executive, Mr Hugh Reilly, is a board member of Empower.ie, a portal site which allows Irish businesses to simply, cost-effectively and efficiently create an on-line presence for their business. There are currently 7811 businesses registered online.Given their extensive experience in the implementation of major e-business and e-government initiatives over recent years (consult meath.com and workinmeath.com), not to mention their history of participation in a wide variety of cross border, pan European and intersectoral partnerships, Meath CEB has been selected to take responsibility for the Internal Evaluation activities of the project. As a public authority, the ability of the organisation to contribute to the valorisation process is also significant, given the quality of the government - government linkages that only an organization such as this can access.
NORTHERN CHAMBER OF COMMERCE (PL)
For further information firstname.lastname@example.org
The Northern Chamber of Commerce (NCC) in Szczecin is the largest self-governed organisation representing companies from the West Pomerania Region in Poland. It was established in late 1997, at the initiative of sixty entrepreneurs. After just three years of functioning, membership had grown to over 260 enterprises from the whole area of north-west Poland
The principle task of the NCC is to provide services to member companies, including training and education services, the organisation of cooperation visits and the facilitation of networking opportunities, financial assistance and interest representation and lobbying. The organisation maintains close working relations with an extensive network of partners which will facilitate dissemination particularly throughout the new accession states. Such organisations include the National Chamber of Commerce, the Association of Central European Chambers of Commerce and Industry of the Odra and Elba Regions and the Baltic Business Council. In August 2000, the NCC obtained the status of a Local Contact Point for the 5th Framework Programme and NCC has participated in several Leonardo and PHARE programmes, especially projects relating to maritime and cross-border trade.With a wide base of SME contacts, and the understanding of SME needs, working methods and even: psychology, that comes from being a representative body, NCC is ideally placed to undertake the Pilot Testing phase of the project. Moreover, the interorganizational relationships it has cultivated through its representation and lobbying activities will provide a useful base of contacts for the valorisation phase of the project.
Canice Consulting (UK)
For further information email@example.com
Canice Consulting is a small business specialising in business training and consultancy operating in the areas of local, regional, enterprise and employment development throughout the European Union and further a field. CC staff have extensive experience working in a range of Leonardo programmes and have particular expertise in the development of multimedia vocational training tools. Specifically, staff include small business experts, multimedia designers and programmers with extensive experience delivering multilingual, interactive learning tools.
Previous projects which personnel from CC have led or participated in include:
- DOTCOM (LEONARDO)- the production of a CD ROM to assist the trainers of entrepreneurs in the delivery of E-Commerce training.
- Netlinks (ADAPT) - for existing manufacturing SME's entrepreneurs to improve business management skills through telematic business planning and IT training.
- AWARE (LEONARDO)- to assist trainers of women entrepreneurs and provide awareness of the new sources of business opportunities and jobs for women.
- ABC Assisting Business Competitiveness - aimed at promoting innovation in small companies.
At a regional level CC has an extensive network amongst SME support organisations and have worked with over 300 SMEs in training and development. Their geographic location in Northern Ireland means that the company has also participated in a number of socially oriented programmes, and has acquired a deep understanding of the way in which training programmes may support the cross-cutting themes of social inclusion and equal opportunities.
Given their strong track record in the production of interactive, blended learning training resources CC will take responsibility for the Technical Realisation phase of this project. In this case, the close physical proximity of CC to CIDO, and indeed, their excellent working relationship, is thought to be very favourable in ensuring complete coherence with regard to the parallel processes of materials development and technical realisation.