QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
Q1: Can a small group, cluster or collaborative network (of SMEs) apply to this BEE Net project?
A1: SMEs have to participate individually, in order to create new European Business Networks. The fact that they are part of aggregations (clusters, networks, associations, etc.) can be considered as an awarding criterium in the evaluation of the EBN, (check Art. 14 of the Call).
Q2: What results are expected from EBNs?
A2: They have to implement their internationalisation Action Plan and reach at least a Partnership Agreement/an Outcome from an Advanced Advisory Service leading to an improvement in terms of internationalisation/a Success Story (check art.7 of the Call)
Q3: From what sector can EBNs be?
A3: Candidate EBNs can be from all sectors
Q4: It is written that they have to develop a common internationalisation strategy. For which markets? Is it only for third country markets or it can be also targeting a specific Single Market country?
A4: Markets have to be chosen and defined in the EBN Action Plan for Internationalisation. Target market can be within or outside EU.
Q5: What should the internationalisation strategy include? What activities are eligible? For example, will it be eligible to participate at trade fairs together? Or it is meant for something else?
A5: Check Art. 7 of the Call. Activities that will help the EBN get more international and competitive are eligible. Trade fairs, missions, hiring of export managers, ecommerce platforms, etc.
Q6: What is the the aim of the virtual meetings?
A6: The aim of the registrations and virtual meetings is to allow SMEs to share information, communicate, choose each other and participate in the Open Call for European Business Networks (EBNs), which will be launched on the 22nd of July.
Q7: Can SMEs that have not registered in the platform participate in the Call?
A7: No. To participate in the Call all Applicants must be registered in the BEE NET web platform. In any case, if one a company knows some other foreign company and wants to add it in this call with, they can invite the foreign company to register.
Q8: How long will the implementation of the Action Plan for Internationalisation last?
A8: Each approved EBN will have maximum 12 months, until January 2021, to implement the Action Plan for Internationalisation, starting from the signature of the Grant Agreement with the BEE NET partners.
Q9: How will the awarded EBNs be funded?
A9: A grant of maximum €25.000,00 will be provided for each European Business Network (EBN) for export, based on the reimbursement of actual costs incurred when implementing the supported activities. In January 2021, each approved EBN will present the outcomes of the Action Plan during the final event in Palermo, submit the final report and request the reimbursement, which will be assigned by February 2021, provided the validity of all submitted documents.
Q10: Considering Brexit, can UK companies apply?
A10: For the time being the UK is still in the EU, so candidates cannot be excluded on this basis today. In any case, the eligibility requirements must be complied for the whole duration of the grant.
Please be aware that eligibility criteria must be complied with for the entire duration of the grant. If the United Kingdom withdraws from the EU during the grant period without concluding an agreement with the EU ensuring in particular that British applicants continue to be eligible, a UK company will cease to receive EU funding (while continuing, where possible, to participate) or be required to leave the project.