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  1. An institution, body, office or agency established by or based on the Treaty on European Union and the Treaties establishing the European Communities.

    All education and training facilities for people of different age groups.

    An intergovernmental organization having legal personality under public international law or a specialized agency established by such an international organization. An international organization, the majority of whose members are Member States or Associated Countries and whose main objective is to promote scientific and technological cooperation in Europe, is an International Organization of European Interest.

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    A microenterprise, a small or medium-sized enterprise (business) as defined in EU Recommendation 2003/361. To qualify as an SME for EU funding, an enterprise must meet certain conditions, including (a) fewer than 250 employees and (b) an annual turnover not exceeding EUR 50 million and/or an annual balance sheet total not exceeding EUR 43 million. These ceilings apply only to the figures for individual companies.

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  1. Governance, partnership: Projects aimed at increasing the application of multilevel and transnational or cross-border governance, designing and testing appropriate governance structures and mechanisms. Also cooperation between public institutions on any theme.

    Innovation capacity and awareness-raising: Actions that increase a person’s or organisation’s capacity for innovation (not innovation as such), and that establish the capacity to diffuse and apply innovation; projects that stimulate innovation in different areas and innovation capacities; strengthening and empowering of innovation networks.

    Institutional cooperation and cooperation networks: Projects working on the improvement of institutional cross-border co-operation and capacities, on renewing and simplifying administrative management through long term cooperation between institutions (e.g. Euregion), on establishing and sharing regional knowledge and intercultural understanding and cohesion. It also deals with cooperations between universities, health care facilities, schools and sports organisations, as well as with management and capacity building.

    Activities focussing on agricultural products, organic farming, horticulture, as well as forest management and wood products; furthermore the development of the food sector, food chains, organic food production, and seafood products and any topics related to animals and fishing.

    Agriculture and fisheries and forestry: Projects focussing on agricultural products (i.e. fruits, meat, olives, etc.), organic farming, horticulture, as well as forest management and wood products. Also the development of the agro-food sector, food chains, organic food production, and seafood products. Any topics related to animals (i.e. health, management) and fishing (i.e. sustainable fishery, aquaculture).

    Soil and air quality: Projects that deal with any topic against soil and air pollution, except water pollution, for example, reduction of soil and air contamination, pollution-management systems, but also prevention and eradication of soil erosion, new ways of improving air quality (also indoors) and soil/air knowledge in general.

    Climate change and biodiversity projects assisting mitigation and adaption to climate change and environmental impacts of climate change. Development of low carbon technologies and strategies, reduction of CO2 emissions from all sectors. Promotion of biodiversity, new instruments to enhance biodiversity and natural protection.

    Soil and air quality projects that deal with any topic against soil and air pollution, except water pollution, for example, reduction of soil and air contamination, pollution-management systems, but also prevention and eradication of soil erosion, new ways of improving air quality (also indoors) and soil/air knowledge in general.

    Water management projects about management and distribution of drinking water, integrated sustainable water management, monitoring systems for water supply and improving drinking water quality; also water treatment (wastewater), in particular, innovative technologies to improve wastewater, treatments in the purification of industrial and domestic wastewater and water reuse policies. Waterways, lakes and rivers: This deals with any topics on waterways, lakes and rivers, from improving water quality, protecting and developing of ecosystems or sustainable wetland management.

    Activities that protect, promote and enhance cultural and natural heritage, increase the attractiveness through preservation and valorisation of common cultural and natural heritage in a sustainable manner, and improve and develop cultural and natural heritage objects, services and products. Cultural heritage management, art and culture, (maritime) heritage routes, access to cultural and natural heritage. Also all topics on cultural services such as festivals, concerts, art workshops.

    Cultural heritage and arts projects that protect, promote and enhance cultural and natural heritage, increase the attractiveness through preservation and valorisation of common cultural and natural heritage in a sustainable manner, and improve and develop cultural and natural heritage objects, services and products. Cultural heritage management, art and culture, (maritime) heritage routes, access to cultural and natural heritage. Also all topics on cultural services such as festivals, concerts, art workshops.

    Tourism projects dealing with the promotion of natural assets, and the protection and development of natural heritage, as well as increasing the touristic attractiveness through the better use of natural, cultural and historical heritage. Also projects about improved tourist services/products, development of ecotourism models, tourism development strategies.

    Sustainable management of natural resources projects focussing on the protection, promotion and valorization, and sustainable management and conservation of natural areas (habitats, geo parks, protected areas, etc.). Also projects focussing on preserving and enhancing cultural and natural heritage and landscape, as well as protecting the marine environment.

    Projects on waste management (innovative services and strategies), ecological waste treatment, treatment techniques/systems; waste disposal and recycling (improvement of recycling, innovative recycling technologies, recovery of organic waste, repair & re-use centres and networks); also prevention of pollution and pollution control (ecological and circular economy, marine littering, etc.).

    Labour market and employment: creating employment opportunities and/or optimising jobs, academic (un)employment and job mobility, workforce attraction and improvement of employment conditions for different groups.

    SME and entrepreneurship: strengthening SME capacities, boosting entrepreneurial activities in different sectors and for different groups, supporting social entrepreneurship, creating business support/advisory systems for start-ups/spin-offs/incubators, improving the competitiveness of SMEs, and promoting new business processes.

    Community integration and common identity projects that build identity, create a more cohesive society, promote positive relations through an increased provision of shared spaces and services.

    Demographic change and immigration is about projects tackling major societal challenges like demographic change in different areas and migration, in particular, aging society (active aging, best agers, silver economy strategies) and related new public services (adaptation of key services and infrastructure), social and spatial segregation, and brain drain. Also all topics on migration (policy tools, strategic planning, integration).

    All projects where ICT has a significant role, including tailor-made ICT solutions in different fields, as well as digital innovation hubs, open data, Internet of Things; ICT access and connecting (remote) areas with digital infrastructure and services; services and applications for citizens (e-health, e-government, e-learning, e-inclusion, etc.); services and applications for companies (e-commerce, networking, digital transformation, etc.).

    This is about the mitigation and management of risks and disasters, and the anticipation and response capacity towards the actors regarding specific risks and management of natural disasters, for example, prevention of flood and drought hazards, forest fire, strong weather conditions, etc.. It is also about risk assessment and safety.

    Education and training projects on expanding educational opportunities, reducing barriers in the field of education, improving higher education and lifelong learning, training and labour mobility, educational networks, higher vocational education, common learning programmes.

    Topics on energy management, energy-saving methods, evaluating energy efficiency measurements, energy rehabilitation/efficiency in buildings / public infrastructure, promotion of energy efficiency, cooperation among experienced energy efficiency firms, institutions and local administrations, co-generation.

    Projects focussing on wind, solar, biomass, hydroelectric, geothermal and other renewable energy, increasing the production of sustainable renewable energy and improving research capacities in biomass. Also projects focussing on storage and management of renewable energy, new technologies, sustainable regional bioenergy policies and financial Instruments for investments on renewable energy.

    Social projects concerning people with disabilities and excluded groups; enhancement of the capacity of children, young people, women and elderly; creation of infrastructure to improve access for disabled people, integration of socially vulnerable people; innovate in the care of victims of gender violence, social inclusion of women, etc.

    This deals with the development of health and social services and improved accessibility and efficiency for different groups (elderly, children, etc.). It is also about new healthcare models and medical diagnosis and treatments (dementia, cancer, diabetes, etc.), hospitals, care management, and rare diseases, as well as improving wellbeing and promoting sports.

    Projects about (organised) crime, efficient and secure borders, such as enhancing the effectiveness of the police in the prevention of drug crimes, the development of safety services, or tackling security and organised crime issues.

    Activities related to:

    • Transport and mobility covering all sorts of transport (incl. urban transport) and mobility.
    • Improving transport connections dealing with traffic and/or transport connections, rehabiliation/modernisation, better connectivity, improving accessibility/connections, but also public transport.
    • Multimodal transport and logistics and freight transport focusing on using different means of transport, developing multimodal connections, optimising intermodal transport chains; offering multimodal logistics solutions and providing access to clean, efficient and multimodal transport corridors and hubs; establishing cooperation among logistic centres and developing multimodal mobility strategies.

    Activities related to:

    • urban development, such as planning and design of cities and urban areas, urban renewal, urban-rural links (climate, sustainable mobility, water efficiency, participation, sustainable land use, smart cities, public urban areas, regeneration)
    • regional planning and development, such as the implementation of regional development policies/instruments and programmes, sustainable land use management plans, integrated regional action plans, spatial planning, and marine protected area management.
    • rural and peripheral development, referring to remote, sparsely populated areas, rural community development, and rural economics, in particular access to remote areas and policies for rural areas.
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Call key data

Enterprise Europe Network - 1st cut-off date

Funding Program

Single Market Programme

Call number




19.09.2024 17:00

Funding rate


Call budget

€ 182,500,000.00

Link to the call

Link to the submission

Call content

short description

The Enterprise Europe Network (EEN) provides business support and advisory services – in particular for SMEs – by offering information, advisory services, feedback and partnering services, innovation, technology and knowledge transfer services. The Network provides services encouraging the participation of SMEs in the opportunities provided by the Single Market Programme (SMP) and Horizon Europe, as well as internationalisation services beyond the Single Market and informs SMEs on access to finance and funding opportunities (InvestEU), including those under the European Structural and Investment Funds.

Call objectives

This call for proposals establishes and ensures the continuous functioning of the Enterprise Europe Network (EEN) from 1 July 2025 until 31 December 2028 by selecting the consortia that will make up the Network.

To this end, applicants are invited to submit proposals:

  • Defining the strategic approach and explaining how the objectives and requirements laid down in the present call will be addressed, taking account of the challenges faced by SMEs in the target region(s) and the specific strengths of businesses and the business environment; and
  • Suggesting specific activities translating that strategic approach into action

The EEN activities directly contribute to the implementation of the SME Strategy and play an important role to help SMEs recover from the various crises, such as COVID-19, issues related to the Russian aggression in Ukraine and other supply chain disruptions. The EEN will continue to deliver sustainability and digitalisation advisory services to provide SMEs with the necessary support for the acceleration of the twin transition. At the same time, the EEN is a sounding board and a link between the Commission and the SME community in the implementation of the SME Strategy, the Green Deal Industrial Plan,the updated European industrial strategy and other EU policy priorities, such as the strengthening of the EU's open strategic autonomy and long-term competitiveness.

The Network aims to:

  • Help EU SMEs finding international business, technology and research partners in the EU, SMP SME pillar associated countries and third countries, and find alternative solutions for SMEs facing supply chain problems;
  • Help SMEs address sustainability challenges and opportunities through the EEN sustainability advisors in place in all EU regions;
  • Help SMEs to digitalise by helping them to adapt their processes, use digital technologies to increase their competitiveness and develop new products and services using new digital means; EEN members shall also exploit synergies with the European Digital Innovation Hubs (EDIH);
  • Assist SMEs with assessments and capacity building services to address challenges that SMEs are faced with for sustainability, digitalisation and innovation management;
  • Develop and provide a balanced integrated service range to help SMEs to become active in the Single Market and beyond (e.g. regarding EU legislation and programmes, EU funding, intellectual property rights), linking up with regional actors and policies to ensure regional integration of the network's services;
  • Improve ’SMEs awareness on access to finance, in particular InvestEU, and including alternative sources of financing;
  • Increase the impact and quality of services;
  • Increase the competitiveness of SMEs by internationalisation and innovation support services;
  • Provide advisory services to help scale-ups to develop their activities outside their own country;
  • Use the SME feedback function to obtain SMEs opinion on EU policy options;
  • Strengthen support for SMEs interested in participating in Horizon Europe and other EU funding programmes and corresponding calls for proposals, in particular encourage SMEs to participate in the European Innovation Council (EIC) actions;
  • Develop a long-term relationship and provide integrated services to the beneficiaries of the EIC and possibly those who were awarded a Seal of Excellence; further enhance cooperation with Horizon Europe national contact points to help increase participation of SMEs;
  • Improve SMEs awareness about other EU initiatives such as the Your Europe portal and the Single Digital Gateway and connected assistance services;
  • Ensure visibility, recognition and local awareness about the EEN;
  • Improve SMEs resilience including when they are faced with supply chain disruptions and other crises.

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Expected effects and impacts

It is essential that services offered by the Network demonstrate a clear objective positive impact on SMEs. The impact that Network services have on SMEs will be measured in terms of increased market share, increased turnover, optimised costs or realised savings in international activities, job creation or maintenance, improved quality of products, services or processes, introduced product or service innovations related to international activities, etc.

Network services are expected to result in:

  • SMEs who are better adapted to deal with the challenges in the Single Market helping them to become more aware of the requirements or challenges that they may face in future for their specific types of business activities so that they can plan ahead and prepare, and support for overcoming immediate barriers they face for doing business in the Single Market;
  • SMEs with improved international activities in third countries;
  • SMEs who are more innovative in terms of products and services, and how they manage their business and innovation processes, and integrate green, clean and/or digital technologies and processes;
  • SMEs who have better awareness of sustainability and existing support for their transition, and improved sustainable business models and activities; 
  • SMEs who have better awareness of the benefits of digital technologies and have successfully integrated them in their business model and activities;
  • SMEs who are aware of sources of EU funding and other sources of finance for expanding their business internationally, and what they need to do to apply and/or to establish fruitful contacts with potential investors;
  • SMEs who are more competitive, future-proof, and economically resilient;
  • SMEs who are ready to provide their feedback and input in relation to upcoming EU legislation and to alert the European Commission about Single Market barriers or supply chain disruptions;
  • SMEs who understand the importance of showcasing their successes and are ready to share them in a systematic way.

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Expected results

  • Increased number of SMEs linked with other entities across Europe and beyond for cross-border business cooperation, technology and knowledge transfer and technology and innovation partnerships;
  • Increased number of SMEs aware of sustainability challenges and opportunities and integrating them in their business processes;
  • Increased number of SMEs implementing innovation activities and integrating structured innovation management approaches to improve their business processes and develop business opportunities;
  • Increased number of SMEs integrating digitalisation to improve their business processes and developing new business opportunities;
  • Higher rate of European SMEs exporting within the Single Market and outside the EU;
  • Higher rate of European SMEs participating in EU programmes;
  • Improvement in European SMEs understanding of EU legislation and of opportunities offered by EU programmes and EU access to finance;
  • Increased number of companies reporting a successful outcome on their business in terms of turn-over and jobs created;
  • Better visibility of the EEN by promoting success stories;
  • Better knowledge/understanding within EU institutions of SMEs opinions, difficulties and expectations.

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Eligibility Criteria

Regions / countries for funding

EU Member States, Overseas Countries and Territories (OCT)
Moldova (Moldova), Albania (Shqipëria), Armenia (Հայաստան), Bosnia and Herzegovina (Bosna i Hercegovina / Босна и Херцеговина), Georgia (საქართველო), Iceland (Ísland), Kosovo (Kosova/Kosovë / Косово), Liechtenstein, Montenegro (Црна Гора), North Macedonia (Северна Македонија), Norway (Norge), Serbia (Srbija/Сpбија), Türkiye, Ukraine (Україна)

eligible entities

Education and training institution, Non-Profit Organisation (NPO) / Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), Other, Private institution, incl. private company (private for profit), Public Body (national, regional and local; incl. EGTCs), Research Institution incl. University, Small and medium-sized enterprise (SME)

Mandatory partnership


Project Partnership

Consortia should be composed of the appropriate mix of entities to ensure delivery of the full range of Network services in their designated geographic area. 

An indicative and non-exhaustive list of host organisations for the Network includes:

  • SME support organisations: sector and industry associations, export agencies, chambers of commerce, chambers of crafts, technology transfer companies, business incubators, clusters;
  • Organisations with proven experience on resource efficiency and circularity support services;
  • Trade promotion organisations (TPOs);
  • Business organisations and representative organisations of SMEs;
  • Regional development agencies;
  • Innovation agencies;
  • Research organisations or foundations;
  • (Business support units of) higher education institutions.

To achieve the Network objectives, proposals should typically be submitted by a consortium made up of at least two entities (host organisations) in the covered geographic area. Proposals from single entities can be accepted in duly justified cases if these entities are able to provide the full range of services described in the call in the entire geographic area covered by the proposal.

Cross-regional consortia (consortia spanning over several administrative regions, including cross-border consortia) must have organisations acting in all regions they cover.

An efficient service delivery and coordination must be a determinant factor in establishing the adequate size of a consortium.

In order to be eligible, the applicants (beneficiaries and affiliated entities) must: 

  • be legal entities (public or private bodies)
  • be established in one of the eligible countries, i.e.:
    • EU Member States (including overseas countries and territories (OCTs))
    • non-EU countries: listed EEA countries and countries associated to the Single Market Programme or countries which are in ongoing negotiations for an association agreement and where the agreement enters into force before grant signature (list of participating countries)

Specific cases:

Natural persons are NOT eligible.

International organisations are NOT eligible.

Entities which do not have legal personality under their national law may exceptionally participate, provided that their representatives have the capacity to undertake legal obligations on their behalf, and offer guarantees for the protection of the EU financial interests equivalent to that offered by legal persons. 

EU bodies (with the exception of the European Commission Joint Research Centre) can NOT be part of the consortium. 

Entities composed of members may participate as ‘sole beneficiaries’ or ‘beneficiaries without legal personality’. Please note that if the action will be implemented by the members, they should also participate (either as beneficiaries or as affiliated entities, otherwise their costs will NOT be eligible). 

Beneficiaries from countries with ongoing negotiations (see above) may participate in the call and can sign grants if the negotiations are concluded before grant signature (with retroactive effect, if provided in the agreement).

other eligibility criteria

Enterprise Europe Network is expected to be present in all regions of the European Union, including outermost regions, and the other countries associated to the Single Market Programme to provide its services in close proximity to SMEs.

Each proposal must refer to a clearly defined geographic area. The NUTS classification with the administrative division of the EU and its partner countries can be used for the purpose.

The typical area covered by a proposal corresponds to NUTS1 administrative regions. While consortia are expected to serve the entire area covered by them, individual members of a consortium may be assigned smaller geographic areas (i.e. at NUTS2 level) provided this does not result in any service gaps in the geographic area covered by the proposal.

Should the NUTS1 level not correspond to domestic structures, coverage of alternative geographic areas of comparable size may be considered.

Provided this contributes to a higher efficiency and accessibility to the Network services for SMEs, the following options can be envisaged:

  • Consortia in smaller countries with several NUTS1 regions may be formed on a nationwide principle.
  • Cross-regional consortia may be acceptable in larger countries.
  • Consortia may also be cross-border, i.e. cover administrative regions in more than one country.

In all cases, proposals are expected to cover geographically coherent areas enabling broadest access to SMEs and delivery of the full range of Network services. The suggested approach should be clearly explained in the proposal.

Additional information


Administration & Governance, Institutional Capacity & Cooperation, 
Competitiveness of Enterprises, Employment/Labour Market, SME & entrepreneurship, 
Digitalisation, Digital Society, ICT

Relevance for EU Macro-Region

EUSAIR - EU Strategy for the Adriatic and Ionian Region, EUSALP - EU Strategy for the Alpine Space, EUSBSR - EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region, EUSDR - EU Strategy for the Danube Region

UN Sustainable Development Goals (UN-SDGs)

project duration

42 months

Additional Information

The first submission deadline (1st cut-off date) will be open to all eligible applicants.

The second submission deadline (2nd cut-off date) will be open to applicants who meet the eligibility criteria and who are established in:

  • EU Member States and overseas countries and territories (OCTs) covering EU regions not included in the Network after evaluation of the proposals submitted at the first cut-off date. Note that proposals covering regions for which a successful proposal was submitted and evaluated positively will be excluded from the second cut-off.
  • Non-EU countries that started negotiations with the European Commission for an association agreement to the SMP after the closing date of the first cut-off.

Proposals must be submitted electronically via the Funding & Tenders Portal Electronic Submission System (accessible via the Topic page in the Search Funding & Tenders section). Paper submissions are NOT possible.

Proposals (including annexes and supporting documents) must be submitted using the forms provided inside the Submission System ( NOT the documents available on the Topic page — they are only for information).

Proposals must be complete and contain all the requested information and all required annexes and supporting documents:

  • Application Form Part A — contains administrative information about the participants (future coordinator, beneficiaries and affiliated entities) and the summarised budget for the project (to be filled in directly online)
  • Application Form Part B — contains the technical description of the project (to be downloaded from the Portal Submission System, completed and then assembled and re-uploaded)
  • mandatory annexes and supporting documents (templates available to be downloaded from the Portal Submission System, completed, assembled and re-uploaded):
    • detailed budget table/calculator (mandatory excel template available in the Submission System)
    • CVs (short outlines) of core project team

Your application must be readable, accessible and printable. Proposals are limited to maximum 70 pages (Part B). Evaluators will not consider any additional pages.

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