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Europe has a leading position in eco-innovation patents and emerging technologies. Although the EU achieves a remarkably high annual growth rate of 16% in eco-innovation, transfers to small and medium enterprises (SMEs), which are the backbone of our economy, is rather low. Technology transfer to SMEs would be important to reduce EU’s industrial pollution as they cause 70% of the EU’s industrial pollution. According to OECD and EC reports, awareness for research and technological development (RTD) results is low. There is a need to increase technology transfer at the EU level.
The aim of the ECOWEB project is to develop a dynamic platform for enterprises, especially SMEs, to take up eco-innovation results from EU-funded research. This will increase uptake of novel technologies, spur economic growth, and will result in an increase of SMEs interest in the EU funding programs. The main focus thereby does not lie on already existing eco-industries but on enterprises being less informed about eco-innovations. Every kind of industry, eco-industry and conventional enterprises, can benefit from adoption of eco-innovation solutions and clean technologies. Bringing together eco-innovation-results and SMEs who can exploit these results is not a challenge that can be solved by simply providing a website. Therefore we will develop an interactive web portal that dynamically integrates state-of-the-art user support and usability technologies. A network of multipliers is activated to spread relevant results to specific SMEs. Multipliers searching for results in eco-innovation areas interesting for their clientele as well as SMEs searching for innovative results will be able to find them through a few interactions (which increases the chance of successful dissemination). An added value of the ECOWEB platform is that relevant results will be brought to SMEs even if they are lacking time to actively look out for innovative input.
ECOWEB is a solution for European SMEs – eco-industries as well as conventional enterprises – to uptake EU-funded eco-innovation results in an easy way. ECOWEB is a user friendly tool for green technology transfer to reach EU companies, to create innovative products and services or improve existing ones and thereby transforming Europe into an Eco-innovation Union. Uptake of research results does not only lead to reducing industrial pollution. Research results will be taken up by SMEs and can reach the market with new innovative products and services.