Creation of a cross-border university system to accompany business creators

General Project Information
FP6 Programme Acronym: INNOVATION-SME
Project Reference: IPS029082

Contract Type: SME
Start Date: 2000-10-01

End Date: 2002-03-01
Duration: 18 months

Project Status: Completed
Project Acronym: Euro Entrepreneurship

Budget: 394.188,00 €

Person responsible:

Project Description
Scientific objectives and approach:
The Euro Entrepreneurship program officially started on September 14, 2000. In the three cross-border regions – Lorraine, Wallonie, Badden Württemberg, the question of the academic contribution to the creation of activity gave rise to the implementation of important and original systems for technological and managerial assistance in the creation of companies by institutions of Higher Education. Higher Education attaches a great importance to those accompaniment systems. Some universities of those regions also decided to take part in the project. Their goal was to jointly conduct an experiment that would lead to a permanent collaboration between them. This collaboration concerned a research-based accompaniment for the creation of businesses.
The purpose of the Euro-entrepreneurship program was to develop a transborder approach, in the spirit of Sar-Lor-Lux but wider, of the co-operation between the universities of the areas of Wallonnia, Lorraine, Baden-Württemberg and Luxembourg. It was based on a modern approach of the operation of SMEs and on an innovative approach of the training and the accompaniment of the start-up businesses. Its ambition was to try out this approach and to examine its relevance in relation to the interests of company creators and universities.
The principal partners of the Euro-entrepreneurship project represented exploitation of academic research units from Belgium, France, Germany, Sweden, Poland and Luxembourg that was, from an extended transborder area. This large area was selected as a ground for experimentation to promote the development of innovating companies, i.e. to provide the foundations of a first proximity network between academic incubation structures. In this network "Ideas, technologies, offered of service and partnership" to the attention of the companies creators would be exchanged, a type of exchange which was highly desirable at the European level, as was underlined by Roger-Gerard Schwartzenberg in his intervention of November 21, 2000 in Lyon (Towards a European Space of the Innovation).
This association of academic entities in the carrying out of a common program of activity was well in line with the virtual centres of excellence envisaged as part of the 6th PCRD.
However, the project was in the spirit of 6FP recommendations, in particular those concerning:
• Complementary actions intended to help SMEs to develop their ability to operate on a European and international scale.
• Initiatives to support the creation of companies by "researcher - entrepreneurs".
• Premiums for the creation of companies for European researchers in other European countries.
• Training grants in an incubator of another European country for the acquisition of experience as regards company creation.
Moreover, the collaboration between the academic structures of these cross-border regions provided a much more effective tool than the present scattered efforts. Indeed, academic research allowed to promote a European perspective among companies. Presently, the concept of co-operation took great importance in the management of companies of any size, and in particular of SMEs. A large body of current research in management focused on the concept of co-operation between firms. For example, R. Richardson or JL. Gaffard argued that the constitution of co-operation networks was one of the fundamental factor for the dynamics of organisational and technological innovation, as well as the winover of markets in a competitive international environment.
It was this modern approach of management of organizations that the Euro Entrepreneurship program proposed to foster co-operation among transborder universities through :
• An exchange of ideas, best practices, and information,
• The physical mobility of companies creators,
• The networking of structures known as "incubators" supported by the universities,
• The flexibility of the newly-created organizations.


The University Nancy II, (France)
Boulevard Albert 1er, 23
NANCY, 54015


1. The University of Liège, (Belgium)
2. The Fachhochschule of Karlsruhe, (Germany)
3. Lublin University of Technology (Poland)
4. The University of Umea, (Sweden)


5. The Company LORASI (France)
6. FEDIL (Federacja Przedsiębiorstw, Luxembourg)