EBN Mission statement
What is EBN?
The European Business & Innovation Centre Network was set up in 1984 as a joint initiative of the European Commission, European industry leaders and the first pioneering Business and Innovation Centres.
EBN is now the leading non-governmental pan-European network bringing together 200+ Business & Innovation Centres (BICs), and similar organisations such as incubators, innovation and entrepreneurship centres across the enlarged Europe.
BICs are organisations which promote innovation and entrepreneurship. They help enterprises to innovate; they drive the creation of start-ups (support to innovation, incubation and internationalisation) and they promote economic development through job and enterprise creation and development.
The network is therefore an umbrella organisation bringing together over 200 BICs from all around Europe and beyond. It provides help and support to these BICs by acting as an interface with other organisations including the European Commission (which officially recognises EBN), by providing expertise in numerous areas including funding and by stimulating the sharing of best practices.
EBN follows closely the European Union Enlargement and Neighbourhood Policies and is developing ‘hub and spoke’ networking connections with the rest of the world.
Values and guiding principles
- To be truly pan-European and internationally connected
- To be responsive and customer-oriented
- To be membership driven
- To represent our members collectively, and individually at European, national and regional levels
- To be non-profit-making, transparent and democratic
- To be participative with members of the Association, in close cooperation with national groupings of EBN members
- To bring added-value services to the Association’s members
- To conduct the Association as a vibrant and open community, adequately positioned and partnering with other specialised European and international networks
- To create and strengthen a vibrant community of entrepreneurship, innovation and incubation practitioners
- To provide a framework for encouraging the development of innovative entrepreneurs
- To connect with the global environment, public sector and industry leaders
- To be the respected voice of BICs within European institutions
- To ensure network quality and top class professionalism
- To seek out business opportunities for SMEs across and beyond Europe
- To provide expertise, benchmarks, best practices and guidance to its members
- To increase the competitiveness, the efficiency, the credibility, the reliability and the impact of BICs, and of the BIC label
- To initiate sector-specific and thematic networking
- To act as the idea lab and project factory of the community
- To enable partnerships with economic players acting in the periphery of the BICs’s supply chain
- To stimulate innovation by all means
“The aim of EBN is to promote the growth of Business and Innovation Centres (BICs) both within and outside of the EU. The aim of BICs is to support the emergence of new small or medium sized businesses and develop activities in existing businesses based on new ideas with growth potential.”
The European Commission