Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Q: What is the status of EBN?
A: EBN is an international non-profit making association. For further information please view the Statutes.
Q: Who is the board representative for my country?
A: A full list of board representatives for each country is provided in ‘About EBN’.
Q: Who do I talk to about project /event opportunities?
A: Please visit the EBN team organisation chart for more detailed information on EBN staff members and their areas of responsibility. Contact information and linguistic abilities are provided for all staff members.
How to join?
Q: What is the difference between Full and Associate membership?
Full Members: Organizations operating as Business and Innovation Centres, the common aim of which is to create new SMEs and new activities within existing SMEs based on new ideas with growth potential, may become full members, whereby they will only be considered to be full members if they act and develop their activities in line with the concept of the Business and Innovation Centre, as defined by EBN internal regulations and by the criteria laid down by the European Commission within the framework of the EC-BIC figurative and registered trademark and the corresponding Quality system.
Associate Members: Natural or legal persons likely to support the activity of the Association or exercise a favourable influence on it may become associate members. Financial institutions; banks, industrial and commercial enterprises, professional bodies, national and regional development companies, consultancy firms, experts, universities, research centres, technology parks, other similar entities are eligible for associate membership.
For further information please visit the Statutes of Association
Q: What is the cost of membership?
A: €2750 per annum for both full and associate membership
Q: How do I reach EBN?
A: Please visit the practical information section of the website for details on accessing EBN by car or public transport.
Q: What hotels are nearby?
A: Please visit the practical information section of the website
About the BIC's
Q: Are the BICs only concerned with new business creation?
A: No, the central mission of the BIC is to detect and support innovation in all its forms be that through the assistance of new start up companies OR equally through the support of innovation within existing companies in particular SMEs OR through the stimulation of innovation in a regional economy. For more information please visit the section ‘What is a BIC?’
Q: Why are the services of the BIC in my region substantially different from those in another region? How can such differences exist if they both conform with the EC BIC Quality system?
A: BICs are first and foremost instruments of regional economic development. The innovation requirements of each economic region vary considerably as do the existing instruments already in place to meet these requirements. To ensure high quality standards throughout the network all BICs must meet a number of fixed quality criteria which take into account the innovation profile existing in each region. For more information on the BIC Quality system please visit this section of the website.
Q: Is the BIC Quality System really independent? Who awards the EC-BIC licence?
A: The BIC Quality Mark Committee have complete responsibility for granting, renewing and withdrawing EC BIC licences. Seven members of the BQMC have voting rights:
- Three external experts
- Three BIC managers
- One European Commission representative – Head of Unit E2, DG Enterprise
For more information on the functioning of the BQMC, please visit the BIC Quality system please visit this section of the website.
Q: How do I update my profile in the Members Directory e.g. add a photo or logo, change my address, contact details etc?
A: You can update your profile directly at any time by logging on with your username and password to the Quality website and updating the ‘My Profile’ section of your profile. To avoid duplication of data entry and to ensure data is regularly updated, the information for the Members Directory is taken from the Quality questionnaire which members complete on an annual basis. To update your profile please visit the EBN quality website.
Q. Can non BICs join the sectoral networks? How do I join?
A: Most sectoral networks are open to both BIC and non BIC members. The application form is available to download in the relevant sections of the website or alternatively contact the EBN staff member responsible for the network in which you are interested.
Q: I’ve heard about a new call for proposals which will soon be launched by the EC but I can’t find any details? Does EBN have any information?
A: Check out the most recent TenderWatch document prepared by EBN on all open calls. EBN often also has the inside track on calls to be published and where feasible attends the information days organised by the EC on relevant calls. If there is no information on the call you’re interested in the TenderWatch document please contact any member of the project team to find out if they have information not yet published.
Q: Our BIC is very interested in the activities of an EC project listed in the projects section. Can we join?
A: In most cases, once a project budget has been negotiated there are limited opportunities for new organizations to join as full partners. However it is also worthwhile to express your interest as most projects have opportunities in the dissemination phase for interested organizations to learn about the results of the project. Furthermore if a follow on proposal is planned expressing your interest early is always advisable. For further information please contact the relevant member of the project team responsible for the project in which you are interested?
Q: Our BIC has developed great methodology and tools at regional level which could be applicable to many other BICs. Can we get project funding to develop these tools further and share our best practice with other regions?
A: The answer very much depends on the nature of the methodology and tools and how well they fit with the stated priorities of different funding bodies such as the EC. For example if you had developed a successful methodology for encouraging new start-ups to employ eco-friendly principles in all areas of their business, such a tool would fit very well with the priorities of DG Enteprise in the area of Eco-Innovation. However if you had developed an online business planning tool for new start-ups you should be aware that many such tools have already been developed, many by BIC partners and therefore there is limited opportunities for funding dissemination in this area. To get an idea of the fields in which there are funding currently available it is always advisable to have a look at recent TenderWatch documents before contacting a member of the EBN team to discuss your idea further.
Even if there is no EC project funding available, EBN is always interested in finding out about members tools and best practices and providing opportunities for other members to learn about these through the EBN calendar of training and networking events.