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Innovate 2 Succeed, Oxford Innovation

EPM was selected to conduct the final evaluation (summative assessment) of the Innovate 2 Succeed (I2S) ERDF Project. The project was designed to support 150 companies from the Enterprise M3 LEP area to accelerate growth by accessing up to 7 days of 1.2.1 specialist Innovation support. The programme helped SMEs to be more successful in their innovation process, to launch new products and services onto the market and to access finance at time of growth.

More information available at https://oxfordinnovationservices.co.uk/innovate2succeed/
POWER, South East England Development Agency

In the context of ambitious EU targets for climate protection, the POWER Regional Initiative explores ways to move towards a low carbon economy at regional level, in particular by reformulating regional development strategies and policy instruments and identifying effective forms of sub-regional action which also contribute to regional competitiveness. POWER is a €5.8m interregional programme, led by the South East England Development Agency (SEEDA), supported by the Environment Agency and co-funded through INTERREG IVC. South East England is heading up this high profile programme involving six other EC regions, Stockholm ( Sweden ), Noord-Brabant ( Netherlands ), Malopolska ( Poland ), Emilia-Romagna ( Italy ), Tallinn ( Estonia ), Andalucía ( Spain).

After securing the grant with the Commission, Kathy Vuillaume has been heading up the POWER Secretariat (4 people in the Secretariat plus an international network of 6 regional correspondents), supervising the management of the Green projects on Low Carbon Economies delivered across the participating regions with policy influence.

More information available at www.powerprogramme.eu
PEOPLE, Government of Andalucia

This is a €4m inter-regional programme led by the Junta de Andalucia involving 6 other regions: South East England, Venezia (Italy), Noord-Brabant (NL), Malopolska (Poland), Stockholm (Sweden) and Timis (Roumania). The aim of PEOPLE is to explore the opportunities for new forms of employment and for improving well-being and cohesion in the frame of the demographic and societal changes. The thematic priorities for projects covers:

- Social and e-inclusion
- Silver Economy
- Civil Society Capacity Building
- ICT for health and greater independence
- Social Entrepreneurship
- Work life balance

After helping Spain secure the grant from the Commission, Kathy Vuillaume was co-ordinating the implementation and delivery in South East England & more recently the implantation of the Tcares sub-project for SETHA.

More information available at www.peopleproject.eu
GROW, South East England Development Agency

GROW brought together five European regions: South East England (UK), Emilia-Romagna (Italy), Noord-Brabant (Netherlands), Malopolska (Poland) and Andalucia (Spain). All were experiencing rapid growth and shared a vision of 'smart growth' rather than growth at all cost. With a budget of €7.5 million, GROW supported 16 international projects co-funded under Interreg IIIC. Eighty organisations were involved in the joint implementation of the EU’s Lisbon and Gothenburg Agenda, providing more jobs, better jobs and improved social cohesion and protecting the environment.

The GROW Programme was initiated by the South East England Development Agency (SEEDA) in collaboration with the South East England Regional Assembly and the Environment Agency. Kathy Vuillaume led the development of the inter-regional programme and she managed the GROW Secretariat supervising programme/ projects appraisals, development and dissemination of results into regional policies.

After just one year in operation, GROW was selected as best practice example and presented to the EU member states in July 2006. More recently UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown took an interest in the dissemination of results of the programme during a visit to South East England in June 07.

More information available at www.grow3c.com
Transenterprise, South East England Development Agency

Transenterprise was a collaborative network of Enterprise Hub and Technopoles from Sussex, Surrey, Kent, Nord-pas-de-Calais, Picardie and Haute-Normandies focusing exclusively on knowledge based companies in the life-sciences, healthcare, ICT, automotive, environmental technologies. Transenterprise was co-funded under Interreg IIIA Franco-British programme. Through the international partnership managed by Kathy Vuillaume, partners have:

- Established a 'Transmanche 100 Club' for entrepreneurs providing a platform for peer to peer learning and problem solving amongst Chief Executives and Managing Directors
- Encouraged the integration of the supply chain and provided B2B opportunities for SMEs from the UK and France
- Increased awareness and actively promoted support through sector specific mentoring and business guidance
- Provided cross-cultural learning opportunities and encouraged the sharing of best practice knowledge to help companies to grow.

More information available at www.te2.eu.com
Biosmile, SEHTA

The Biosmile project was co-funded under Interreg IIIB with the objective to strengthen and promote the competitiveness of North West Europe in the field of biotechnology, through international cooperation within and between polycentric urban areas, medium-sized cities and the participating regions of South East England (UK), Nord-pas-de-Calais (F), Limburg (NL), Flandres and Wallonia (Belgium), Rheinland (Germany). Key features from the projects were:
- to stimulate start-ups & facilitate the growth of existing companies
- to stimulate innovation and entrepreneurship in biotechnology
- to create a transnational platform of biotech companies
- to provide a transnational inventory of venture capital and business angel networks available to the sector

More information available at www.biosmile.eu
Virtual Institute for Composites, Isle of Wight Enterprise Hub

The Virtual Institute for Composites was a pan-European knowledge based, market oriented network involving thirteen countries. This was a three-year Framework V project approved in June 2002, 100% granted by the EC. The overall project co-ordinator was the Isles of Wight Enterprise Hub working with other hubs and high tech incubation centres, universities and business champions across the marine, automotive and aerospace industries. The Virtual Institute linked scattered research in the field of composites, promoted industrial applications and supported implementation of technology transfer into European start-ups and SMEs. The hard component of the network was a Portal accessible for all customers in any of the European languages. The project was worth €1.2 million and the partnership development was co-ordinated by Kathy Vuillaume.
Thames Gateway Research & Strategy, South East England Development Agency

Kathy Vuillaume led the team researching and mapping innovation activity in the Thames Gateway. The Thames Gateway is an area at a cross-roads between the South of England, East of England and London areas with a high level of industry which is either fragmented or in decline. There are also exciting new businesses opportunities. The research was completed within a month and recommendations discussed and approved by Central Government. As a result, a joint working team was then set-up across the three RDAs to implement a full programme of development. These initiatives included focusing on key sectors such as ICT, automotive and biotechnology. Proposals for new Enterprise Hubs were taken forward. Also a range of events was planned to increase the level of co-operation and business to business networking in the area.
Transfrontier Business Conference, Sussex Enterprise

While working with Sussex Enterprise, Kathy Vuillaume managed the hosting of a two-day 'Working Together’ conference, sponsored by BOC Edwards, United Key businesses and business representative organisations. The event was a trans European business conference dedicated to improving business influence in European economic policy. The event covered discussion and debate on joint European economic development projects and developed a strategic approach to inter-regional co-operation. Participants convened in a genuine networking atmosphere on themes relevant to business such as sector development, supply chain activity, mutual skills issues and improving links between universities and businesses.

Following the conference a Transfrontier Business Group was set-up involving businesses and business representatives from Sussex, Kent, Nord-pas-de-Calais, Picardie and Haute-Normandy.

'The Transfrontier Conference was an invaluable experience, as it has allowed us all to share ideas and get an update on where each of us is within the different European programmes. We now know what we’d like to do to develop the region’s tourism industry, and the key to getting it done is more communication. This conference was a unique opportunity to elicit the views of business on both sides of the channel'. Haute-Normandy Tourism Board.
Media Sante II, Wired Sussex

Kathy Vuillaume set up the Media Sante project for Wired Sussex. Sussex is a centre of excellence nationally in the field of new media technologies. The Picardy region in France is a front runner in the field of care. The Media Sante project under the INTERREG II programme combined these two areas of expertise by developing an interactive web site to assist medical and paramedical training for junior doctors. The new product developed introduced the advantages of the 'digital age', enabling the exchange of know-how collaboration through e-mail within the research environments of the Royal Sussex County Hospital and CHU Amiens. The user-friendly training resource was then extended to other organisations in the UK and Northern European countries.
International Meet the Buyers, Sussex Enterprise

Kathy Vuillaume set-up and managed the international 'Meet the Buyers' for Sussex Enterprise under INTERREG. International Meet the Buyers was a business convention that enabled (mainly SMEs) to trade with buyers in a series of planned meetings. Participation was free for buyers and subsidised for sellers. Two events were successfully organised alternatively in Eastbourne and Rouen involving over hundreds of delegates from both sides of the Channel. Over €2.6 millions worth of contracts were signed helping businesses to increase their turnover, expand their market abroad and generate business amongst suppliers.
Regional Advanced Engineering Business Liaison Offices, Sussex Enterprise

While working for Sussex Enterprise, Kathy Vuillaume set-up the regional advanced engineering business liaison Offices. This was a technology transfer project involving the Technology Hub in Sussex specialises in rapid prototyping and semi-conductors and the C2RE, Regional Electronics Centre in Upper-Normandy. Since 2000, the much-needed links between industry and academia have spawned several ideas for commercially viable products developed by SMES in the area. Those project ideas ranged from flight simulation equipment for the Ministry Defence and a near field measurement project to a load pull measurement system designed to optimise the efficiency of electronics circuits in mobile communication systems and reduce their consumption levels.
Greenpower Race, Sussex Enterprise

Kathy Vuillaume set-up and managed the International Greenpower Challenge to forge links between local Sussex companies and schools. The objective of this innovative concept was to encourage young pupils to consider engineering as a career. 60 schools across Sussex were given the task to build electric cars to compete internationally at the end of the calendar. The race was declared an overwhelming success by participating pupils, teachers and businesses. In the long term, the international Greenpower Challenge will help plug the young engineers skills gap in Sussex by bringing attention to the sector locally, and attracting more young people into engineering.
Skills Mobility, Sussex Enterprise

Kathy Vuillaume set-up and managed the Skills Mobility Project under the INTERREG II programme. Sussex Enterprise encouraged local electronics and high-tech industries to collaborate with two highly regarded French engineering schools Esigelec and Insa and the University of Rouen. Two successful recruitment fairs were organised during the course where students and businesses were able to meet each other and discuss the possibility of work placements in the UK.

'We have been very satisfied with our involvement in the project. We were able to meet high quality students with excellent training.' Greg New, Personnel Manager at BOC Edwards.
Sites and Premises, Sussex Enterprise

While working for Sussex Enterprise, Kathy Vuillaume set up the Sites and Premises Programme co-funded under ERDF.

Throughout the European Union there are various models for the management and running of industrial parks. Business parks co-ordinators were appointed in East Sussex and Upper-Normandy to work alongside with the industrial estates associates. The business park co-ordinators were brought together in a cross-Channel network and identified business needs and solved issues such as security and road access. A cross-border analysis of the needs was completed and joint schemes such as waste management or e-commerce were implemented.

'The Business parks initiative is a very positive approach to a previously unfashionable subject. Prior to the initiative, those who were interested in co-operation and co-ordinated working were the exception rather than the rule'. Dennis Merrett, dealer principal at Chandler’s BMW.
Promotion Rives Manche, Sussex Enterprise

‘Promotion Rives Manche’ broke new ground as an innovative, joint and tightly focused tourism marketing policy across the two sides of the Channel. The objective of this INTERREG project was to penetrate the US market by working together for tourism. The marketing policy was built around specific, complementary tourism strengths, which were relevant to all the areas concerned and of particular interest to the United States. The market position was defined around main complementary schemes such as history, gastronomy, lifestyle, heritage and leisure pursuits. Transport links were also included in the package with negotiations with American Airlines and the Channel Tunnel. Kathy Vuillaume set-up this tourism project, and once the project approved, a co-ordinator was jointly recruited and sent as representative to the US to run tourism road-shows.
Internet-based System for Tourists (IBST), Sussex Enterprise

A bilingual internet site was developed carrying tourism and cultural information to guide general public, tourism officers and professionals in the tourism sector to key events and quality hospitality venues in Sussex and in Somme in Northern France. Tourists could then assess the website when planning their holiday and also, on arrival at their destination, by visiting tourism offices and kiosks located in main tourist areas. Kathy Vuillaume was liaising with the Tourism Offices Boards and the local TICs to set-up the project, which has been implemented in parallel of ‘Promotion Rives Manche’. 50% INTERREG funding were raised to support the project.
Invest in Rives-Manche, Sussex Enterprise

This was an inward investment project looking at supporting SMEs to expand and to look at business opportunities on the other side of the Channel.

'Since establishing our company in France in 1994, we have considerably developed our customer base which today counts over 250 French companies, in relation to an initial dozen.' SMC Electronique

Sussex Enterprise and the Regional Council of Upper-Normandy have been developing:

- A practical Guide - describing the region and advertising on setting up businesses
- Online support - providing on-line access to the relevant French and UK local authorities and business support agencies as well as advice on recruitment, taxation and other investment issues.
- Seminars - offering a chance to discuss individual projects and providing advice on cultural differences

50% INTERREG funding were raised to support the project.
 
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