What We Do

SMEs and Intermediary Organisations



Innovation illustration

The Vanguard Initiative offers a platform for businesses, clusters and knowledge institutes to meet and join forces in finding new innovative solutions.
Together, we aim to increase the competitiveness of companies and scale-up regional businesses in Europe-wide value-chains.
The Vanguard Initiative’s Pilot Projects offer unique possibilities for businesses, clusters, and knowledge centres to connect with like-minded partners across European regions that share a joint goal; to strengthen industrial innovation in Europe. The benefits of interregional partnerships, established through the Pilot Projects, include exploiting complementarities, project development at the demonstration and piloting stage towards upgrading and business exploitation (beyond TRL 5), opening and sharing specialised infrastructure, access to a larger community of end-users, pooling good practices as well as jointly addressing non-technological issues, etc.
The participating stakeholders in the Pilot Projects get access to exclusive networks of pilot plants, demo-sites, and partners, working together to accelerate the market uptake of advanced technologies and methodologies in areas of strategic importance to Europe’s industry.


SME success stories

In these unprecedented times, SMEs across Europe are facing profound transformation processes in which the technological challenges are becoming ever greater and, at the same time, the need of embracing the twin (digital and green) transition needs to be tackled quickly and decisively. Therefore, a strong positioning on the national and international market is a crucial success factor for small and medium-sized enterprises. External support through cooperations can be an important factor, but these are rarely free or without strings attached.   

The Vanguard Initiative and its initiated SME Success Stories support program precisely tackles these challenges. Three Enterprises (AddCat B.V., Remembrane Srl. and Bond High-Performance 3D Technology) have been selected and supported by building cross-regional innovation practices. The program aimed to promote the participation of these companies in the activities of the Vanguard Initiative in order to foster interregional value chains and accelerate market adoption of their products and services.   

 The selected companies not only benefited from the strong network and experience of the Vanguard Initiative experts, but were also able to stimulate and expand interregional partnerships and collaborations in the Vanguard regions through an innovation voucher.   

Read more about our voucher winners in our dedicated news features.


For an integrated EU industrial & innovation policy based on interconnected regional ecosystems

In its recently published Policy Position Paper, the Vanguard Initiative (VI) calls for an integrated EU industrial & innovation policy based on interconnected regional ecosystems.

SME success stories within the Vanguard Initiative – an interview with a representative from Bond High Performance 3D Technology

In these unprecedented times, SMEs across Europe are facing profound transformation processes in which the tec

Vanguard Initiative’s Smart Health Pilot’s Local Stakeholders from across Europe meet at Plenary Event in Brussels

Last Friday, the Smart Health Pilot’s plenary event was held at the House of Dutch Provinces in Brussels, in presence of representatives from the pilot’s participating regions’ ecosystems, as well

success, strategy, business
Vanguard Initiative will contribute to the newly launched S3 Community of Practice Secretariat

As a dedicated advocate of Smart Specialisation and cluster-based Interregional cooperation to foster new industrial growth in EU regions, the Vanguard Initiative is t

Science meets regions - Lower Austria

Please find here the presentations shared during the event.

Science meets regions - North East Romania

You can download all the presentations shared during the event at the top right of this page.

Pilot Action Plan 2022: 3DP

The document is available here.

Annual Report 2021: ADMA

The report is available here.

Annual Report 2021: ESM

The report is available here.

VI Pilot Relaunch-Event „Nano-/Microsystems & High-Tech Material for Industrial Transformation“

The Pilot Nano-/Microsystems and High-Tech Materials for Industrial Transformation of the Vanguard Initiative aims to drive innovation in a community of regions of the European Union and to bring t

VI Bio-economy Pilot session to support VInnovate project development

The meeting aims to introduce the VInnovate funding scheme for the bioeconomy and green chemistry sector.

The CSconnected semiconductor eco-system: a regional cluster making a global impact

The Welsh Government is pleased to invite you to Wales House on Monday 17 April for a talk and networking event with Chris Meadows from CSConnected to learn about Wales’s experien

VI Bioeconomy meeting

Hybrid meeting – open to an online audience via MS Teams.

AI Fusion 2022

AI FUSION is the new, international stage of the AI scene 29 - 30 September 2022 | Messe Stuttgart