BSR Innovation Express

Trans-National Call for Proposals for the Internationalisation of SMEs through Clusters

Photo: Nikolaj Bock –

What is BSR Innovation Express?
Innovation Express represents a common approach for supporting the internationalisation of SMEs through cluster initiatives.

Innovation Express is a joint call for proposals implemented within the framework of the BSR Stars programme. The call is funded by national/regional funding agencies to initiate, develop or enhance transnational cooperation activities – leveraging cluster organisations (or similar) to develop proposals for their SME members.

Following positive experiences from calls in 2013, 2014, and 2015, the BSR Stars management has agreed to launch another Innovation Express call this year – including the regions of Brandenburg and Catalonia as cooperation and extended partners. The call has been launched 2 May 2016.

Funding and extended partners for Innovation Express

How to apply
The application form (in word format) is available for preparatory purposes in the list of documents in the left-hand menu.

Proposals must be in line with the supported innovation activities and other guidelines outlined by the funding agency in the applicant’s geography (to be found on funding agency’s own website). It is required that applicants contact their local Innovation Express contact person (see call text) in order to be informed about funding conditions.

Application forms must be completed in English via the online application portal. Applicants must first create an account (registering personal data), and then create a new application. Applications may be completed and edited over time. The deadline for final submissions of the 2016-call: October 31.

Completion and submission of additional forms may be required (according to guidelines defined by Innovation Express Funding, cooperation and extended partners).

WORKSHOP on Cluster Internationalisation – Why and How to do it? Riga, 2-3 June, 2016
Clusters seeking tools,lessons and practical guidance to support the development of an internationalisation strategy, and/or inspiration and tips from peers to further develop their activities and refine an already active internationalisation strategy are invited to a capacity Building workshop in Riga, 2-3 June. See invitation and tentative programme.

Cluster-2-Cluster Matchmaking Conference – part of the Innovation Express Concept
Potential applicants meet in September to develop project ideas in the 4th BSR Stars Cluster-2-Cluster Conference and Matchmaking event on 19-20 September 2016 in Warsaw. This year’s matchmaking event is planned in collaboration between Cluster Excellence Denmark and the Polish Ministry of Development. More information on the Warsaw Matchmaking Event

Additional information
Various BSR Innovation Express documents are available under the headline Document at the left side of this page.

For more information about the BSR Innovation Express call, please contact Hans Henrik Lomholt,, who coordinates the BSR Stars task force on this topic.



Results from the BSR Innovation Express Call 2015
The BSR Innovation Express call was open between 1 May – 30 October 2015 and attracted 50 applications from cluster organisations and business networks in the six funding and extended partner countries. Of these, 40 have been approved – directly engaging 1186 SMEs in international innovation collaboration activities. See overview of IE projects 2015.

Results from the BSR Innovation Express Call 2014
The 2nd BSR Innovation Express call was open 1 May – 31 October 2014. The call attracted 84 applications from cluster organisations and business networks in the six funding partner countries. Of these, 54 were approved – resulting in 35 new international collaboration projects, involving more than 1200 SMEs in the Baltic Sea Region. See the list of projects in the related documents in the column on the left.

Evaluation of BSR Innovation Express 2013
The evaluation of the first BSR Innovation Express call (in 2013) was finalised in February 2015 – highlighting how the projects helped SMEs to develop market understanding, strengthen international visibility, expand networks, initiate longer-term collaborative endeavors…and even secure new business. The evaluation also highlighted the success of this transnational approach, which meets funding agencies’ policy objectives of internationalisation and increased engagement of SMEs in a way that provides value to all. Download the BSR Innovation Express 2013 Evaluation in the column to the left.



Hans Henrik Lomholt, DASTI

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