Kleine en middelgrote ondernemingen exporteren slechts 13% van alle handelsactiviteiten van de EU. Dit heeft twee oorzaken: voor bedrijven die oververtegenwoordigd zijn in bepaalde landen is het moeilijk om relaties met andere bedrijven te ontwikkelen. Een andere oorzaak is het gebrek aan innovatiekracht. Verder is dit te wijten aan het gebrek aan informatie, culturele kennis en taal- en financieringsvaardigheden. Het doel van UpGradeSME is om via thematische workshops een instrument voor politieke internationalisering te creëren om nieuwe en de ontbrekende kennis te verkrijgen.

Ten slotte zal elke projectpartner zijn internaliseringsbeleidstool verbeteren. Ze zullen ook een reeks onderzoeken naar, bijvoorbeeld: hoe de impact en invloed op de prestaties van de doelgroep te meten, hoe informatie en integratie te delen en hoe aan te passen aan andere politieke instrumenten.


   Start:  01.04.2016

   Einde:  31.03.2021

Small and medium enterprises only export 13% of all the EU’s trading. This is due to two types of causes: the first type is companies that are overrepresented in other countries, which makes relations with other companies difficult. Another cause is innovation that is needed that many organisations do not have. The second type is due to the lack of information, cultural fields, linguistic and financing skills.

The objective of the project is to create a political internationalization tool through thematic workshops in order to obtain new knowledge to use and improve its tool.

Finally, each partner will improve their internalization policy tool. They will also have to create a series of documents such as: the impact on how to measure the influence on the performance of the target group, how to share information and integration and how to adapt to other political tools.



BUDAPEST – In liaison with the Interreg project of UpgradeSME, the project partners from six represented countries could finally meet each other again during the closing-off meeting at the banks of the Danube river.
During this meeting, each and every stakeholder could bring up and discuss their GPs (Good Practice policy instruments) regarding exports and to what extend the instruments positively influenced exports during the corona crisis.
For the Frisian part, we’ve definitely had challenges during the covid-19 pandemic, such as acquiring new partners and businesses, finding substitutes for trading missions and the fact that lack of digitalisation became a bigger issue. Next to covid-19 we’ve also challenged transportation issues in the sense of the Ever Green ship in the Suez channel and the Russian-Ukrainian war going on.

The GPs concentrated in the Frisian context, are based on finance and knowledges instruments. What has to be noted is that the financial policies driven in this part of the Netherlands are based on the green and digital shift which has to be made.
An example of this could be found in the SME and SIB voucher of the Netherlands Enterprise Agency. A company called Deepgrooves develop and produce the increasingly popular long play records which they manufacture in a circular way, so with the least impact on the environment. Thanks to the vouchers, Deepgrooves could hire external advice. Nowadays, the U.S. is their biggest customer market.
Another good practice policy, knowledge-wise, can be found in the World Trade Center Leeuwarden, together with the Netherlands Enterprise Agency. This delegacy organised digital trading missions for high-quality matchmaking. They do this by screening participating companies for relevant questions and potential matches. An example of this is Tapp.online, this company was screened and seen as an high-valuable asset in the world market, making circular smart paper insights. Which can be used for measuring shocks, temperature and humidity levels during transports of goods.

Regarding the questions asked during this multilateral meeting, it seemed that the GPs in our region are clear and productive in terms of improving exports for our local SMEs. As Dutch delegation, we’ve acquired imported knowledge from other stakeholders in terms of how to organize and how to market certain projects were different sectors are connected to one another, such as but not limited to the example of Guimaraes.
We thank our partners for the cooperation the last couple of years and look forward to work together in future times.

Team Netherlands
Business Development Friesland | Municipality of Leeuwarden



  • Stichting Business Development Friesland Pannon Gazdasági Hálózat Egyesület Agenţia pentru Dezvoltare Regională Sud Muntenia Gemeente Leeuwarden Steinbeis Innovation gGmbH ADRAVE – Agência de Desenvolvimento Regional do Vale do Ave Fomento de San Sebastián S.A. Nemzetgazdasági Minisztérium