The Process-SME project (Business Model Innovation and Internationalisation of Process Industry SMEs) expires at the end of August. The project focused to improve the competitiveness of micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) whose customers are from the process/mining/energy/oil/gas industries, by supporting them in discovering needs and opportunities, developing new business models, building European partnerships, applying for EU-level funding for project proposals, as well as developing products, services and other offerings.

In the project we have cooperated with 120 SMEs and 17 larger industrial companies in the Interreg Nord region. Simultaneously, we worked with a large number of RDI organizations, SMEs and large process industry companies, as well as with various intermediaries all around Europe and even farther afield. Additionally, over 40 SMEs took part in sectoral cross-border workshops with process industries using the Matchmaking Workshops model developed in national workshops in Finland. The companies’ motivation and commitment to the project were the most important factors for their success.

The project activities involved several types of know-how and capabilities. Because of this, a total of over 40 specialists in the participating organisations gave their input to the work being conducted. In the project, we learned a lot while helping companies develop their products, services and business models, especially through mutual cooperation.
The Process-SME project thanks all company participants, specialists, stake-holders and other involved persons and organisations. We thank also financers from EU, Norrbottens läns landsting, länstyrelsen I Norrbotten, Lapin Liitto, Troms fylkeskommun, Nordlands fylkeskommun, Norwegian IR and the participating organisations, who enabled this Interreg Nord project. Without their support, we would not have been able to conduct the project.

You can read more about the project and its achievements on a forth-coming publication titled ‘Process-SME Project Results – Exceeded Expectations’.

As a project summary we noticed from the point of business, that we are moving towards ecosystems, which means going from supplier–customer relations towards complex multi-actor ecosystems where everyone benefits from the cooperation. On the other hand, increased digitalisation can be considered an all-encompassing umbrella for all industrial, economic and social actions and operations.

In order to further promote Northern industries’ businesses, on 1 October 2019, we will begin a three-year project entitled DigiProcess - Supporting digitalization of process industry ecosystems: Developing service ecosystems among the process industry and SMEs. In it, we will tackle i.a. needs of digital-based technology in business ecosystem. Many companies have already expressed their interest in participating in the new project, and we are always ready to welcome new participants from Northern Sweden and Finland.

Kyllikki Taipale-Erävala
Post-Doctoral Researcher

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