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Smart Services Bridge

Due to increasing competition from home and abroad, West Flanders and Zeeland are facing a major economic challenge. To solve this problem in a sustainable way, smart and structural partnerships are needed through an innovation ecosystem.

Smart Services Bridge bridges the gap between Dutch and Flemish SMEs and the West Flemish universities of applied sciences VIVES and Howest and the Zeeland university of applied sciences HZ University of Applied Sciences. In the collaborations, the focus is on the sectors Energy, Life sciences and health, Agrofood, Machine construction & Mechatronics, New Materials and Logistics.

This Interreg Flanders-Netherlands project reduces the distance between higher education and companies and develops synergies that will stimulate the innovation capacity in the regions of Zeeland and West Flanders.

 SSB focuses on effective and structural cooperation with a view to (further) innovating products or services among Dutch and Flemish SMEs through:

  •  Innovation pathways between Dutch and Flemish SMEs and universities of applied sciences with the development of products and services and technology transfer
  • Guidance of Dutch and Flemish SMEs to implement the innovations efficiently and successfully.

During the project, 60 companies will participate in an innovation process with a university of applied sciences. Each university of applied sciences (Howest, VIVES and HZ) carries out 20 innovation projects with Dutch and Flemish SMEs. The companies receive the necessary guidance to implement the innovative products or services and can work together during valorisation processes - led by OC West and Dockwize - and in cross-border expert sessions.

 Financial information:

 The Smart Services Bridge project is, in addition to the contribution of the partners, financially supported by ERDF, the ‘Europees Fonds voor Regionale Ontwikkeling’ (European Regional Development Fund), with a subsidy of EUR 899,966.26. The total project is estimated at 1,799,732.51 Euros.