Open Innovation in Europe: time to involve SMEs | DG GROW Program

Today Open innovation is a must have for all companies, regardless of their size, regardless of their industry, regardless of the age of the company.

But today in Europe we see that only large corporates are currently active in open innovation, while the small and mid size companies who form the backbone of European industry are still out of the open innovation game.


In response to this Mind the Bridge is launching, with the support of DG GROW (EASME/COSME 2017/017), a pilot for  matching mid-size companies with startups. Our goal is  to expose traditional mid sized companies to Open Innovation and for them to effectively engage with startups in order to drive innovation in traditional industries.


The main objectives of the pilot will be to engage a selected group of mid-size corporates and provide them with dedicated assessment and scouting, and then facilitate 1:1 meetings with innovative startups.



The mid-size companies that are selected will receive a dedicated assessment by Mind the Bridge to identify strategic objectives that could be addressed through Open Innovation. Subsequently, they will be invited to attend Matching Events where they will meet selected startups that are relevant to their market and industry. Startup selection for these events will be curated by Mind the Bridge with the support of ESN (European Startup Network). After the Matching events, discussions between the mid-caps and startups will be supported by Mind the Bridge until potential deal closure.


The pilot will be restricted to 30/35  selected mid-caps from Europe.

Criteria for being admitted to the pilot are:

  • Revenue : €100/150M+
  • Concrete plans to adopt Industry 4.0 technologies and other innovative solutions (cyber-physical systems, robotics, IOT, and cloud computing, etc)
  • Open Minded Approach
  • Commitment to participate in Matching events with a C-level executive

If you are interested to be considered, please fill up this application form.

For more information, contact Eleonora and Maroane at Mind the Bridge at: