Overview of TESLA project

Transnational Ecosystem Laboratory & Actions
Aim of Project:
Aims to contribute to the creation of a transnational ecosystem supportive of
entrepreneurship through leveraging the capacities and capabilities of the
transnational partners to design and deliver a suite of supports to assist the growth
and development of early stage, technology-based enterprises, with export potential
Indicative Impacts:
•Accelerated internationalisation of HPSUs
•Sector-specific business mentoring by national and international experts so as to drive the
development and expansion of companies into business sectors and markets which are
characterised as fast-growing
•Providing exposure to developments in Entrepreneurial Finance, also Legal Negotiation for
TESLA Project Partnership
1. BMW Regional Assembly – Lead Partner (Ireland)
2. Líonra – Regional Higher Education Network in
BMW Region (Ireland)
3. Cork Institute of Technology (Ireland)
4. European BIC Network (EBN, Belgium)
5. INI-Novation (Darmstadt, Germany)
6. Tilburg University (Netherlands)
7. Bangor University (Wales)
8. Laval-MayenneTechnopole (France)
Structure of the Project
Ten Project Actions:
Creative Industries - EBN, Bangor, Tilburg
New Product Design & Development – CIT, Bangor, LMT
Mentor Plus – Líonra, EBN, INI-Novation, LMT
Innovation Outreach – Líonra, Bangor, INI-Novation
Internationalisation – CIT, EBN, Líonra, INI-Novation, LMT
Co-Incubation/Softlanding – EBN, INI-Novation, Líonra, CIT, LMT
Spin-ins – CIT, Tilburg, Líonra, LMT, Bangor
Entrepreneurial Finance – Tilburg, CIT, INI-Novation
Transnational Placements – LMT, Líonra, CIT, EBN, Bangor, ININovation
Public Procurement – Bangor, Tilburg
Intended Beneficiaries of the Project
• Potential HPSUs/HPKIEs, that can demonstrate rapid
development in recent years.
• Have formulated a viable growth plan for the
business with a particular commitment to
internationalising the business.
• Enterprises with strategic objectives that can be
assisted through TESLA interventions.
Modalities of implementation of Actions
• Call for participating enterprises will be published
about two months prior to commencement of the
• Competitive entry criteria will apply based on a
written application and a completed Needs
Assessment document.
• Enterprises may apply for entry to more than one
Indicative Support for Companies
Assists export-led enterprises in gaining market intelligence and access to export
markets in those countries partnering on the TESLA Project.
Participating enterprises will have the opportunity to be received by a ‘trusted
friend’ in another country who will provide the company with key business
information such as funding, regulatory frameworks, procurement, Trade Fairs,
Exhibitions, etc
Conduct Gap Analysis on International Skills needed by the participating HPSU
Services of a Sectoral Internationalisation Expert
Services of country-specific Internationalisation Expert
One to one follow-up by the Experts
Mentor Plus
• Selected enterprises will be assigned mentors with sector specific knowledge
and expertise drawn from a composite National/International panel of
mentors in order to accelerate the growth & development of the business.
• Enterprises will be assigned a fixed number of mentoring sessions to address
the priority needs of the enterprise as identified through an analysis of the
Needs Assessment document completed by each company when applying for
entry to the programme.
• Mentoring support will be provided across a range of business topics e.g.
Business Planning/Strategy, Finance, Market Research, Sales & Marketing,
Internationalising the business, IP and Branding ………..
New Product Design & Development
• Aimed at providing a comprehensive suite of supports on
new product design and development
• Conduct Gap Analysis of the New Product Design &
Development capabilities within the company
• NP D&D services delivered by an on-site expert
• New Product Design & Development process design may
- Prototype development
- Hardware & schematic design
- Software design
- Industrial design
Innovation Outreach Pilot Action
Targeted at areas with no Third Level physical presence; the initiative will probably
localise in Cavan town and serve Monaghan and Longford.
Knowledge-led enterprise development benefits from close involvement with
Higher Education institutions and their associated commercialisation capabilities
also through their capacity to drive innovation and competitiveness.
The Strategic intent is to develop strong innovation and outreach relationships with
knowledge intensive companies with the aim of shortening the time to market
particularly export markets.
The Action will provide:
 Appropriate training and mentoring for selected companies
 Access to a Business Development Manager to support the enterprises
Developing Business Plans
Conducting Market Research
Developing Sales & Marketing Plans
Procuring Entrepreneurial Finance
Spin-In Programme
• The ‘Spin-In’ initiative is a form of corporate venturing that
facilitates larger indigenous companies and MNCs to spin-in
new business ventures to Incubation Centres through a support
programme that will encourage staff to be more
entrepreneurial within their place of work
• The Spin-In approach allows the large parent corporate to
concentrate on maintaining market strength while pursuing
new products/markets at low risk to the parent corporate’s
• Programme will consist of Workshops for targeted companies
followed by intensive supports from a corporate Venturing
Entrepreneurial Finance
• The Entrepreneurial Finance Action will through a series of interactive
workshops raise awareness among entrepreneurs/HPSUs and investors of
the changes taking place in the venture capital industry with emphasis on
particular funding opportunities suitable for start-ups.
• Participating companies will learn how to encourage investors to invest in
their particular company also to respond credibly to the needs of the
• Topics to be covered include:
– Sourcing of finance, crowd funding, angel investors, super-angel investors ,
venture capital funds, corporate investors
– Venture capital contracting
– Negotiating financing contracts
– Case studies of financing start-ups in Europe
Public Procurement Action
• The Public Procurement Action will prepare and assist early-stage
companies to compete for Public Procurement contracts for goods, services
and solutions.
• Public Procurement procedures are complex to navigate and HPSUs must
have access to practical advice and guidance in order to prepare a
competitive Public Tender.
• Participating companies will be able to access Workshops which will be led
by National and International Public Procurement Experts. The Workshops
will be complemented by one-on-one clinics involving the HPSU and the
procurement expert.
• A “tender surgeries” program involving transnational procurement experts
will provide feedback on draft tenders and will offer advice on how the
tender document can be improved in order to enhance prospects for a
successful bid.
Creative Industries
• This Action focuses on creative entrepreneurs operating
within one of Europe’s most dynamic industry sectors.
• The Action will lead to the creation of a Network which
will provide the business supports needed by the Creative
Entrepreneurs to expand their small-scale enterprises into
HPSUs capable of generating employment within the
wider North West Europe area.
• Support to be provided include:
– Start-up toolkit
– Workshops
– Creative industries community support framework
Transnational Placements
• Aimed at promoting temporary placement of
Innovation Centre Managers, Tech Transfer Officers,
Commercialisation Managers, in accredited
Innovation Centres in partner countries.
• This initiative is seen as an important tool in further
developing the skills and knowledge of staff through
exposure to new areas of expertise, processes and
business methods in enterprises and Centres that have
developed these capabilities.
TESLA Budget
• Overall Project Budget: €3,832,440
• ERDF Co-financed by North West Europe
Interreg IVB Programme at 50% of costs
→ Total Grant €1,916,220
• Ireland’s allocation of the : €1,484,216 shared
between BMW Assembly, Líonra and CIT
• Delivery Timeframe: May 2012 – May 2015
Project Outcomes
• 612 firms will be engaged in the 10 initiatives
• 55 new products designed and/or developed
• 45 HPKIEs will be established
• 68 support workshops will be hosted
• 850 expert days will be provided to firms