BIND 4.0 SME Connection Initiative


Deadline: 22-Dec-21

The Basque Open Innovation Platform is accepting proposals for the BIND 4.0 SME Connection Initiative.

What is the BIND 4.0 SME Connection Initiative?

  • Through the BIND 4.0 SME Connection, innovative Startups will discover current industry challenges and get immersed in the cooperative Basque Entrepreneurial and Innovation Ecosystem through Open Innovation. Participating Startup teams have the chance to earn reputable reference customers while working on paid contracts implementing solutions in real environments for one or more leading local companies.
  • This public-private initiative, a new branch of BIND 4.0, led by industry Cluster Management Organizations (CMO) in the Basque Country, aims to connect them with exciting Startup teams, to provide specialized solutions for their open innovation, digital transformation needs.
  • The driving force behind the SME Connection initiative is to make the most of the connections and expertise gained from the BIND 4.0 Open Innovation Platform, in order to generate new collaborative opportunities between Basque SMEs and Startup teams worldwide, following the model of Cluster Challenges.

The main goal of the BIND SME Connection pilot program is to take advantage of the knowledge generated in the BIND 4.0 Program. In particular, the objective is to use the knowledge and experience from relationships between Start-ups and partner companies to generate new collaboration opportunities between SMEs and Start-ups based on a model of sectoral challenges.

Through this model, the aim is to identify shared needs / opportunities among the participating SMEs that can be transmitted in the form of a challenge to the Start-ups. This challenge is materialized through the joint execution of pilot projects aimed at testing technological solutions that can be scaled up at a later date.

  • For the Start-ups, the ultimate objective is to facilitate their access to the market and to financing through connections with Industry 4.0 SMEs associated with the Cluster Dynamizing Organizations (ODCs) Acicae, Aclima, ACE, and Uptek (AFM).
  • For the SMEs, the program can act as a fast track to incorporating new technologies and innovative solutions, improving their competitive position and increasing entrepreneurship, while promoting a collaborative work philosophy among the Cluster Dynamising Organizations (ODCs).
Startup Benefits
  • Real Projects with Real Turnover
  • Facilitated Access to Market
  • Rapid Implementation of Solutions
  • Reputable Reference Customer
  • Positioning and Visibility
  • Maintain Technology Ownership
  • BIND 4.0 Proven Success Model
  • Join the Basque Entrepreneurial Ecosystem

Startups benefit from the active participation of technological SME companies seeking targeted solutions to joint challenges created by the SMEs with the Cluster Management Organization.

What is the ideal Startup profile for this program?
  • Startups developing new technologies for the industrial sector and its related services, which have already completed their technological development. In other words, startups that have a product or solution that can be seen, tested, proven, or even already available on the market.
  • Startups that are no more than 8 years old, that present the use of new technologies to improve industrial processes and that are ready to accelerate their business development.
  • Startups with disruptive solutions that can be applied to the Energy, Advanced Manufacturing, Environmental and Automotive industries, including:
    • Artificial Intelligence, Big Data Analytics, Computing, Cybersecurity, Artificial Vision, IoT, 3D Printing – Additive Manufacturing, Collaborative Robotics, Nanotechnology, New Material, AR / VR and so much more!
Characteristics of the participating SMEs
  • SMEs associated with the ODCs participating in the initiative.
  • SMEs linked to the BIND 4.0 verticals: Smart Industry, Clean and Sustainable
  • Energy, Health Tech, and Food Tech.
  • SMEs with at least one activity center in the Basque Country (BIC Araba, BIC Bizkaia, and BIC Gipuzkoa).
  • SMEs with a workforce of less than 250 employees.
  • SMEs with an interest and commitment to work with the Start-ups and that can provide resources that imply sufficient dedication and involvement in the different initiative activities.
Eligibility Criteria
  • Startups from any country can apply for and participate in BIND 4.0.
  • The 2022 Edition is a hybrid online and in-person program with some dates required to attend in person.
  • Startup teams will need to send one team member to the required events hosted in the Basque Country, Spain in order to participate.


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