Business and Innovation Development for Enterprises (BID4E) [2019-2021]

The problem the BID4E project aims to solve is that many manufacturing SMEs in the Botnia-Atlantica region have limited capabilities, tools and networking opportunities for international business development. The consequences of this problem are significant, as SMEs need to be capable to extend their markets internationally to keep up with the competition and to respond to the changes digitalization brings to the global business.

To solve this problem, the project’s goal is to boost regional SME’s international competitiveness by increasing their capabilities in international business and innovation development, in utilization of digitalization, and by obtaining critical mass in cross-border partnerships.

The project aims to engage at least 30 manufacturing SMEs in the Botnia-Atlantica region of Västerbotten, Västernorrland, Ostrobothnia, Central Ostrobothnia and South Ostrobothnia will participate in the project.

The project will implement a rich set of activities to reach its goal. First, the project will perform an analysis of each participating SMEs concerning its international business development capabilities and opportunities. To increase knowledge, the project will arrange training on digitalization as a driver for change, environmental sustainability, increased gender equality, diversity and equal opportunities in the workplace. The project will arrange and lead several cross-border workshops with networking sessions for the SMEs.

To facilitate manufacturing SMEs internationalization efforts, the project will develop two digital user-friendly tools for international business development and provide SMEs assistance on using the tools. Throughout the project, the project team will follow through surveys the practical effects of the project activities on the participating SMEs. The project results will be disseminated through several seminars in the Botnia-Atlantica region. The project results, such as the two digital tools for international business development, will remain available via an open access digital platform even after the project has ended.

At the end of the project, the participating SMEs will have increased their knowledge of opportunities of digitalization and new business models, gained better understanding of international business challenges, have formed new cross-border partnerships and networks as well as raised their competence on new digital tools for international business development.

For more information, see

Funding: Interreg, Botnia-Atlantica

Partners: Finland: University of Vaasa (lead partner), Tampere University, Sweden: Luleå University of Technology, Mid Sweden University

Contact: Project manager Pertti Wathén (; Research director Jari Kolehmainen (