Business Creation Pillar: The Gazelle Factory Program
The Gazelle Factory Program (GFP) groups together the Business Creation (BC) Programmes of EIT Manufacturing, namely “Create”, “Accelerate” and “Transform”. They aim to create and accelerate the next generation of European high-growth ambitious manufacturing companies known as gazelles, but not only. Many established manufacturing companies are struggling to remain competitive and face a risky future ahead unless they undergo profound transformation. Therefore, the GFP also accompanies established companies that have decided to go through extreme changes to remain competitive, by empowering them in two of the keys of success: adoption of new technologies and business models. Two “Accelerate” projects and two “Transform” projects will be implemented in 2020.
The GFP builds upon the strong capacities of EIT Manufacturing partners and network partners to support BC activities in their local context. In particular, Business Creation (BC) activities, as understood by EIT Manufacturing, can be supported by organizations offering the services shown in Figure 2 1:
Figure 2 1 Business Creation support services
A preliminary assessment of the BC support ecosystem of EIT Manufacturing, performed in collaboration with the members of the BC Working group, revealed that in the ramp-up of the GFP, we can already work together with over 60 organizations experienced in supporting BC activities all over Europe. One third are owned or legally linked to the partnership, while the others are already part of our Networking Partners or in negotiations to enter this partner category. Incubator, accelerator and brokerage services are widespread in this ecosystem, while technology transfer and investment services are not on top of their portfolio. Intrapreneurship services are very limited (see Figure 2 2). Services provided across CLCs show a similar pattern (see Figure 2 3).
Figure 2 2 Type of services provided by the BC support ecosystem
Figure 2 3 Type of services provided by the BC ecosystem across the CLCs
The EIT Manufacturing’s Business Creation Working Group (BC WG), established in March 2019, provided meaningful insights to comprehend the strengths and drawbacks of the current BC ecosystem, and advised the Interim Director of Business Creation in the approach and contents of the GFP. The BC WG is made of 27 members coming from 18 organisations.