Mrs. Andrea Kurucz, the project manager of Pannon Business Network shared its impressions received during the Stuttgart meeting held in April 2017.

“Stuttgart and Steinbeis Europa Zentrum gave place to our 3rd interregional meeting in UpGradeSME project.

Following the general plan of our regular gatherings on the 1st day we took part on a very intensive work session where our Task Leaders involved us into content related workshops. In different policy topics we tried to find solutions to open questions in cooperation with partners with different policy cultures and economic character.

Policy METHODOLOGY, IMPACT, COMMUNICATION and INTEGRATION are our 4 leading topics along which UpGradeSME participants analyse the policy instruments and good examples dealing with SME internationalization.

Communication counts! It is not only a must.

After the discussion about METHODOLOGY and IMPACT this time we put the main emphasis on Policy COMMUNICATION. This means how the Managing Authorities realized internal and external communication related the policy instruments and what we can do to optimize the weak points and adapt the really good solutions.

We partners participated in a kind of training workshop regarding Policy Communication. The objective was to learn and practice on the “Design of a Policy Communication Strategy”. The Workshop was led by our colleagues from ADRAVE.

We were distributed in three groups, and three policy topics were proposed: (1) SME Internationalization support, (2) Job creation support and (3) Innovation support.

Then we were asked to elaborate one of the components of a Policy Communication Strategy for each of the policy topics. So we tried to elaborate the communication objectives, target groups and main messages, communication tools and an implementation strategy. We had to focus also on evaluation aspects.

To really feel like a Policy maker we had 3 case studies to do this and could really activate the creative field of our brains.

The nice experience in the work shop was that all partners could add proposals to all topics and could practice also a little bit of quality control. Great organization of the colleagues of ADRAVE.


At the end of the session our colleagues from South Muntenia Regional Development Agency - still full of energy - introduced us the focus of our next meeting which will be policy INTEGRATION.

In the evening SEZ invited the tired team and stakeholder from regional SMEs that directly benefited from the German Policy Instrument to a social dinner. Together with the Managing director of SEZ (Dr. Jonathan Loeffler) and the Managing Authority from the German Instrument, UpGradeSME was presented to the participants and the project outcomes have been discussed with the regional stakeholders. 

The next day we got into the bus and traveled to the destination of the Study tour. But this is another story … :) ”