New Initiative Unlocks Opportunities for European Companies to Shape a New Wave of Sustainable Economic Growth

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Is the new industrial revolution gaining momentum? Sustainability has long been a key focus of the European Union, shaping the future of production and value chains. Transitioning to a low-carbon and resource-efficient circular economy will require the implementation of new business models, advanced industrial technologies and innovation. It opens new pathways for enterprises.

But how do businesses harness this opportunity? Where to start from? How to be ready to embrace these new technologies? What should be improved? How to position ourselves? How to accelerate growth? These are the questions many European small-and-medium-sized enterprise (SME) founders and managers are asking themselves today. So, in June 2022, the Sustainable Transition to the Agile and Green Enterprise (STAGE) project consortium gathered in Berlin under the STAGE umbrella with the ambition to help companies get the right answers and support their sustainability transition.


What is STAGE?

The STAGE project, with the European Commission’s support, will create an ecosystem with a focus on transforming industrial enterprises into globally leading, agile, and green enterprises. The initiative unites experts from a wide range of fields, including manufacturing, process engineering, and business modelling, finance, and sustainability strategy. In the coming months, the STAGE partners with an extensive network of sustainability centres, will:

– Provide innovation and sustainability assessments to thousands of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and help them create roadmaps with action steps to achieve sustainability goals.

– Train hundreds of Sustainability Advisors and engage them in a strong and supportive sustainability transition ecosystem.

– Deliver in-depth industrial training to hundreds of selected SMEs to build their sustainability transition plans (ST plans).

– Offer financial incentives (vouchers) to SMEs to access tailored advisory services and financial support for implementing the ST plans.

– Facilitate investments to SMEs with the highest potential making them the European industrial economy leaders.


Who can benefit from STAGE?

Industrial SMEs in Europe are welcome to register with any of the STAGE partners and be the first to benefit from the offerings of the initiative. Furthermore, all public and private advisors and consultants working in the sustainability field are encouraged to join the STAGE network.


Who are the STAGE partners?

The STAGE ecosystem was launched under the European Commission’s Horizon programme by 14 reputable organisations spanning 12 countries:

Institute of Entrepreneurship Development (Greece), GND Advisory & Technology (Lithuania), Innovation Network of Advanced Materials (Germany), SICINDUSTRIA (Italy), SINTEF Manufacturing (Norway), Global Factor International Consulting (Spain), Lithuanian Innovation Centre (Lithuania), University of Ljubljana (Slovenia), University College Dublin (Ireland), Bulgarian-Romanian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Bulgaria), Warsaw University of Technology (Poland), Corner Case Technologies (Lithuania), Slovak University of Technology (Slovakia), and HSSMI (United Kingdom).


Role of HSSMI in the STAGE project

HSSMI will support the SME evaluation process by developing an assessment tool focused on three key criteria – innovation, sustainability, and investment. These three criteria will be incorporated into one tool to enable user-friendly and efficient evaluation. The tool will look at capability gaps and investment readiness.

The completion of the evaluation will deliver results and information for SMEs including a roadmap or action plan. This will help the consortium evaluate the type of trainings required to advance the current state of SMEs and select SMEs for investments. HSSMI will also support the trainings offered by the STAGE project consortium, especially as concerns topics such as sustainability, waste reduction, and circular economy.

The evaluation tool is currently being developed and is expected to be launched later this year. It is anticipated that the tool will remain useful after the end of the project as well and support ad-hoc SME evaluation, enabling SMEs to identify the steps they need to take to achieve their desired state of sustainability, innovation, and investment.


To learn more about STAGE and its progress visit

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