A recent conference, held in Bratislava, Slovakia, entitled .SMEs and entrepreneurs: boosting business using satellite applications" highlighted the opportunities satellite services can offer small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs).
The conference, co-organised by Eurisy and the Ministry of Education, Science, Research and Sport of the Slovak Republic, presented successful examples of how SMEs can benefit from economic growth, improved business processes and increased competitiveness through the use of satellite applications.
The conference brought together SMEs and entrepreneurs from a variety of sectors outside the space industry to learn about innovative and operational satellite applications for enhancing business processes and creating new business and services.
Delegates were able to find out more about satellite services and how they might help address their business needs by hearing testimonial from SME end-users of satellite applications on how satellite technology has benefitted their businesses.
Representatives from SMEs shared concrete examples of how satellite applications are used in different sectors and highlighted success stories from the use of satellite services in the Slovak region, with early adopters of satellite applications reporting their value for money was proven in daily operations.
Key issues discussed at the one day event included the need to help SMEs access satellite applications in order for them to compete in the global market and the barriers which prevent them from adopting satellite services. It was highlighted that SMEs need dedicated support in order to overcome some of the obstacles preventing their use of satellite applications.
One of the major issues discussed was how the take up of satellite services by SMEs is impacted by a lack of sufficient resources, preventing SMEs from penetrating new markets and developing solutions to meet their needs. SMEs may be financially vulnerable since they generate modest profits and have little access to private capital. However they are a vital part of the European economy and therefore have a crucial role in its success and competitiveness.
The key role that SMEs play in the European economy and the difficulties they encounter with accessing resources for implementing satellite solutions for their businesses highlights the importance of assistance from European support programmes. However, delegates reported that they find it hard to understand and access the mechanisms for funding and support in Europe.
The IAP Ambassador Platform for SMEs (APsme), hosted by Eurisy and IAP Ambassador Platform for Central and Eastern European Region (APCEE), presented information about IAP opportunities for SMEs in the Slovak Republic to both use and develop new products and services based on satellite technology.
Marie-Laure Germain, APsme manager explained; .Helping to unlock the potential within the SME market for satellite solutions has benefits for both the integrated applications industry and SMEs. That is why we are working with SMEs to raise awareness of the possible advantages offered to them by satellite services and help them to overcome the barriers they may encounter when trying to access satellite applications..
Conclusions and recommendations of the conference can be viewed on the Eurisy website here