The Project

ACCESS is a joint project of 13 organisations from five countries and is co-financed by the European Community. Its aim is to strengthen the competitiveness of SMEs in certain border regions of the old EU Member States that belong to those economic sectors which are particularly affected by the EU enlargement. The project started in May 2004 and will run until April 2006.

The targeted SMEs are small, micro and sole proprietorship businesses operating in the following regions and sectors: construction and environmental technologies in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern and Brandenburg in Germany , and construction and wood in Friuli-Venezia Giulia in Italy .

Due to the restrictions of these SMEs in terms of human and financial resources, they do not possess the market research facilities and specialized legal and commercial teams necessary to assess and make use of the opportunities arising through enlargement nor to prepare and conclude cooperation agreements with companies in the new EU Member States.

In order to provide this special size class of SMEs with the competitive edge to master their future and enable them to profit from the new market possibilities that will arise from the EU enlargement, the project focuses on bringing these enterprises together with providers of support services that can help them build new strategies and access the new Member State markets.

The project activities offer the target group tailor made, sector specific events in form of seminars and coaching sessions. They are designed to facilitate contacts with support service providers and potential business partners both within the respective region and its counterpart in the neighbouring new Member State .

The expected results are an increased awareness and use of available services of support providers by the catered for category of businesses and a rise in inter-regional and cross border cooperation.

The primary target group are SMEs from the building, environmental technologies and wood sector. Targeted SMEs offer products and services in the following fields:

•  construction trades and technologies, incl. metal construction

•  building elements and constructions (windows, doors, prefab)

•  heating, ventilation, refrigeration, sanitary technology

•  measuring, control and process technology for buildings

•  restoration and protection of monuments and historic buildings

•  furniture

•  etc.


This document has been produced with the financial assistance of the European Union. The contents of this document are the sole responsibility of ZDH and can under no circumstances be regarded as reflecting the position of the European Union.