Go to expert opinions


How to better position your organisation among the key EU innovation stakeholders?

eu positioning service
Marcos Jareño

Marcos Jareño

International Business Development

Whether you have recently decided to get involved in the Research and Innovation EU-funded programmes environment or you already have experience in participating in European projects, Zabala Innovation’s EU positioning service will help you establish your organisation as a partner of choice among the entities leading the most ambitious innovative projects in the EU.

Zabala Innovation is a leading international consulting firm specialised in innovation strategy and R&D&I funding. With more than 36 years of experience in EU-funded programmes and a team of more than 400 experts located in 12 different offices, it supports organisations in their innovative drive to turn it into the key factor of their competitiveness.

Our Brussels office has accompanied organisations in their journey across the EU-funded programmes’ environment since 2003. Currently composed of a team of 16 international experts, one of the services we provide is the EU positioning. Our presence in the capital of the EU, our dynamic collaboration with European institutions in the management of several initiatives, our experience in EU project funding and our presence at key events provide us with unique expertise and substantial competitive advantage to efficiently advise and position our clients.

Why is it important to be well-positioned in the EU programmes environment?

The Research and Innovation EU programmes bring together the most innovative, competitive and excellent organisations across the continent and represent a unique opportunity to transform ambitious ideas into funded projects that will pave the way to overcoming the complex challenges of today and tomorrow.

Identifying and understanding the most suitable funding opportunities is just a part of the game. Finding the best possible partners to collaboratively implement those projects is also crucial. As it happens in any domain, a series of key players lead the way, having acquired extensive expertise in the definition of excellent consortia and projects.

Our long experience in the field has taught us that aspects like knowing these key players, learning about their interests and priorities and making them aware of ours, identifying previous similar experiences, establishing common trust, and showing dynamism when adapting to different scenarios, are crucial to be able to build collaborations with the most active and experienced actors of each sector and benefit from as many funding opportunities as possible.

Why does our experience make Zabala Innovation a good travelling companion?

Our active involvement in more than 50 ongoing projects and the submission of more than 200 European proposals per year, provide us with an excellent overview of the entire EU-funded programmes ecosystem.

Moreover, our presence in Brussels has taught us that being at the heart of the action grants us access to crucial intelligence and increases the opportunities to establish meaningful connections with key stakeholders. We do so on your behalf: our ultimate aim is to act as a representative of your organisation for all instances related to EU-funded programmes at the heart of the EU district in Brussels.

Becoming active in the EU projects domain requires a considerable investment in terms of time, financial and human resources. Therefore, organisations should avoid blindly jumping into this highly competitive environment and just hope for the best. Abraham Lincoln used to say: “Give me six hours to chop down a tree, and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe”. Preparation and experience are key to success. For decades, Zabala Innovation has helped organisations to define effective strategies to position their businesses in strategic sectors of interest, bringing them together with their relevant leading actors and facilitating their inclusion in EU projects with the most active stakeholders.

How can the EU positioning service benefit your organisation?

The EU positioning service is meant to be a 1- to 2-year preparatory action for those organisations that want to become leading actors and in a near future, promote their own project ideas and build consortiums around them. For those cases in which the organisation does not have a representation in Brussels, Zabala Innovation Europe undertakes this role. If it already has a dedicated team in the field, our service significantly reinforces its activity. In the process, our approach enables us to bring multiple benefits to your organisation:

  • We consistently work with clients to identify new strategic sectors for collaboration and determine whether their activities can be structured into strategic collaborative Research and Innovation projects at the EU level and to be submitted to the EU call for proposals.
  • We help clients expand their international network of contacts, reaching out to leading partners from across Europe, and positioning their collaboration at the forefront of the identified strategic sectors.
  • We provide business intelligence processes to identify the main stakeholders across different fields, the amount of EU funding they have received and how it is allocated across different sectors, which are the main projects they are currently implementing and who their main partners are.
  • Organisations optimise their innovation funding strategies, obtaining a better idea of how they could align their strategic areas of activity with the European Commission’s priorities.
  • We make an analysis of the relevant networks and associations, their role in the EU framework and information on the optimal way in which to participate.
  • We identify and contact the most relevant people responsible for the definition of EU work programmes and regulations to keep you up-to-date on the latest developments.
  • We constantly work towards improving your participation in projects promoted by European coordinators in strategic sectors of interest.

Expert person

Marcos Jareño
Marcos Jareño

Brussels Office

International Business Development