In Vila Nova de Famalicao in Portugal, the colleagues of the hosting partner – ADRAVE – warmly welcomed the international partners, the local and foreign stakeholders to take part on the 2-day interregional meeting of the UpGradeSME project.

After the introduction round and the short discussion about internationalization advantages the expert of the Minho University, Mr. Pedro Vieira hold a very inspiring presentation about the Portugal internationalization trends, barriers and solutions.

As next point of the discussion the Portugal local stakeholders – invited companies – presented their opinion and experiences on going abroad. Two different aspects were presented.

Alma De Luce as a company producing very exclusive and rare furniture presented the message of their products and the way how they could enter international niche markets.

The representative of the Portuguese industrial company INJEX engaged in the manufacture of technical components in plastic presented their products which are used in cars and machines. The head of the company explained their strategy on going abroad and what they learned, how will they proceed.

After the Portugal experiences Prof. Norbert Hoptner as Commissioner for Europe of the Minister of Economic Affairs, Labour and Housing Baden-Wurttemberg presented the internationalization aspect of the Baden-Wurttemberg region and the history of the German policy instrument.

As next program point the partners participated the study tour to the MadeInCubar incubator after the lunch were companies seated in the incubator house presented their products and services. The partners learned about the start and operation of the incubator house.  

After the excursion the partner changed to the deep analysis of the involved policy instruments on SME internationalization. The coordinators of the analysis topics POLICY METHODOLOGY, IMPACT and COMMUNICATION coordinated interactive sessions to invite the participants for brainstorming. The coordinators Steinbeis Europa Zentrum, Business Development Friesland and ADRAVE presented their work method and initiated the discussion among the partners. As a result all partners could deeply analyse the 6 policy instruments and contribute with building critiques.