Involving international experts

Open Target group: Exporting companies and companies with export potential

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The service of involving international experts will decrease risks, make it easier for companies to involve experts with specific knowledge and help save time that would otherwise be spent searching for an expert.

The service helps to find experts from five target markets:

  • Sweden

  • Norway

  • Germany

  • China

  • United Arab Emirates


A company may enter the service with their own expert if they have one whose help they wish to utilise, whether they belong to the target group or not (the expert must meet certain requirements).

We await participation from small and medium-sized enterprises:

  • who have the ambition and financial capacity to enter new export markets;

  • who wish to grow in their target markets

  • or develop an internationally competitive product and who could use expert help to speed up progress.


The service can be used in the field of product development and export.

Possible topics for using an expert in the field of product development are:

- Creating a product or service development baseline task and advising on product development while considering the characteristics of the target market

- Consultation on adapting products or services for the target market

- Consultation on simulation and prototyping

- Other consultation topics requested by the client in the field of product development

Possible topics for using an expert in the field of export are:

- Producing an overview of the sector on the target market

- Market entry strategy

- Positioning the product or service on the target market and selecting a customer segment

- Consultation on required certificates and standards

- Consultation on a market entry business model

- Consultation on assembling a supply chain

- Marketing advice (marketing channels, messages, value propositions, key trade fairs, etc.)

- Mediating client contact details (distributors, agents, wholesalers, partners, etc.) and preparing for meetings with clients

- Consultation topics related to business growth in the target country

- Other export-related topics requested by the client, excluding representing the client at sales meetings on the target market.

Enterprise Estonia's partners in the service of involving international experts are the Estonian Chamber of Commerce and Industry , German-Baltic Chamber of Commerce, Gateway & Partners and Nifor.

The service will be co-funded by the European Regional Development Fund.

Goal

Results


Terms and Conditions

  • The company can enter to the service in two ways:
  • the company requests the service of finding an expert;
  • the company enters the service with their own expert.
  • The company has the chance to use an expert for twelve months, starting from when they are accepted into the service by Enterprise Estonia.
  • Enterprise Estonia shall compensate the company participating in the service for 50% of the expert’s fee, but no more than 10,000 euros (excluding VAT) per expert.
  • Entering the service takes place through application rounds:
  • Round I 03 May 2021 – 15 June 2021 (ended).
  • Round II 06 September 2021 – December 1 2021.
  • Round III will open in 2022 if there are sill financial resources available (more information will be made available on the home page of Enterprise Estonia).
  • Applications can be submitted on the home page of Enterprise Estonia here.
  • The service will be open for a maximum of two years (any work with experts must be concluded on 31 March 2023 at the latest). Enterprise Estonia has the right to end the service or stop its funding due to insufficient resources.
  • Enterprise Estonia will notify participants on its home page if the service will be closed or stopped.

Terms and conditions that must be met by the expert

  • The expert must, at the very least, meet the minimum requirements set forth by Enterprise Estonia.
  • Minimum requirements for a product development expert: At least 36 months of experience in the target market (according to the target market chosen by the company) in the field of product development as a product development expert, engineer, architect, designer, lead designer or other role directly responsible for product development in the last 60 months beginning from when the company is approved for the service by Enterprise Estonia.
  • Minimum requirements for experts in the export field: At least 36 months of experience in the target market (according to the target market chosen by the company) in a position related to export development (export manager, sales manager, etc.), in the last 60 months beginning from when the company is approved for the service by Enterprise Estonia.
  • More specific criteria for the expert are set by the company that performs the final validation of the candidates and approves the most compatible expert.
  • Experts can be specialists with knowledge and skills or business consultants. Preferably, the expert should be familiar with the specific areas of activity of the company.
  • The expert must not be in a contractual relationship with the company at the time of the service and must not be employed in the consortium of the company.
  • If a company enters the service with a personal expert, they must have had contact with their expert previously, described the nature of their problem and the company must possess written consent by the expert to take part in the project.
  • One expert (person) can work as an expert for a maximum of 10 companies starting from the beginning of the service on 1 July 2020.
  • The expert’s task is to assess the input given by companies, agree on the volume and payment of work and consult the company on the agreed upon work in the agreed upon volume and method.
  • Enterprise Estonia reserves the right to end their cooperation with the expert if the businesses working with the same expert have given them and/or their work an average score of 8 out of 10 (with 10 being “very good”) or less.

What must the company do and what are the different stages of the service?

Stage I:

  • The company applies to the service (through Enterprise Estonia’s online form) and provides a detailed description of their need for an expert, filling out all the necessary information. The form can be filled either in English or Estonian.
  • Enterprise Estonia checks whether the company is in compliance with the terms of the service (remaining amount of de minimis aid, excluded fields etc.).
  • Enterprise Estonia makes a query in order to find an expert and/or a project manager (to find a procurement partner) in order to find the best price point from among the framework procurement partners.
  • The company is accepted into the service (by the decision of the committee) and they are introduced to their procurement partner.
  • This entire process inside Enterprise Estonia takes around one month.

Stage II:

  • Within one week of the company’s approval for the service, the successful procurement partner will specify with the company (in a physical or virtual meeting) the profile they submitted during the application period so as to understand their needs, introduce further terms of service and workflow (including billing) and agree on future actions to achieve the desired results.
  • The procurement partner will find an expert matching the company’s profile and will take no more than five months to do so;
  • The company confirms the suitability of the expert in writing.
  • If the company is entering with their own expert, the company must submit the expert’s CV for the procurement partner to assess the expert’s compliance with the terms and conditions of the service.
  • The procurement partner will organise a meeting with the company and the expert (either physically or virtually), so that both the company and the expert have a uniform overview of the terms of the service and the workflow moving forward. During the meeting, the expert and the company will agree on the expert’s workload (number of hours the expert will work), the length of their employment, the list of work they must complete, the outcome of their work, the cost of their work and the terms of payment.
  • After the meeting, the company, expert and procurement partner will sign a three-way contract that describes any agreements, payment terms, the rights and commitments of the parties and the method of payment. The contracts must be signed by a certain date, otherwise Enterprise Estonia has the right to revoke the company’s right to participate in the service.

Stage III:

  • The company pays its own financing 50% of the expert’s fee to the procurement partner of Enterprise Estonia in the total amount as an advance payment to ensure the company’s financial readiness to participate in the service. The company’s own financing remains with the procurement partner in deposit until the work has been done by the expert and the company has accepted them.
  • The company and the expert begin work based on the contract.
  • The company gives interim feedback on the progress of their work to Enterprise Estonia, and the expert submits a report of work performed thus far.

Stage IV:

  • The expert must submit an invoice for the work carried out to the procurement partner in accordance with the payment plan agreed upon in the three-way contract. The procurement partner pays the expert on the basis of the payment plan (the company’s 50% of expert fees and the rest of the expert fees). Enterprise Estonia pays the procurement partner for services performed.

Stage V:

  • The expert submits a final report that includes a list of work performed, results, further advice for the company and copies of invoices.
  • The company gives feedback to Enterprise Estonia.
  • End of service.

Keywords important to this service are: managing expectations and teamwork. The clearer a company can describe their need for an expert aka their problem area, the easier it is for us to find a suitable expert for that company. The potential for reaching the set goal and accomplishing the best results depends on whether the company contributes enough of their time and knowledge into solving their problem and whether they are ready for cooperation.

Working with the expert requires time and dedication. This includes, but is not limited by: implementing changes to the company based on expert advice, research, delving into the problem. The companies must take into account that reaching a solution requires hard work and time.


Participation

Terms for companies interested in participating:

  • We await participation from small and medium-sized enterprises:
  • who have the ambition and financial capacity to enter new export markets,
  • who wish to expand operations in their target markets and develop an internationally competitive project and who could use expert help for quicker progress.
  • The company’s export turnover must have been at least 50,000 euros and their entire turnover at least 200,000 euros during the last financial year, or the company must have an innovative product that they wish to export. An innovative product, in the context of this service, is a product/service/means of production developed and distributed by the company that is either a product/service/means of production new to the world or an existing one that the company has considerably improved. A company with an innovative product must be active and growth-oriented, seeing potential in innovation and with a will to map out and implement this innovation with cooperation from an expert in the field.
  • The company’s strategy calls for entering or expanding to a chosen market and this action has the support of management.
  • The company has familiarised itself with the description of the service, they know which problem they want to solve with the help of the given expert and have a clear vision of the target market on which they wish to use the expert.
  • The company can only pick one target market to apply under. The target market cannot be changed during the project.
  • The company has the ability and readiness to cover 50% of the expert costs.
  • The company cannot apply to the service again before their previous project in the service is complete (beginning from the start of the service on 1 July 2020). Enterprise Estonia reserves the right to allow or disallow a company from entering the service a second time (based on the committee decision).
  • The company can use one expert per project.
  • The company is accepted into the service by Enterprise Estonia, who sends the company a letter of confirmation.
  • After the company has been confirmed into the service by Enterprise Estonia, the latter will compile a three-way contract between the company, Enterprise Estonia’s procurement partner and the expert. The contract will describe all the agreements made between the parties, including payment terms, the rights and commitments of the parties and the method of payment. If the company enters the service with their own expert, the three-way contract must be signed in the span of three months after the company is accepted into the service by Enterprise Estonia. If the service required is finding an expert, the three-way contract must be signed in the span of five and a half months after the company is accepted into the service by Enterprise Estonia. If the three-way contract is not signed by the deadline, Enterprise Estonia has the right to cancel the company’s participation in the service.
  • The company is obliged to give feedback about the service to Enterprise Estonia during and after the service using an electronic feedback form. The feedback that Enterprise Estonia expects from the participants utilises the Customer Satisfaction Score (CSat) method used to measure service quality.
  • The company has a sufficient available balance of de minimis aid as compensation for fees for searching for experts, project management fees and expert fees will be considered de minimis aid. De minimis aid is calculated on the basis of concerns, thus if the company belongs to a concern, the de minimis aid given to them during the current financial year as well as the two previous financial years cannot exceed the maximum amount of de minimis aid of 200,000 euros with the de minimis aid granted for this service (for road transport industry enterprises 100,000 euros).
  • For the service of finding an expert, the de minimis aid amount maximum is 17,400 euros;
  • When entering the service with your own expert, the de minimis aid maximum is 12,600 euros.
    The initial sum is reserved and corrected after the end of the service to reflect the actual expenditure.
  • In order to use the service, the company must fill in the relevant application in the online environment of Enterprise Estonia. In the application, the company describes their profile, specifying why they wish to hire an expert, what their shortcomings are, what kind of expertise is required, etc.
  • The service cannot be used by:
  • companies dealing with the primary production of agricultural products;
  • fishing and aquaculture companies;
  • companies dealing in tobacco, producing tobacco products, processing tobacco products or marketing them;
  • companies organising games of chance and gambling.

APPLY HERE

Anneli Arm, project manager

international sales

anneli.arm@eas.ee

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