Sometimes it's the step across the border that drives technological developments in Münsterland: since 2016, the INTERREG project iPro-N has opened the door for German-Dutch cooperation between small and medium-sized enterprises, thus promoting numerous innovations. In Münsterland alone, more than 40 companies benefited from the project, in which Münsterland e.V. was involved as a partner. This means that by the end of the project at the end of the year, a funding sum of around 850,000 euros will have flowed to companies in the region.
"It's not just the figures that prove the success of the project," says Ruth Petermann, project manager and regional coordinator for Münsterland in the iPro-N project. "Equally important are the innovative and forward-looking projects as well as the new networks that have been created through iPro-N." iPro-N offered small and medium-sized enterprises a wide range of support: from initial discussions and the development of a concept to the construction of a prototype. At the same time, the project supported companies financially, assisted with feasibility studies and mediated between partners across the border.
The innovations driven by iPro-N are very different. The company Tecdoors Türenmanufaktur GmbH from Bocholt, for example, has used the support of iPro-N to automate the production process of adaptable fire doors. The company Hagedorn Software Engineering GmbH from Warendorf developed a software system called "d.Fence" that enables secure remote access for electronic control systems. And the company "3-D.services" from Gronau, together with the company Wilhelm Severt Maschinenbau GmbH from Vreden and the company Protyp BV from the Netherlands, has developed a robot-supported 3D printing process through the iPro-N funding project: This makes it possible to eliminate the limitation of the component sizes to be printed.
By the end of the year, the iPro-N project had supported a total of 140 companies in Germany and the Netherlands. The project volume amounts to about 11.6 million euros. In addition to Münsterland e.V., the project partners were: Oost N.L. (lead partner in the project), TechnologieCentrum Noord-Nederland (TCNN), Novel T, Emsland GmbH and TAFH Münster GmbH. A follow-up project has already been applied for, which will fund one development project from each region.
iPro-N was funded by the European Union through the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as part of the INTERREG VA Programme Germany-Nederland. The most important facts and figures are also available at www.ipro-n.eu - with many videos about the innovations of the participating companies.