Small to medium-sized technology companies in the UK now have direct representation in Brussels, thanks to a new industry association.
Called the Pan European ICT & eBusiness Network for Small to Medium Enterprises (PIN-SME), the new body is the first to specifically represent the needs of smaller technology businesses in the EU – a critical area traditionally dominated by larger technology enterprises.
PIN-SME is made up of national federations and ICT clusters from 8 EU countries. The United Kingdom is represented by the UK IT Association (UKita), the national trade association for technology SMEs.
Fred Noble, Chairman, UKita said: “The creation of a Europe-wide network representing the needs of technology SMEs is a huge step forward for the industry. The UK has a strong track record in fostering successful smaller high tech businesses, and this announcement will ensure that this continues”.
“We believe that European SMEs must speak with one voice on the development of European ICT policies – a voice that is becoming stronger today with the creation of PIN-SME. We fully support this new initiative, which is rooted in the past battles fought by small businesses on software patents, which reinforce monopolisation in the software sector, damage interoperability and act as a barrier to innovation by SMEs”
PIN-SME will focus on gaining consensus over issues such as ICT standardisation, software patents, e-invoicing, e-health and e-skills. The new organisation represents more than 50,000 enterprises employing around 200,000 people from EU countries including the UK, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and Austria.
Fred Noble continued: “It is vital for the continued health of the UK technology SME sector that we are fully integrated into the decision making process at an EU level. Historically smaller organisations have had little say in EU legislative decisions that have affected the way they do business, but this has now changed with UKita’s membership of PIN-SME.”
UKita is a national organisation for technology SMEs funded by Advantage West Midlands and is one of several projects, including the new national supplier standard Accredit UK, within the Advantage West Midlands ICT Cluster, designed to put the region at the forefront of the technology sector in the UK.