EMCC European Monitoring Centre on Change


Phase: Anticipation
  • Access to finance
  • response to COVID-19
  • Support for digitalisation
  • Advice
  • Support of companies' growth
  • Support of internationalisation
  • Support of SMEs
Last modified: 30 September, 2020
Име (на собств. език):


Име на английски:



SMEs that developed their own internationally competitive product/service that has been marketed in the domestic market.

The specific requisites are:

  • To offer their own products or services that can be marketed internationally and that have their own brands. In the case of a service company, it has to be able to provide its service abroad.
  • SMEs cannot be subsidiaries of a foreign company.
  • To have a minimum billing (which will be defined in each call), this amount is usually reduced for newly created start-ups.
  • To have an export level below a certain percentage of the company's turnover (to be established in each call).
  • To have qualified workforce.
  • To have financing capacity to implement the project.
  • To require advice to develop and promote the strategy and the business plan.
  • And not having participated previously in an ICEX programme.

Main characteristics

The programme started in 2012. This integral practical programme supports the companies along the different phases of their international projects, both during the beginning and consolidation in foreign markets. It is a two-year programme (24 months). It offers two main elements: assessment (60 hours of personalised assessment to companies, 30 mandatory and 30 optional, by a panel of expert consultants in the area of internationalisation, who will provide assessment both on the design of the internationalisation plan and on destination countries to consolidate their position) and coverage of around 50% of the expenses related to the assessment services, market research, external promotion and hiring of staff for the internationalisation department in the company (up to a maximum of € 15,000 per company as of 2020).

In spring 2020, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many companies incurred cancellations of numerous events planned to support their internationalisation with the support of ICEX. In many cases, expenses had already been paid. ICEX, based on the Royal Decree-Law 11/2020, 31 March (Real Decreto-ley 11/2020, de 31 de marzo) will grant companies additional aid based on non-recoverable expenses incurred. During the pandemic, ICEX is offering information on digital tools which can enable a company to internationalise.


  • National funds

Involved actors

National government
Ministerio de Industria, Comercio y Turismo (Ministry of industry, trade and tourism)
Spanish Institute of Foreign Trade (ICEX) does the coordination and management of the programme.


During the period 2012-2018 the programme supported 2,552 entertprises, the breakdown by sector is: 16% of companies in agri-food, 13% in consumer goods, 37% in industrial products and technology, 34% in services. During 2018, 375 new companies were supported by the programme. The programme has supported 1,860 companies during the period 2012-2016. The only results available for this period (years 2012 and 2013) shows that companies participating in ICEX NEXT increased their export volume of 50% on average.


It supports SMEs to develop their internationalisation. It provides advice and financial support (Lahtinen and Rannikko 2018Palomo 2017).



Coverage/eligibility criteria are quite restrictive (Lahtinen and Rannikko 2018).


Nimbeo, a start-up (dedicated to the creation, design and marketing of solutions applied to the treatment of Big Data) opened its first office in the United States (specifically in Silicon Valley) supported by the ICEX Next programme.
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