General Information

Host Organisation

Office Address
Kienestraße 35 | 70174 Stuttgart | Germany

Office Contacts Details
Dr. Jennifer Bilbao | +49 711 123 4025 |
Sonja Hake | +49 711 123 4032 |

Coverage Area
Germany (Baden-Württemberg, Bavaria, Thuringia, Saxony, Brandenburg, Mecklenburg Western Pomerania, Berlin)

Availability for the Clients
Whenever a client needs support, in total 8h per week

Spoken Languages
German, English, Spanish

KETGATE Point Staff


Dr. Jennifer Bilbao (f) obtained a Bachelor’s Degree in Environmental Engineering in Quito, Ecuador. 2005 she moved to Stuttgart, Germany to study a Master Programme on Environmental Process Engineering. During her PhD at the University Hohenheim, Germany she developed an electrochemical technology to recover valuable products from wastewater. This technology has been patented and licensed to a US company. From 2011 until 2017, she led the research group ‘Nutrients Management’ at the Fraunhofer Institute for Interfacial Engineering and Biotechnology (IGB) in Stuttgart, Germany. Dr. Bilbao has 12 years of experience developing innovative technologies. Her work focuses on process optimisation, scale-up and demonstration with the aim of market introduction. She has worked as project manager of more than 15 national and international funded projects and patented five technologies. Currently, she works at Steinbeis-Europa-Zentrum as project manager on the areas of open innovation, key enabling technologies and circular economy.

Heike Fischer (f) is senior project manager and team leader. Heike holds two degrees, one MBA and one Diploma in Economics. Heike has been working as an innovation consultant for 16 years at Steinbeis-Europa-Zentrum (SEZ), providing transnational technology and innovation consultancy services to SMEs and researchers in the ICT sector for transnational technology cooperation throughout Europe. She has collected experience in innovation auditing, technology profiling, funding mechanisms for SMEs and training of SMEs in participation in EU co-operations (FP 6 and 7). She coordinated the TIPS project (FP7 transport CSA, 2012-2014) analyzing FP7 Transport projects concerning their successful exploitation of transport R&D. She has a degree in Economy.

With the start of the Enterprise Europe Network in 2008, she took over responsibility for coordinating the consortium’s activity in the innovation support services for the Baden-Württemberg region. Within the network she chaired the special sector group on ICT from 2011-2013. Working with SMEs on a daily basis, she analyses the SME’s capacity for innovation and can identify gaps and bottlenecks and works with them to identify the most important areas for improvement. She was heading the team implementing a European Commission funded tender “Support to the implementation of the KETs  Action Plan with focus on promoting cooperation between EU KETs Technology Centres of Excellence”. Currently she is involved in several study activities developing policy recommendations on innovation policy, open innovation, KET Technology Centres etc.

About Steinbeis-Europa-Zentrum

Steinbeis-Europa-Zentrum (SEZ) is an independent economic entity within the Steinbeis Foundation. It was founded in March 1990 as the operational unit of the Commissioner for Europe of Baden-Württemberg’s Minister of Economics. SEZ’s core activity is to promote European RTD programmes and to support cross-border technology transfer.

SEZ supports Small and Medium-sized Enterprises on behalf of the Ministry of Economic Affairs, Labour and Housing of Baden-Württemberg. At the same time, it supports the Universities of Applied Sciences on behalf of the Ministry of Science, Research and the Arts Baden-Württemberg.

SEZ’s services include:
> Providing information regarding European research programmes and other EU funding possibilities
> Offering advice regarding European project bidding and the financing of projects
> International partner search for partners in transnational projects and technology transfer
> Offering support in transnational technology transfer
> International conferences and information days concerning European research and innovation programmes

Ecosystem Area

Baden-Württemberg is one of the leading economic regions not only in Germany but also in Europe. It is home to internationally renowned corporations and thousands of successful innovative SMEs with a high level of productivity.

Baden-Württemberg is characterised by a strong industry, a sophisticated research landscape, a modern infrastructure, a low unemployment rate as well as a high export ratio. SMEs form the backbone of the regional economy. Baden-Württemberg is home to 277 so-called hidden champions which are world market leaders in their respective field, as developers and producers of highly specialised products. Of particular importance for the economic development of Baden-Württemberg is the growth in the knowledge-intensive service sectors with close ties to manufacturing industry.

Baden-Württemberg is one of Europe’s top regions for innovation. 5.1 per cent of Baden-Württemberg’s gross domestic product is invested in research and development. This figure makes Baden-Württemberg the leading innovator in a comparison to the other EU regions.   This degree of investment pays off as relatively seen to the population the most patents in Germany were registered in Baden-Württemberg. Furthermore, Baden-Württemberg is also home to many leading research institutions, e.g. the Institutes of the Max-Planck Society, the German Cancer Research Centre, the German Aerospace Centre, the Centre for Solar Energy and Hydrogen Research Baden-Württemberg as well as the Institutes of the Fraunhofer Society.

New areas for growth extend beyond the classical sectors and industry boundaries of the regional economy offer enormous potential for innovation. These include primarily four future areas: Sustainable mobility, environmental technology and resource efficiency, health and healthcare as well as embedded systems and IT services.

In these domains, Baden-Württemberg benefits from a close network of research institutes and business clusters. Focusing on sustainable production methods and materials, Baden-Württemberg-based companies are working intensively to assume a pioneering role in the leading industries of the future.

Additional Services of SEZ

Financing Innovation
European research programmes provide funding for research and innovation. We help our industry and research-based clients to source appropriate EU funding programmes. We advise on Horizon 2020 participation as well as other EU programmes including Eurostars, COSME and INTERREG. We accompany our clients from the idea for a new product to market entry and offer support in applying for and implementing European innovation projects. We tailor our services to individual client needs.

Innovation Management
The competitiveness of companies, particularly SMEs, is largely determined by their ability to generate and develop innovation products and processes and introduce these to the market. Innovation management – the systemic planning and management of innovation processes in companies – plays an important role. We offer tailored support to our clients in analysing innovation ideas and transforming them into marketable products.

Market Entry and Internationalisation
The continued globalisation of markets compels companies in innovative sectors to internationalise. The first step is often about gaining a foothold in neighbouring country markets. This still presents Small and Medium-sized enterprises with a massive challenge. Insecurity prevails due to deficits in information, cultural differences and financial risk in the high-tech sector often paired with the fear of sharing technological know-how.

Innovation Policy
As the operational unit of the Commissioner for Europe of the Minister of Finance and Economics Baden-Württemberg, we have regular dialogue with political administrations and functionaries at the regional level. We consult with the European Commission, in particular the Directorates General for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs and Research & Innovation.

Events and Trainings
Designing and implementing events of all sizes to provide information on a whole range of innovation-relevant topics is a service provided by our team of event specialists in cooperation with our thematic experts. Our event portfolio includes informative congresses, discussion-based events and matchmaking events at regional, national and European level.
We also offer specialised training courses in innovation topics regionally and all over Europe. As well as our standardised training courses, we can provide specialised training sessions in all areas of our expertise on request.