EXPLORATION for small and medium manufacturing companies

Financial support for Exploration (EXPLORE) aims to facilitate SMEs internationalisation strategy by supporting their participation to business fairs and other international event deemed interesting for their activities, in targeted countries (North America, Japan, ASEAN countries) and in relation to Green Manufacturing.

Up to 40 projects will obtain support up to 1,500€ for each SME.


GEMSTONE strategy

To identify key needs and challenges for manufacturing companies around Green Manufacturing

To support manufacturing companies in assessing their needs for new skills related to Green Manufacturing and guide them towards the relevant vocational training offers and providers

To provide services and tools to manufacturing companies to create opportunities for international development in terms of business and innovation around Green Manufacturing

To provide financial support to innovative SMEs to facilitate emergence of new concrete solutions and sustainable value chains within the areas identified by the project

Green manufacturing is both a path and an end combining redesigned production processes and environmentally friendly operations covering all stages and all actors of the manufacturing value chains, from design to end of life, and enabling the transition to truly circular business models and the emergence of longer-lived processes, products or equipment in existing and emerging value chains. Green manufacturing is a global approach to be understood in the multitude of its challenges, objectives and impacts on the use of energy resources, the consumption of raw materials in a finite world context, the reduction of air pollution, water and soil, waste management, the balance of biodiversity… These multiple aspects, the consideration and evaluation of which are necessary to make any industrial approach greener, imply that the notion of ecosystem is at the heart of heart of green manufacturing reflections by integrating the place of the human, as a citizen and worker, and that of the territory in these reflections.

C10 – Manufacture of food products | C13 – Manufacture of textiles | C16 – Manufacture of wood and of products of wood and cork, except furniture; manufacture of articles of straw and plaiting materials | C17 – Manufacture of paper and paper products | C22 – Manufacture of rubber and plastic products | C23 – Manufacture of other non-metallic mineral products | C24 – Manufacture of basic metals | C25 – Manufacture of fabricated metal products, except machinery and equipment | C28 – Manufacture of machinery and equipment n.e.c. | C29 – Manufacture of motor vehicles, trailers and semi-trailers | C30 – Manufacture of other transport equipment | C32 – Other manufacturing


Each selected SME in this call will receive a financial support of €1.500 (lumpsum) to be used to support:

Participation in trade fairs/international event for companies providing services, technologies, solutions linked to green transition and green manufacturing, such as:

  • Market exploration;
  • Branding, sales and marketing of company;
  • Demonstrate their solutions/technologies (e.g., booth visitations and exhibitions);
  • Sharing knowledge, experience and information in Green Manufacturing specific areas.

Participation in trade fairs/international event, study visits or learning mission having a specific focus on Green manufacturing:

  • To gain knowledges, explore Green Manufacturing existing solutions;
  • To attend B2B events,
  • To do networking activities, identification of new partners and creation of new business opportunities;
  • To support project development, innovation and research and development.

The events targeted must be organized outside EU-member states, with specific attention brought in the targeted strategic areas defined in the call and the project roadmap:

  • North America (Canada and USA);
  • Japan;
  • ASEAN countries (Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Brunei, Vietnam, Laos, Myanmar, Cambodia).

Take a look Portfolio Map T-I-E (Train-Innovate-Explore) interactive tool contains information about service providers related to improving skills, technological innovation and internationalization of their activities.

Elegible applicants

The call is open to manufacturing SMEs, and in particular industrial equipment and tool providers, willing to gain knowledge on solutions offered by Green Manufacturing. The project targets in priority manufacturing SMEs active in the following 5 industrial sectors:






However, SMEs involved in other manufacturing sectors and working on Green Manufacturing challenges are also eligible.

Further eligibility criteria are available in section 2.5 of the Guide for Applicants.

Financial support: The maximum financial support per financial support for Exploration (Explore) is €1.500 in the form of a lump sum. The maximum budget for each cut-off will be as seen in the table.

  • 8 cut-offs will be organised by GEMSTONE project to provide opportunities for applicants in 2023, 2024 and 2025.
  • The total EU funding available for the Call EXPLORE is €60 000,00.
  • Maximum Budget per application: 1500
  • Type of activity supported: Internationalization
  • Type of financial support: Lump sum
  • Start date: 15/06/2023 00:00
  • End date: 31/12/2024 17:00

GEMSTONE aims to mobilise manufacturing companies, in particular innovative SMEs, on the challenges of “Green Manufacturing” by developing a dedicated joint service offer and operational and financial support tools around the 3 pillars “Train, Innovate, Explore” to encourage and empower manufacturing companies in their environmental and digital transition process.

The project aims to define, deepen and apply a common methodology on issues related to Green Manufacturing in 5 identified industrial sectors: Aeronautics/Defence, Energy, Mobility, Agriculture/Agri-food, Materials. This ambition is driven by the thoughtful association of European clusters with complementary ecosystems both in terms of expertise and priority targets, bringing together organizations and people facilitating innovation.