European Information Centre
Access to European business information
and public sector tendering opportunities
Introduction Using our EIC services your business will also be
European Info Centres (EIC) forms a network of
over 300 offices throughout Europe. • exploit the potential of the enlarged
Their role is to promote potential business • find out about European Union
opportunities in European markets and programmes and initiatives aimed at small
disseminate free information on EU programmes, and medium sized businesses; and
initiatives, and funding opportunities. • leverage the UK’s membership of the
European Union in general.
Invest NI is the host organisation for the EIC in
Northern Ireland. Based in Belfast, the EIC is run How does it work?
in conjunction with our Business Information
Centre (see separate brochure). You can use our Business Information Services at
any time on an ongoing basis. You can use our
The EIC houses a comprehensive range of enquiry service (see below), make an
market research, company databases and appointment to call in, or call using the contact
directories, and other business information. details overleaf.
The EIC is also part of the Interactive Policy Enquiry Service
Making Initiative where concerns about trade
difficulties in the Single Market are fed back to the The EIC runs an enquiry service, in conjunction
European Commission in Brussels. with our Business Information Services, where
enquiries can be made by email of telephone,
How will it help me? between 9.00am and 5.00pm Monday to Friday.
With direct access to the latest European Enquiries are answered quickly, usually within two
information, documents and databases, our working days, although additional time may be
specialists can give you all the help and guidance required for more complex enquiries.
you need on:
• sources of funding; You can visit the EIC, where staff can discuss
• public sector tender opportunities; your needs and suggest the best resources and
• European issues and policies; demonstrate how to use the relevant databases.
• business opportunities; and
• the Euro. Tenders Alert Service
Businesses that are exporting, or preparing to Thousands of tender opportunities in sectors such
export, can get valuable information through the as construction, engineering, health services and
EIC’s connections to the Europe-wide network. utility contracts, are advertised in Tenders
Electronic Daily by the public sector and • total sales of over £100,000 a year;
privatised utilities in Europe and beyond.
• sales outside Northern Ireland of greater
The EU’s public procurement market provides than 25 per cent of turnover or greater
valuable contracts for a variety of suppliers, from than £250,000 a year; and
road and bridge construction, to the supply of ice-
cream to schools or the design of high technology • the capability and willingness to work with
university building. Invest NI.
Our Tenders Alert Service offers the following If you are not an Invest NI client, but can satisfy
services to subscribing businesses: the above criteria and would like to become one,
please contact the Invest NI office in your area.
• daily alerting service matching tender Full details can be found at www.investni.com.
opportunities to tailored company profiles;
• advice and assistance on tendering
European Information Centre
• UK and EU public procurement Invest Northern Ireland
regulations; Bedford Square
• assistance and advice on supplying local Belfast BT2 7ES
government, education boards, the health
sector and utility companies; T: 028 9069 8135
• information on where to access tender
opportunities for below EC thresholds; If you are an Invest NI client you may also contact
and your Client Executive if you feel your business will
benefit from this service.
• advice on how to find public tenders on
the Internet. nibusinessinfo.co.uk
How much does it cost? Invest NI has launched a new online information
and support facility, nibusinessinfo.co.uk.
Our European Information Services are generally
free of charge, but there may be a nominal cost This web site provides all Northern Ireland
for larger reports, specialist searches and items businesses and entrepreneurs with free access to
such as photocopying. There is a subscription an extensive source of essential business
charge for the Tender Alert Service. information.
Who is eligible? nibusinessinfo.co.uk provides 24x7 advice,
information, guidance and signposting, with over
This service is available to Invest NI clients and all 5,000 fact sheets and over 70 interactive tools on
businesses in Northern Ireland. offer. Every aspect of setting up and running a
business is covered, from the earliest days of
Becoming an Invest NI client developing a business idea to the legal issues
involved in selling a business concern.
To qualify as an Invest NI client company your
business must meet certain criteria. nibusinessinfo.co.uk also features case studies
showing how local businesses have handled
You should typically be from the manufacturing or particular business challenges.
international tradeable sectors and be able to
demonstrate that currently, or over the next three nibusinessinfo.co.uk provides you with a single
years, your business will have: point of access for all your business information
needs, freeing up time for to concentrate on