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Entrepreneurial development

Transport

Communication management

Project management

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Our mantra is community development 

Bermag is an internationally acting business, project management and communications consultancy. We facilitate public-private partnerships that advance local and regional entrepreneurial, innovation and transport policy. Our mantra is community development, working with regional governments, municipal councils, public development banks, funds, research facilities, entrepreneurial development organisations as well as a variety of media outlets, in particular in the contexts of SME development and financial engineering, mobility and logistics, energy and life sciences, ICT and microsystem technologies as well as the sharing and data economy. We bring together public and private stakeholders from old and new EU member states, EU candidate as well as in the Eastern Partnership countries.  Our head office is located in Szczecin, Poland, having branch offices in Gdansk as well as in Austria and Germany.

Our services 

Our  services include project and financial management, business development, socio-economic impact analyses, public consultation and stakeholder involvement models, multi-lateral negotiation, knowledge transfer, communication campaigns, public understanding of science and technology and publishing.

Entrepreneurial development

How do we advance technology transfer and innovation capacity?  

Bermag led the communications and stakeholder management of the project TEICO-NET (Technology, Enterprises, Innovation, Cooperation – Network). The project sough to improve the governance and support structures for internationalisation as well as access to investors and networks for SMEs based in Germany, Poland, Sweden, Lithuania and Latvia. TEICO-NET brought together the public development banks of Berlin and Brandenburg, the Berlin senate, the business development corporation of Berlin, the Ministry of economics of Brandenburg (DE), the West Pomeranian regional development agency, the Wroclaw Centre for technology transfer, the regional government offices of Greater Poland and West Pomerania (PL), Technikdalen Foundation and the regional cooperation council of Dalarna (SE), the City Councils of Borlänge (SE) and Riga (LV) and the Lithuanian Innovation Centre (LT). The project was co-funded by the 3rd generation of Interreg (Interreg III C) and run between 2004 and 2006.

How do we advance financial engineering for innovative SMEs?  

Bermag led the communication and stakeholder involvement management and supported the roll-out of revolving financial instruments. of the project JOSEFIN (Joint SME Finance for Innovation). The project identified key areas of intervention for providing targeted and individualised support to SMEs on their way to international markets. In an economic climate where commercial banks are hesitant to provide finance to SMEs, JOSEFIN facilitates access through innovative instruments and services provided by incubators, technology transfer centres, public development banks and funds in Germany, Poland, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Sweden and Norway. 

JOSEFIN related instruments support innovative and technology-oriented SMEs in the Baltic Sea Region. With the combination of innovative guarantee instruments (Innovation Loan Guaranties) and individual coaching,  JOSEFIN sought to significantly reduce the risk for both financial institutions and companies. 

The JOSEFIN Service Model combines a range of coaching and financing services for SMEs through all phases of  their  innovation  or  internationalisation  projects. It is designed as a blueprint for regional implementation and is built around regional financing instruments that offer innovative SMEs easier  access  to  finance. These instruments should feature specific elements (low collateral requirements, guarantees, revolving use of European funds). Existing  loan  instruments  are  often  too  bureaucratic  and  rigid  in  terms  of  loan  volume  limits  and  loan maturities.  Furthermore  collateral  requirements  are  in most cases too high for young or small companies with innovative  business  concepts.  The  crucial  element  of the  model  is  a  working  risk-sharing  construction  that diffuses  the  risk  of  default  over  different  institutions. From the perspective of the loan giving institution, the most  promising  way  to  mitigate  this  risk  is  to  involve other financing institutions in the securitization of the loan (JOSEFIN  Loan  Guarantee  Model).  This  can  be  a public  guarantee  fund,  a  guarantee  bank,  or  another public or semi-public provider of loan guarantees. 

JOSEFIN solution 1: 
A  public  regional  guarantee  fund  is  co-financed by the EU’s Structural Funds or JEREMIE initiative  (Joint  European  Resources  for  Micro  to  Medium Enterprises)  and  shares  the  risk  with  a  commercial bank  or  regional  loan  fund.  The  maximum  share  of own cash contribution or the collateral contributed by the  financed  SME  should  be  20%.  

JOSEFIN solution 2: 
In this option, the regional guarantee fund shares  the  risk  with  a  counter-guarantee  of  the  European  Investment  Fund  (EIF)  from  the  EU’s CIP-programme in order to minimise the risk share of both the commercial bank and the regional loan fund involved. 

JOSEFIN solution 3:
A commercial bank (or a regional loan fund) benefits  directly  from  a  counter-guarantee  of  the  EIF without another public intermediary.


How do we advance businesses in the sharing and data economy? 

Bermag is involved in the business modeling of SocialCar working with carpooling providers, public transport operators, car sharing, bike sharing and taxi companies on integrated service models and ancillary services. SocialCar is a research and innovation project funded by Horizon 2020. The projects offers an app and API that provides improved journey planning information to travellers. It offers travel alternatives which include connections from carpooling and other on-demand mobility service options at both ends of the public transport journey. It also provides real-time updates on delays and disruptions, offering instant re-planning of journey options to the destination while en-route. The core of the data feeding the app comes from integrating existing, but fragmented, open and proprietary data sources.

SocialCar does not adversely affect existing mobility services, on the contrary, it identifies business synergies between conventional and alternative transport providers. In its journey plan results, SocialCar includes travel options by a wide range of alternative mobility services such as carpooling, bike-share, taxi, car sharing, etc. for first and last mile connections to public transport services. This increases demand for such mobility services from a largely untapped segment of the market. By including such alternative mobility services in journey planning, SocialCar raises awareness amongst travellers that these services exist and can be used for part of their journey. It reduces uncertainty in their use by providing real-time updates on their availability and information on how to book them. Barriers to their use will be removed by making payment simpler and more convenient through the SocialCar app. It also has the potential to bring together SocialCar users with similar journey needs that are willing to share the cost of a taxi journey.

Transport

How do we advance passenger transport? 

Bermag is in charge of communication and exploitation of the SocialCar project. SocialCar develops a user-oriented platform for planning, booking and integrat¬ed payment combining carpooling and other on-demand services with regular collective transport, in an effort to mainstream the concept of a public-private co-modal urban transport. The project unites ITS developers, business analysts, transport engineers, carpoolers and public authorities from Italy, Greece, United Kingdom, Luxembourg, Poland, Switzerland, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Croatia, Slovenia, the Netherlands, Hungary, Spain and Belgium.

What we do for public transport operators? 
SocialCar informs citizens of a whole range of new mobility, demand responsive and feeder services, which they could use to connect to and from appropriate high quality and high capacity public transport services. This widens the catchment area of the public transport services leading to increased patronage. Furthermore, while static information on routes and timetables are available at any site, dynamic information related to real time data, such as the time to the stop, might be not available. SocialCar will address this issue by exploiting the SocialCar community: where no real-time location data is available, passengers may provide location updates via location based services on their mobile or through the SocialCar community on social media. Multi-leg journeys requiring interchange entail uncertainties and risks. SocialCar reduces these uncertainties by providing constant real-time updates on delays and disruptions, offering instant re-planning of journey options to the destination. The core of the data feeding the new journey planning algorithms comes from integrating existing, but fragmented, open and proprietary data sources. SocialCar exploits the growth in social media use in order to expand the reach of the services offered, increase the quantity of information captured and enhance the quality of information delivered to travellers. SocialCar will also address issues related to the inconvenience of separately paying for each individual leg of a multi-modal journey.

What we do for public authorities?
Embracing the trends of the sharing economy, SocialCar contributes to various needs of public authorities. By bringing together data and information on transport supply from a wide range of fragmented, open and proprietary data sources, SocialCar is able to offer citizens journey plan options that consider the full range of transport possibilities. The provision of integrated information on public transport, on-demand services and mobility conditions supplemented by additional travel information harvested from social media brings in a new quality for local mobility networks. What makes a difference for public authorities is that SocialCar does not treat car users and public transport users as separate entities. It rather embraces car use within the mobility mix and considers end-to-end journey solutions which combine car use with public transport or other travel modes.

What we do for carpooling providers?
SocialCar will incorporate carpool options within the journey planning results returned. The system can search for, and return, carpooling options that connect to suitable public transport services to complete the end-to-end journey. Using carpooling to connect to public transport, however, introduces new uncertainties to the journey such as the unknown availability of parking spaces at connection points. Additionally, there may be uncertainty related to the availability, reliability and punctuality of both the carpool trip and the public transport service. SocialCar reduces these uncertainties by providing constant real-time information updates on service availability and status. The system can, furthermore, update journey plans in response to unexpected disruptions while en-route. Road network and traffic data collected from sensors and mobile data probes, when available at the local level, are transmitted for real-time feedback to the SocialCar users, to arrange alternative routes. SocialCar, furthermore, facilitates the payment of the trip by managing transactions among all actors involved, when allowed by the local public transport providers.

What we do for app developers?
SocialCar provides advanced carpooling functionalities to software developers of third-party apps in an open way, through its clear cut documented REST application programming interface (API) and its accompanying simple JSON data model, allowing integration of SocialCar services into existing carpooling or personal mobility apps. SocialCar develops backend algorithms to solve efficiently the most common problems experienced by a passenger who needs to make a trip, combining carpooling options with the great variety of other travel options typically found in any modern European city. At the same time, a car driver can use SocialCar to offer the free seats to other users, complementing the public transport offer of the city. The SocialCar algorithms, exported through its REST API, match journey supply and demand and take care of the usual objectives of minimising distance and time. Moreover, the SocialCar API provides access to its social component: assessment of user reputation based on behaviours such as punctuality, driving style and overall service quality. SocialCar provides a software architecture that will be open, robust and reliable as well as easy to maintain and to replicate in a number of case studies and in future applications.

How do we advance city logistics? 

Bermag was in charge of local communication and stakeholder engagement management of the project C-LIEGE. C-LIEGE – Clean last mile transport and logistics management for smart and efficient local Governments in Europe – is conceived as a showcase for good practices and a helping hand for all European cities striving for cleaner and sustainable urban freight transportation. On the basis of good practices the project aimed to set out an integrated framework for energy efficient Urban Freight Transport (UFT) management and planning. A set of integrated solutions and demand-oriented measures were tested and shared in order to establish roadmaps for their implementation in European cities. Seven pilot experiments in six European countries assessed the effectiveness of the C-LIEGE approach: Bulgaria, Italy, Poland, United Kingdom, Germany and Malta. C-LIEGE has successfully developed, tested and transferred demand-oriented measures and decision supporting tools towards reduction of energy, environmental and economic impacts of freight transport in urban environments. All seven pilot cities selected and implemented a package of soft measures such as access fees and time windows restrictions, environmental zones, recognition schemes, freight maps for appropriate routes, Freight Quality Partnerships, etc. The implementation of the pilot measures was supported by newly developed C-LIEGE tools: the Stakeholder Engagement Manual, the UFT Good Practice Database, the Push and Pull Measures Database, the Guideline for the development of Urban Freight Mobility Plan as well as the C-LIEGE Toolbox for the establishment of a City Logistics Manager (CLM). The project filled the existing gap in know-how and professionalism in the UFT domain by designing, fine tuning and delivering the complimentary capabilities of CLM. For the first time in Europe, the well-known Mobility Manager whose duties are focused on passenger transport only can now be paired with a CLM. The results and success factors achieved in the pilot cities clearly speak in favour of adopting freight transport soft measures in other cities than the ones involved in the C-LIEGE project. An assessment of transferability and relevant frameworks supporting the adoption of urban logistics processes in new settings was defined by the C-LIEGE transferability plan. It is aimed at supporting EU cities in their road maps towards cleaner and sustainable urban freight transportation. The project was funded by Intelligent Energy Europe. 

How do we advance e-mobility? 

Bermag is liaising with a number of local authorities in an effort to facilitate local e-mobility development in both the passengers transport and logistics domain. We involved a number of islands in e-mobility lab planning including Rügen, Usedom, Sylt and Pellworm (Germany), Samsø (Denmark), Gotland (Sweden), Cres (Croatia), Canary Islands (Spain), Corfu (Greece) and Malta. 

Communication management

Design and layout 

Focus case PHOENIX. Bermag developed the corporate design for the optical technologies cluster Berlin-Warsaw. PHOENIX is a networking partnership of the Photonics Cluster Berlin by Fraunhofer Heinrich Hertz Institute, Berlin Partner for Business and Technology and the OpTecBB e. V. The engagement is in close cooperation with partner organizations from science and industry in the capital region of Poland: the company network OPTOKLASTER and the Photonics Society of Poland.

Publishing 

Bermag was the publisher of the Berlin-Poland business magazine. We, furthermore, engage in publishing in the sectors of microsystem technologies and optics. Focus case: Optical Analytics in the Capital Region Berlin-Brandenburg 

Communication audit 

The project “Easy eServices to Shape and Empower SME Networks in Central Europe,” co-funded by INTERREG IVB Central Europe Transnational Co-operation Programme 2007-2013, exhibited considerable defaults within Work Package “Communication, knowledge management and dissemination”. Bermag Sp.j. has been contracted by the Marshal Office of the Wielkopolska Region with the goal to audit and diagnose the state of play, design a recovery plan, and adjust the communication and dissemination roadmap to accommodate recovery and quality assurance actions.

Project management

 

Bermag consults on matters relating to EU funds, particularly Horizon 2020 and Interreg. We develop proposals, build partnerships and provide financial as well as communication management services to approved projects.

Contact

 

Bermag Sp.j.
26 Kwietnia 41-47
71-126 Szczecin

office@bermag.eu

Szczecin +48918812229

Berlin +491797730457

Kufstein +4368860780013

Gdansk +48508433324