Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Specific challenge: Horizon 2020 (H2020) aims to increase the impact of SME participation. In the case of the dedicated SME instrument this will be achieved through a coaching and mentoring service delivered during the company's participation in the instrument. The objective will be to empower SME instrument participants to develop and implement high growth strategies based on successful participation in the dedicated Horizon 2020 instrument. The coaching and mentoring will be provided by a network of appropriately trained and experienced business practitioners. It will be delivered in cooperation with the Enterprise Europe Network which will initiate, broker and monitor the coach-SME relationship as well as provide participating companies with access to the wider Network service offering. 

Scope: The objective of the action is to create the conditions for a comprehensive and consistent delivery of the coaching and mentoring service. In order to support peer-to-peer learning and overcome their regional anchoring, the coaches should have the opportunity to exchange ideas and experience with each other to grow the competencies within the coaching network. This will also ensure consistent service delivery. A central facility should be set-up to gather the experiences and data accumulated through the coaching engagement. It should also act as a single reference pool and knowledge resource to assist the coaches in the service delivery.

The action will consist of:

- Awareness raising regarding the recruitment opportunities for SME instrument coaching towards appropriately qualified individuals,

- Creation of information materials, set-up of dissemination events, creation of on-line training modules for coaches regarding SME support in Horizon 2020 and the implementation of SME instrument in particular,

- Community building, networking, exchange of practical coaching experiences within the Horizon 2020 coaching community, 

- Setting up and animation of a virtual coaching platform to connect the coaches to enable them to share experiences, key learning points from coaching engagements and help identify relevant specialist coaches,

- Organisation of coaching meetings to share best practice examples among coaches, in particular across societal challenge areas and economic sectors where coaching methodologies and challenges faced by the coaches will tend to be similar, 

- Set up a monitoring and benchmarking scheme to ensure consistent coaching service delivery.

- Analysis and monitoring of the outcomes of coaching support in Horizon 2020.

As appropriate, the activities should be provided jointly with business support service providers familiar with cooperating on a regular basis with SMEs active in international funding programs and actively participating in the delivery of the Key Account Management service under the SME instrument.

The action will have a duration of two years. The platform is expected to grow as Horizon 2020 unfolds and the number of participating companies and coaching engagements increases.  Beyond the duration of this specific action the scope of follow-up actions is expected to evolve, based on initial experiences.

Expected impact:  The creation of a dedicated platform will support the delivery of the coaching and mentoring service in Horizon 2020 and will result in:

·         Enhancing the commercial potential and impact of SME participation in the dedicated Horizon 2020 instrument by ensuring that the project is aligned with and developed as an integral part of the company's innovation strategy,

·         Achieving tangible organizational change and improved results,

·         Improving the skill's levels of managers, leaving a legacy such that the SME is better able to overcome the barriers to growth post-Horizon 2020 participation.

  • The platform will facilitate peer-to-peer learning among the coaching community and will ensure the international dimension for coaching, which will tend to be regionally based.

Type of action: Coordinating and support action

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