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ENviSION Report Summary

Project ID: 645791
Funded under: H2020-EU.3.6.

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - ENviSION (EmpoweriNg (European) SME business model InnovatiON)

Reporting period: 2015-02-01 to 2016-01-31

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

Reaching the ambitions of the Europe 2020 and the Innovation Union requires much more than just technological innovations. To unleash the potential of innovations, often companies need to innovate their business models. However, Business Model Innovation (BMI) does not reach small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) yet, nor is there knowledge on how SMEs conduct BMI in practice. Empowering SMEs to conduct BMI requires new approaches.
In its first year, ENVISION delivered initial results based on a quantitative pan-European survey (N=586), which illustrates that SMEs are not very aware of the importance of BMI. Only 44% of all approached companies approached and willing to participate fulfilled the requirement that they innovate their BM. Often, SMEs are actually changing their business logic to create and capture value without being aware that this can be labelled as BMI. Only 19% of the sample used a formalized method, most commonly SWOT, and a specific BMI method as CANVAS was only known by 7.5%. Although a first wave of data is gathered to provide deeper insights in the relation between internal and external drivers and the effect on SME performance and innovativeness, further more detailed analyses is required.
In its first year, ENVISION researchers started in-depth qualitative (action design) research on more than 60 cases of BMI. First steps are made In analysing the data to find patterns, currently the focus is on “I want to” patterns that will be a basis for ENVISION tools and platform features. Case research results, as best practices or on specific topics such as high-tech start-ups or internationalization, are also used as examples in communication to SMEs. We are in the process to generate an enormous and rich library of business models patterns, also on the role of family and female in managerial structures, to be provided via the ENVISION platform, to support SMEs and their communities.
Our results from the first year show there is ample space to increase awareness and to promote BM Innovation and tooling. In its first year, ENVISION did so by developing and launching a self-sustaining, self-service platform with tooling to enable SMEs to innovate their Business Model. Active communication on the tools, platforms and achieved results are under way to increase the awareness of the relevance of BM Innovation and of the developed platform Specifically attention is paid to reach out organizations. A start is made with the valorisation of the platform.

Work performed from the beginning of the project to the end of the period covered by the report and main results achieved so far

The project kicked off expeditiously. The first release of the ENVISION platform was launched within eight months from the kick-off, offering a set of fourteen tools. Currently the platform is still in English, a German translation is on its way, only. Translation to other languages is key. The impact of the platform is still limited and need further attention in the coming period.
Communication and reach out activities are well underway. Core organizations with a reach of more than 15 million SMEs are committed to ENVISION. Governance of communication is tightened with a focus of achieving more impact in the next two years. Extensive attention is paid to valorization of the platform, making use of our own tools set (practice what you preach), in order to achieve sustainability. The first (eight) academic publications are produced.

Progress beyond the state of the art and expected potential impact (including the socio-economic impact and the wider societal implications of the project so far)

So a start is made with advancing current knowledge and awareness of BMI across Europe, micro-small and medium enterprises, as well as across industries,. Amongst other, the focus in the next year will be on crowdfunding, as a means to approach to make investments in BMI possible and also to leverage discussions with the Financial Institutions. Also we stared exploring cases on sustainability and circular economy. Also the role of BM in Internet-of-things or cyber-physical systems will be explored further (a first academic paper on this topics is written and under review). The focus will also be on the development of communities as complement to the platform. As a part of further development of the platform the focus will be on simplification, visualization and gamification.

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