Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

H2020

NIR-VANA Report Summary

Project ID: 681787
Funded under: H2020-EU.2.3.2.

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - NIR-VANA (Networking Innovation Room for Added Value Networking Alliances)

Reporting period: 2016-05-01 to 2016-10-31

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

• What is the problem/issue being addressed?
• Why is it important for society?
Horizon 2020 is a core driver of the European Commission’s Innovation Union strategy, which seeks to drive Europe’s growth through innovation. SMEs make up over 98% of all Europe’s enterprises, and contribute to around 70% of all economic growth. This growth is mainly achieved through High Growth SMEs – between 5% and 10% of businesses that grow at around 20% year-on-year.
Almost all high growth SMEs use innovation to achieve their growth, and around half rely on some form of technological innovation. In short, innovation in SMEs is essential to Europe’s growth ambitions and the achievement of the Europe 2020 strategy.
Increasing SME innovation through collaboration
However, SMEs rarely have the equipment, facilities, skills, resources and exploitation networks to achieve high levels of innovation independently. Instead, the majority of successfully innovating SMEs collaborate to achieve their aims. This may be with other SMEs, large enterprises, research institutes or universities, often by employing Open Innovation principles.
Open Innovation (OI) is an innovation strategy by which companies go beyond their internal boundaries when designing and developing Innovation projects. Combining internal and external knowledge and skills appropriately, these companies are open to share and integrate/acquire ideas with a number of collaborating stakeholders (consumers, users, employees, other companies, technology centres or research institutions, universities…). Co-operations built in such a collaborative manner not only improve the results of shared projects but also enable a better distribution of risks among those participating.
Failure to collaborate is a major barrier to SME growth through innovation.
Increasing collaboration through online platforms
Traditionally, innovation agencies and networks have attempted to support collaboration. At the largest scale, Horizon 2020 itself provides a very effective framework for collaboration through its programme structures, consortium agreements and grant agreements. Organisations such as the Enterprise Europe Network can also provide support to build and operate collaborations. However, such support is limited by resources available, and the scale of impact necessary cannot be achieved through these methods alone.
The use of online collaboration platforms facilitates the access of SMEs to Open Innovation environments where they can collaborate, co-create and co-participate in innovation projects. In recent years, the number of online platforms for innovation and networking has rapidly grown. These include:
 Research & Development platforms (e.g. Innocentive, IdeaConnection, Innoget)
 Marketing, Design & Idea platforms (e.g. Innovation Exchange, Idea Bounty, OpenIDEO),
 Open Innovation software (e.g. Imaginatik, Napkin Labs, Wellspring Worldwide, connect)
 Intermediary open innovation services (e.g. Big Idea Group, Skild, Chaordix, DataStation)

The NIR-VANA project provides an opportunity for EEN and innovation advisors to improve the capacity for online innovation of SMEs. The project will:
 Help innovation advisors enrich their current activities for the benefit of SMEs with online tools that automate many of the time-consuming elements of their role
 Promote the acquisition of new skills for the innovation advisors to use current online platforms and to guide the SMEs throughout the online collaboration process for innovation
 Engage the SMEs into the EEN added value services for enhanced and open innovation support.
 Facilitate accurate reporting of EEN activities to the European Commission
 Involve SMEs from both innovative and non-traditionally innovative sectors into the innovation loop to increase their integration within the European Innovation Network.

• What are the overall objectives?
1.1 Objectives
List the specific objectives for the project as described in section 1.1 of the DoA and
described the work carried out during the reporting period towards the achievement of each
listed objective. Provide clear and measurable details.

The main goal of the NIR-VANA project is to promote the online collaboration of SMEs during the entire innovation process through the design and implementation of a new service that will be provided by innovation advisors. NIR-VANA proposes a novel approach based on ICT solutions, training and novel methods to support SMEs.
The NIR-VANA project provides an opportunity for EEN and innovation advisors to improve the capacity for online innovation of SMEs. The project will:
• Help innovation advisors enrich their current activities for the benefit of SMEs with online tools that automate many of the time-consuming elements of their role
• Promote the acquisition of new skills for the innovation advisors to use corrent online platforms and to guide the SMEs throughout the online collaboration process for innovation
• Engage the SMEs into the EEN added value services for enhanced and open innovation support.
• Facilitate accurate reporting of EEN activities to the European Commission
• Involve SMEs from both innovative and non-traditionally innovative sectors into the innovation loop to increase their integration within the European Innovation Network.
We have created a set of SMART objectives for the NIR-VANA project. These also allow us
to measure progress of the project. All objectives are measurable within the lifetime of the
project. In this report we will refer to the objectives set to be achieved or started during the first six months of the project life.

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

Work performed is well explained and detailed in the Technical report (point 2.1), according to the space that we have, here you have a summary:

1.2.1 Work Package 1
The objective of this WP is to conduct a literature review and survey of innovation agencies and SMEs to identify optimal feature set of Networking Innovation Room (NIR).

1.2.2 Work package 2
The activities of WP2 started in September 2016 and are still ongoing. The WP is aimed at designing the innovation model of NIR-VANA in order to construct bespoke and effective SME innovation workflows. The WP is led by Fraunhofer. All partners of the consortium are involved in the activities of the WP.

1.2.3 Work package 3
The aim of this WP is the design, development, integration and testing of the different modules included in the Networking and Innovation Room:
• Develop APIs to integrate NIR into existing platforms
• Create the Networking Innovation Room service
• Create an activity tracker that records all collaboration activity between the partners
• Extend the service with added-value services to further improve collaboration efficiency

1.2.4 Work package 6
The objective of this WP is to disseminate and promote project results both during and after the project.

1.2.5 Work package 7
This WP is aimed at developing a solid and operative structure to carry out the overall management of the project. EASYINNOVA, project coordinator, will lead this WP in close collaboration all the partners who will play an active role in the project management structure.

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)

The information on section 2.1 of the DoA (how our project will contribute to the expected impacts) is still relevant.

Related information

Record Number: 196380 / Last updated on: 2017-03-29