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H2020

INNO EEN-M Report Summary

Project ID: 674808
Funded under: H2020-EU.2.3.

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - INNO EEN-M (Enhancing the innovation management capacity of SMEs through the Enterprise Europe Network in Macedonia (INNO EEN-M))

Reporting period: 2015-01-01 to 2016-12-31

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

The INNO EEN-M project delivered 7days service packages that increased the innovation management capacities of the Macedonian SMEs. This was done by ensuring synergy with the other innovation-related services of the Enterprise Europe Network in Macedonia (EEN-M) and in accordance with the Implementation Strategy. The project provided necessary tools, knowledge and experience for implementation of the specific activities. It is ensured the full integration of the specific innovation services in the overall EEN-M activities. The innovation support services brought an added-value to the standard services of the EEN in Macedonia ensuring synergy with the business, technology transfer and R&D services. These innovation support services are now strongly integrated into the existing EEN activities and enable creation of linkages with innovation, technology and research related services.
The services from the INNO EEN-M project provided in 2015-2016 have positive impact and contribution to the overall growth of the companies strengthening their innovation and competitiveness. The project met the general and strategic objectives of the call by creating baseline for accelerating the economic returns from improved innovation skills, processes, utilization of innovative ideas and quality improvements. Common practices and Code of Conduct are being exploited for ensuring high level of confidence and trust.
The Macedonian SMEs were supported and innovation management assessments were delivered. The comprehensive assessment of strengths, gaps and needs of the innovation management potential was performed by the team using the IMP³rove tool as an assessment tool. Direct consulting support was provided to the companies for facilitating the process of creation and commercialization of new innovations. Additionally, the SMEs training needs related to innovation management was measured. Key Account Management service was not performed as no Macedonian company was granted beneficiary of SME instrument. Still, this service and its value are well promoted to the potential beneficiaries with high potential for internationalization which is envisaged by high number of applications from Macedonian companies for this Instrument.

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 INNO EEN-M project delivered 7-day innovation service packages to the innovative SMEs. Through transparent and clear process the most appropriate and promising SMEs were selected. The IMP³rove Assessment tool was used as a diagnostic tool for the innovation management capacity assessments. The team composed of two members: one IMP³rove licensed and experienced member who already had license to provide assessments and the second team member who attended training on IMP³rove tool in Frankfurt, Germany). Final reports on the innovation management service packages were delivered using this tool. The IMP³rove assessment reports showed the companies' performances in the IMP³rove Assessment. The companies had the opportunity to gain in-depth information about the strengths and weakness in their innovation management capacity. After conducting the IMP³rove assessments with the selected companies with significant innovation potential and potential for internationalization, the team developed eight (8) jointly agreed Actions plans for each of the company. Each Action plan presents the as-it-state, the desired to-be state and the activities that the company will undertake to achieve the to-be state. All other EEN services and support are accompanied to the Action plans. The team arranged meetings with the companies to jointly agree on implementation of action plans. The presentation on the SME instrument was conducted and the team organized meetings for the company with the NCP for SMEs and Access to finance. The team supported the companies to apply for the SME instrument. The team provided support for facilitating the process of creation and commercialization of new innovations. The team made available the necessary tools and knowledge for implementation of the specific activities in the context of innovation support. Additionally, the SMEs training needs related to innovation management was measured. No Key Account Management for the beneficiaries of the SME instrument service was delivered because none SME from Macedonia was granted SME instrument.

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 INNO EEN-M project supported eleven SMEs with high innovation potential and provided full 8 (eight) 7-day innovation service packages and 3 (three) of the packages are still open cases. The innovation support service made relevant impact in terms of increasing the competitiveness, entering new markets and improvement of the innovation management capacities of the SMEs. It has several effects on organizational and industry level as well. It helped to the local SMEs to clearly identify their position regarding their innovation management capabilities, what is done well and where improvements need to be made. The performed activities contributed to addressing the challenges that innovative SMEs in the country face. Through the inclusion of more SMEs it is ensured that on medium and long run will require every SME that wants to internationally and be innovative to evaluate it capabilities and make justified decisions on how to proceed. This will result in increase of the possibility for successful innovation and internationalization of the SMEs. The SMEs are now valuable and subject to intellectual property rights and IP assets. The European-added value and provisioning of high quality innovation services on enhancing the innovation management capacities of the SMEs create synergy for maximizing the impact of these services.
The INNO EEN-M project activities have been performed in full alignment with the EEN-M Implementation strategy that provides introducing two distinct types of innovation services. The services provided indicate clearly the links between the proposed activities under the Implementation strategy and Work programme and the new services that are not considered as separate actions but as integral part of the overall action strategy. Furthermore, these services added additional value to the Consortium to perform specific expert innovation services which relate to signposting of EICM clients to other COSME services. Introducing and providing the additional COSME services, two of the EICM clients achieved Partnership agreements in 2016, Partnership profiles have been conducted to six of them and one of them will attend a brokerage event in 2017.
Unfortunately, no Key Account Management for the beneficiaries of the SME instrument service was delivered because none SME from Macedonia was granted SME instrument. Still, the team supports the Macedonian SMEs to apply for SME instrument. The new in-depth service packages increased the awareness about the importance of the development of the innovation management capacities within the SMEs.

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