Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

H2020

ALPS.INN3 Report Summary

Project ID: 674852
Funded under: H2020-EU.2.3.

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - ALPS.INN3 (Innovation Support Services for SMEs in North West Italy)

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

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

The project, whose geographical coverage is North-West Italy (3 regions : Piemonte Liguria and Valle d’Aosta) aimed at delivering 96 service packages to:
1. SME Instrument beneficiarfies in order to help them in the coaching phase (needs analysis, coach selection and further assistance): KAM SERVICE
2. focused consulting services enhancing the innovation management capacity to SMEs with international growth potential via product, process service and or business model innovation- with gaps regarding innovation management: EIMC SERVICE
Following the SEC(2009)1197 final report on the effectiveness of innovation support in Europe it emerged that the 2/3 of SMEs receiving support for innovation are not satisfied with the support received. The results from the open consultation suggest that there is a gap between what enterprises would expect to receive as innovation support and what they actually get.
For many companies, namely SMEs, finding novel solutions to important problems is not only hard, but complex. There are, after all, a myriad of important problems at any given time and countless potential approaches to each one of them.
Through the activities proposed a dedicated EEN branded set of tools and services allowed SMEs to define actions overcoming areas of critical gaps in strategically important business areas, defining plans focusing on perceived/assessed strategic weaknesses.

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

After 24 months of activity 36 cases (28 phase 1 and 8 phase 2 cases) regarding SME Instrument applicants in Piemonte, Liguria and Valle d’Aosta were activated, among which 25 have already been evaluated or coaching activity already started, 2 chose not to proceed with the coaching activity, 1 was interrupted due to Grant Agreement administrative problems, 1 case was interrupted due to late coach contract signature from EASME and 7 cases are still open as they were assigned in late 2016 (last cut off in November 2016) or are phase 2 projects for whom a coaching activity has already started and will so go on in the future according to the 12 possible coaching days.
SMEs were offered Key account Management Services aimed at identifying and sourcing appropriate coaches. 8 appointed Key Account managers supported and facilitated a coaching service throughout phase 1 and phase 2 of the SME Instrument. The main objective of the action was to provide assistance on the administrative aspects in phase 1, match the coach, interact with company and coach, as well as provide support services for the successful presentation of the innovation project in phase 2.
As regards to “WP2 Enhancing Innovation Management Capacity for innovating SMEs”, after 24 months of activity 60 EIMC services were activated and concluded in Piemonte, Liguria and Valle d’Aosta, 4 started in 2014 pilot action and were concluded in 2015. There is just one case service package still ongoing from 2015 because of administrative problems. 5 cases were interrupted due to companies internal reorganisation problems or because the activity proposed was perceived too time consuming. 10 appointed experts supported and facilitated the service by adopting IMP3rove methodology.

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)

Results obtained through KAM and EIMC services show a positive impact on services proposed to companies.
As far as KAM activities are concerned, evaluations are available through the case tracker and possible considerations on the impact provided can be discussed. Generally SME receiving KAM support declared it was very helpful both from the coach selection point of view and bureaucratic procedures to be fulfilled. KAMs were successful identifying companies business needs. Furthermore, some of the SME Instrument winners came from a previous in-depth assistance provided in the project preparation phase which led to funding and specific ASOs were reported in these cases (7 out of 36 activated KAM services, which means 19,44% of assisted companies).
EIMC services provided led to 7 reported ASOs, which means that 11,66% of the 60 concluded EIMC cases generated a direct impact. EIMC and KAM services represent an invaluable key for SMEs to promote themselves: some of our assessed companies took advantage from the report to certify their innovation capacity towards potential clients and investors, or used it to enhance the credibility to obtain a grant for their project. Further ASOs or Pas might be possible in the future as some cases were concluded late in 2016.
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