Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

H2020

ERBSN 4 H2020 Report Summary

Project ID: 674819
Funded under: H2020-EU.2.3.

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - ERBSN 4 H2020 (Eastern Romanian Business Support Network support for innovative SMEs)

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

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

The existing regional context does not encourage companies to be disruptively innovative as their first choice for preserving or extending their markets and activities, so internationalization is an aspect that may hardly be linked to innovation activities undertaken commonly companies in Macroregion 2. RO2 is a modest innovator, with low innovation and R&D activities undertaken by SMEs, the regional innovation index being also under strong decrease (an average of 17.5%) in 2016 as compared to 2014 (Regional Innovation Scoreboard 2016 / 2014). Additionally, despise the high number of inhabitants, their purchase power is 27% of the European average (GfK Geomarketing GmbH, Purchasing Power 2015/2016, Europe) and doesn’t encourage either innovative products or services that may have higher prices. Hence, the innovation activities refer mainly to modest product or service diversification so that to meet the local population demand and few enterprises attach internationalisation perspectives to their activity.

This is the context the project achieved its objectives of developing a viable network of 9 innovation experts who are also qualified as innovation managers and trained to apply the IMProve assessment tools, thus able to deliver KAM and EIMC services in Macroregion 2. The network delivered EIMC services to 51 companies with significant innovation activities and potential for international growth.

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

ERBSN 4 H2020 didn’t deliver any KAM services in Macroregion 2 as no local company was successful in accessing SMEs Instrument. However, the consortium implemented the preparative work for KAM services, namely enhancing the 3 KAM experts’ skills and competences, and ensuring the implementation tools.

ERBSN 4 H2020 project proposed 55 EIMC services to be delivered in RO2 during 2015-2016, and it delivered 51 EIMC services. ERBSN devoted 2015 to improving partners’ professional capacity and applicable knowledge and building up the database of companies characterized by significant innovation activities and potential for international growth, preparing for their approach, explanation of the EIMC scope, selection and undertaking of the EIMC services. Thus, all EIMC services were delivered in 2016.

EIMC services were provided by a team of 9 experts, by applying the IMProve system. The most of the EIMC beneficiaries were above the champions of the sector and similar companies as counted by the IMProve tool (45%). Assessment, needs & gaps analyses, action plans development and joint agreement with the beneficiary, as well as their implementation activities developed between January 2016 till December 2016, with almost 65% in Q3 and Q4. Recommendations included directions for developing and adopting innovation strategies, train internal experts in innovation, organize a more efficient and visible innovation activity valorizing all internal resources and external collaborators, also by creating new specialized departments for innovation or IPR. The diversification of the service or product offer and internationalization were also recommended, as well as the access of various funding sources. Action plans were agreed with the beneficiaries in order to implement totally or partially the recommendations. Their duration varies between 6 weeks and 6 months. EIMC beneficiaries covered a diversity of economic sectors, with the leading sectors of ITC and building and building materials.

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 expected impact of the 51 EIMC services stems from the very action plan successfully implemented – all 51 beneficiaries will have a much improved innovation management system, as 94% of them have developed their internal innovation strategy and established an innovation vision, while 98% of them optimized, reorganized or introduced new internal procedures to meet the new vision, 55% are to access various funding sources, mainly H2020, and 47 expect to increase their staff expertise by participating in training sessions. Even more, 41% intend to get international with their innovative projects and have been signposted to COSME service.

This expected impact also reflects the synergies created between COSME and H2020 activities ERBSN combined in the benefit of the clients, and in order to enlarge the base for H2020 clients. COSME promotional activities largely comprised promotional and technical information on H2020 services offered by ERBSN, addressed directly to SMEs or via stakeholders/multipliers.
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