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COaching and Mentoring of sMEs for Research CommercIALISation and Exploitation

Final Report Summary - COMMERCIALISE (COaching and Mentoring of sMEs for Research CommercIALISation and Exploitation)

Executive Summary:
The Commercialise project aim was to provide knowledge to the European Commission, enabling them to implement an efficient and effective coaching and mentoring scheme to increase the commercialisation of R&D results from the dedicated SME Instrument in Horizon 2020. Despite high demand, existing programmes to support SMEs have not delivered the impact on Europe expected. As stated in the 2013 Research for SME Work Programme, […]“Too many good ideas and research results are not commercially exploited because companies lack the skills, competencies and capabilities to develop and to implement strategic business plans ensuring deployment and commercialisation of innovation.”[…] This evidence-based pitfall calls for a new approach in SME support for Horizon 2020 offering them a coaching and mentoring scheme able to […]“Boost the innovation capacity of the SMEs [taking part in SME-specific measures] and to increase the impact from the support provided.” […]
The project was divided into two distinct phases, the first of which consisted of analysis of existing coaching and mentoring programmes from across Europe. Desk research and partner knowledge was used to identify to the broad range of support available, a selection process was then used to develop a shortlist of 20 examples and this was then further reduced to 7 schemes which were examined in more detail through, primarily, face-to-face interview. Best practice approaches were identified and used to develop the pilot programme which was to form the second phase of the Commercialise project. Four pilot countries – Poland, Spain, Turkey and UK - each identified 15 SMEs participating in European or nationally funded research and innovation programmes. Simultaneously a process was developed to select coaches in each of the pilot countries to deliver 9 days of support to each of the SMEs. This support was delivered between February and May 2014 with variances between the countries put in place to test different approaches. Results from the pilots were analysed and, along with the earlier research, this was used to inform recommendations for the coaching scheme to be rolled out by the European Commission under Horizon 2020.

A number of recommendations for the programme to be delivered under Horizon 2020 resulted from the project activities.
• The business coaching scheme offer should be clear to the SME Instrument beneficiaries: To maximise the chances of the SME to seize the opportunity identified for its SME Instrument project from a holistic point of view of the company.
• The scheme should offer the SMES the top coaches in Europe that combine coaching experience with track records in growth company support.
• The scheme should be able to build a coaching community in Europe, aiming to aggregate as many coaches as possible and giving visibility to this new feature of the H2020 funding.
• The coaching and mentoring scheme in phase 1 should take the form of a typical coaching process customised for growth and commercialisation of R&D results, with a common frontend in all Europe.
• The coaching scheme outputs from phase 1 should be part of the project proposal from phase 2.
• The interventions in phase 2 should be tailor made to the SME needs, being a combination of coaching for the business and for its management team to accompany and support the SME in implementing its action plan.
• The coaching and mentoring scheme should empower the feeling of “promotion of beneficiaries” of each SME Instrument call.
• The scheme should have quick and common feedback mechanisms along the different steps of the process.

Project Context and Objectives:
3.0 Project context and objectives
Horizon 2020 is the biggest European Union (EU) Research and Innovation programme ever with nearly €80 billion of funding available over 7 years (2014 to 2020) seeking to implement the Innovation Union initiative to improve Europe’s global competitiveness. The core aim of the programme is to drive the creation of jobs and growth through the application of innovation. As Small to Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs) make up 99.8% of all European businesses, provide 67% of jobs and 57% of GVA , it is vital that they are adequately supported by Horizon 2020. Without innovative SMEs, Europe cannot achieve its competitiveness ambitions. In particular, fast growing SMEs (a key target for Horizon 2020 ) create more than half of all economic growth across Europe with more than 50% of these using innovation to grow and being much more successful in getting their innovations into the market to create growth and jobs . Much can and should be learned from these firms and coaching and mentoring is an opportunity to transfer best practice from these types of fast growing SMEs in to SME participants in Horizon 2020 and to seek new ways to enable SMEs innovating through Horizon 2020 to succeed in reaching the market and creating growth through their innovations.
The need for improved support is underlined by previous SME-specific measures; programmes designed by the EC to help SMEs with little or no research capability outsource their R&D requirements. However, despite high demand, these programmes have not delivered the impact on Europe expected. As stated in the 2013 Research for SME Work Programme, […]“Too many good ideas and research results are not commercially exploited because companies lack the skills, competencies and capabilities to develop and to implement strategic business plans ensuring deployment and commercialisation of innovation.”[…] This evidence-based pitfall calls for a new approach in SME support for Horizon 2020 offering them a coaching and mentoring scheme able to […]“Boost the innovation capacity of the SMEs [taking part in SME-specific measures] and to increase the impact from the support provided.” […]
In particular, despite good success in realising new products and processes through these previous SME-specific measures, relatively few of these projects went on to be commercialised successfully. There are limited studies into the commercialisation of R&D results from previous framework programmes. The most important study to date has been the “Impact assessment for improving SME specific research” . This study revealed that, under FP5:
• 58% of projects had developed a new or improved product and
• 47% a new or improved process (respondents could answer yes to both questions).
However, after between 2 and 6 years of exploitation time:

• 25% had commercialised a new or improved product or process
• 17% reported an increase in turnover due to the innovation.
These findings are backed up by a UK study, “The impact of the EU RTD Framework Programme on the UK” . This found that 43% of results from the FP projects studied were not exploited at all by UK companies, with just 19% exploited to a large extent. It also found that industrial partners were more than twice as likely as universities to find that costs of participation outweighed benefits.

Fig 3.1 – Exploitation of FP project results by UK organisations
A recent Spanish paper by Barajas et al attempted to quantify the economic impact of participation in the SME Specific Measures of FP6. It found that:
“Technological cooperation within FP does not have a direct effect on performance. This result is in concordance with Dekker and Kleinknecht (2008) who conclude that the sales of innovative product per employee –as measure of innovative output- of French, German and Dutch firms are not enhanced by the participation in the FP. In a similar way, Benfratello and Sembenelli (2002) do not find significant differences in labour productivity of firms that have participated in the third and fourth FP, and the European Commission (2010) does not detect any impact of project participation on economic performance of the SME, suggesting that, although in many projects new technologies have been developed, these have not been translated yet into potential commercial products.”
Although significant intangible benefits are reported for SME participants in all the studies examined, none were able to conclude that participation in SME specific measures in FP directly led to significant commercial benefit for more than a handful of participants. The consensus of these reports was also that the problem occurs at the commercialisation stage rather than the research stage. Having said this, the EC’s report into the involvement of SMEs in the thematic instruments of FP5 and FP6 showed that only 35% of SMEs involved in these instruments were well-aligned with the project’s strategy, meaning two-thirds of SMEs were highly unlikely to get a commercially exploitable result from the project, even before the project started.
3.1 Horizon 2020 – a new approach
The policy shift towards innovation in Horizon 2020 sets the ambitious objective for 2020 to […] “Boost Europe's industrial leadership and competitiveness […] through stimulating innovation in SMEs, helping innovative SMEs to grow into world-leading companies […]” defining the dedicated SME Instrument as a key element to achieve such growth and increased employment. With this target, the commercialisation of the results of the proposed dedicated SME Instrument projects, is key.. As the EC state, […] “The dedicated SME Instrument puts small companies in the driving seat of European innovation projects, which shall be conducive to their competitiveness and growth while tackling societal challenges”[…]
The new dedicated SME Instrument draws inspiration from the US SBIR programme as a multi-phase approach (with three phases planned under H2020). The SBIR programme has shown high rates of commercialisation, For example, in medical projects, 40% achieved commercialisation, with average cumulative sales of $2.15m .
In US, to further enhance the success of SBIR, life science projects are supported by an additional programme, called CAP, introduced in 2004 to increase commercialisation rates. This is a 10-month coaching and mentoring programme. In 2010-11, companies completing the CAP raised $2.2m external finance on average and created 4 new jobs each. In addition, 28% of the 2006-2007 cohort had increased revenue via sales or licensing 18 months after completion and 65% felt the coaching and mentoring had a direct impact on helping them achieve growth after 9 months .
However, existing European solutions based on information provision are not having a big enough impact on the poor commercialisation of research results here. Based on significant evidence from across Europe, and the success of programmes such as SBIR and CAP, the EC have concluded that a coaching and mentoring programme for SMEs taking part in the dedicated SME Instruments of Horizon 2020 could have a significant impact on the successful commercialisation of R&D results.
3.2 Causes and Barriers for the low levels of Commercialisation
As shown by the statistics above, the technological research and development conducted under previous FP programmes is resulting in new or improved products and processes. However, these technologies are not true innovations, as they are not being successfully commercialised.
An SME participating in the proposed dedicated SME Instrument is much more likely to successfully commercialise their innovation and go on to create economic growth if they are simultaneously provided with coaching and mentoring to; strengthen their ambition for growth; develop their capability to visualise growth; improve their capacity to deliver and sustain growth….and so better exploiting the opportunity for growth provided through innovation supported by Horizon 2020

Project Results:
4.0 Project Results
4.1 Work Package 1 – Project/Consortium management
The primary aims of this work package (WP) were the effective establishment of the project, ensuring that the objectives were delivered on time and within budget, informing stakeholders, as appropriate, of project progress and at project close capturing the lessons learnt and archiving documentation.
A detailed project plan was generated at the outset of the delivery period and circulated to all partners, the project management process was also redefined in line with the project proposal.
A shared workspace accessible to all project partners was established via the online facility ‘Podio’ and project documentation regularly uploaded.
A project website was established at including information about the project, partners, expected impact and project dissemination. Information was added as the project progressed, for example, profiles of the coaches who participated in the pilot programmes.
Project meetings were used to enable partners to discuss activities in the intervening period and shares findings, feeding these into the forthcoming activities. They were held as follows;
• Kick-off meeting – Brussels (28/06/13)
• Progress meeting – Madrid (11/10/13)
• Progress meeting – Copenhagen (10/01/14)
• Final meeting – Brussels (01/07/14)
Further online or telephone meetings were held as required to discuss specific issues such as evaluation of the existing coaching schemes being studied and implementation of the pilot programme.
In accordance with the Description of Work (DoW), Quarterly Reports (Deliverable 1.3) were prepared during the project summarising activity within the period concerned and highlighting any issues arising.
There were a number of changes to delivery responsibilities during the early stages of the project. Finnish partner Tekes requested a reduction to their allocated activities due to a company restructure limiting the amount of resources available. CDTI and PARP as public bodies were unable to undertake recruitment of the coaches required for the delivery of the pilot programme in their respective countries in the time available due to their status as public bodies, therefore requiring public procurement procedures to be applied. In both instances, Pera Consulting as Project Co-ordinator were willing and able to take on this additional responsibility.
As the project progressed, it became evident that the short 12 month timescales would limit the ability to adequately evaluate the results of the pilot programmes in Spain, Poland, Turkey and UK. A one month project extension was initially discussed, however, due to the final project meeting being scheduled for 1 July 2014, to coincide with a presentation of the project findings at an EEN event on 30th June; a two month extension to 31st July was requested and subsequently approved by the EC.
This final report is a further deliverable under WP1.
4.2 Work Package 2 – Identify and map existing coaching and mentoring schemes for innovative, high growth SMEs across EU
The objective of this work package was to understand existing Coaching and Mentoring (C&M) support programmes available to innovative SMEs, so that:
• Good Practice from existing programmes can be applied to the new scheme;
• Existing capacity and capability to support C&M can be reflected in the mobilisation of the new scheme

The expected output of WP2 was therefore a report summarising the key characteristics of existing Good Practice schemes, including:
• Scope, size, focus, eligibility criteria, objectives, scale; audience; context, , competition, background, sector, SME type; approach/how delivered; impact (available as Deliverable 2.6)

The Commercialise project leveraged the expertise of the team members in coaching and mentoring support programmes to first identify a very broad set of national and regional programmes, i.e. as many programmes as possible providing coaching/mentoring support to businesses. A broad approach was chosen so that the team would have a ‘snap shot’ of all identified programmes and could then filter according to interesting features or potential impact, to reach a shortlist of programmes selected for further analysis with good practices across the ‘set’ of programmes. These good practices could then be fed into the development process of the H2020 SME coaching scheme. Hereafter a stage by stage (task by task) review of activities and achievements is presented. The full detail of WP2 primary research is available as part of Deliverable 2.6.
Activities for this work package began with Pera producing a list of key terminologies (“Glossary of Terms”) based on established definitions (e.g. EMCC, OECD and Frascati manual) and cross-checked with EC definitions. These definitions were then used in all primary research and project reports. The two most essential definitions were those of Mentoring and Coaching for which it was agreed to use the EMCC definitions, as follows:
• Mentoring: A developmental process which may involve a transfer of skill or knowledge from a more experienced to a less experienced person through learning dialogue and role modelling, and may also be a learning partnership between peers.
• Coaching: Facilitating the client’s learning process by using professional methods and techniques to help the client to improve what is obstructive and nurture what is effective, in order to reach the client’s goals.

The project Partners gathered information on programmes which targeted SMEs, focused on business performance improvement, including the development of innovation capability/capacity and used a range of support measures enabling economic growth, including coaching and mentoring. Eighty-nine programmes were identified and their principal elements recorded. They were then filtered to generate a shortlist of most relevant practice, such as:
• Does the programme utilise coaching/mentoring as a principal means of providing support?
• Is the scope of the programme likely to offer ‘good practice’ for a H2020 coaching scheme?

Stage 1 filtering resulted in 20 programmes (see Annex 1) identified across 18 countries; they provided the basic material for deeper investigation to refine the list down to the most relevant 5 to 10 programmes which were then reviewed against additional ‘filter’ questions, as follows:
• How well do the programmes’ strategic goals match those of the H2020 SME coaching scheme?
• How structured is the programmes’ delivery through coaching/mentoring?
• Do the programmes have systems for monitoring progress and outcomes?
• Can the programmes measure ‘hard’ and/or ‘soft’ outcomes?

The scoring system agreed by partners helped identify 7 programmes which were deemed suitable for full scrutiny through face-to-face/Skype partner interviews, as follows:
Schemes Assigned COMM partners Date of interview
Growth Accelerator - UK Pera 19/09/2013
Accelerace - DK ACC 25/09/2013
Go- innovativ - DE PARP 30/09/2013
Almi - Sweden ACC + Tekes 23/09/2013
Growth Accelerator - NL CDTI 09/10/2013
TIP – Lower Austria (on request of the EC) (via Skype) Pera 27/09/2013
Eko-System – Czech Republic (on request of the EC) (via Skype) Pera 29/09/2013
Table 4.1: Seven-programme shortlist
Stage 3: (task 2.5) Interviews: Questionnaire creation & analysis
For partners to be able to consistently interview the selected programme managers, a standard questionnaire was required, covering elements of all project WPs, i.e. How to…
• Identify innovative delivery models and barriers to delivery (WP3)
• Assess impact (WP3)
• Define Core Services (WP4)
• Maximise impact (monitoring process, reporting outcomes, learning from process) (WP5)
• Identify Coaches & Mentors (WP6)
• Develop measures of success for Coaches & Mentors (WP7)

A questionnaire considering 17 key aspects of programme design and operation was created (See Annex 2). An interview checklist (See Annex 3) was also developed to ensure consistency in interpretation of questions. Partners contacted the selected programme managers and sent the filled in questionnaires for analysis. Each programme was then scored. The scoring system was used to benchmark not to assess the absolute value of each programme and declare any better than the others but to identify the most appropriate delivery models and within each programme the most relevant and promising good practice which could be extracted, tested and potentially recommended to the EC for transfer to the H2020 SME coaching scheme. The scoring systems gave the following comparative ratings:
Programme Country Score
Growth Accelerator UK 64
Eko-System Czech Republic 49
TIP Lower Austria 48
Accelerace Denmark 47
Growth Accelerator Netherlands 47
Go- innovativ Germany 38
Almi Sweden 38
Table 4.2: Seven programme scores
Some of the greatest learning opportunities identified through the analysis were:
• Linkages with wider public policy and strategy All programmes reported that they linked with wider national strategies
• The integration of stakeholders and delivery partners into programmes ‘Integration’ takes several forms; it may be networking of coaches through a training body, the identification of candidate companies through a trade body or the provision of technical support through university
• Barriers to success and strategies to overcome them A key barrier is persuading the target businesses that they need external help and that the programme can help them; this barrier will be reduced by the free and integrated nature of the coaching in the H2020 Dedicated SME Instrument. However many organisations still consider the time requirements to be prohibitive, or simply do not believe they need outside support. Overcoming these barriers through emulation/example: show how other businesses (ideally in competitive situations) have benefited from coaching and, once engaged in the process, to be further persuaded by coaches who have a strong business background and can convince managers that they may be able to help.
• Core services: Focus on management coaching, primarily in increasing business efficiency and profitability through the whole innovation cycle in products, processes and services. A ‘bottom-up’ approach should be adopted in delivering these services so that business managers feel empowered and have ‘buy-in’ to the whole coaching process and what it has to offer
• Measures of success for Coaches – This should consist of a set of ‘Hard’ and ‘Soft’ measures; ‘Hard’ measures being the amount of additional business won, percentage increase in product sales, exports, etc. ‘Soft’ being the increased awareness of management to the need for innovation, better organisation of innovation efforts in companies, etc. Success may only be measured if the starting points (‘Hard’ and ‘Soft’) are established initially.
• Maximising impact: Many of the studied programmes were restricted both in terms of the measures they take to check on progress and on the final outcome of the interventions. This arose from a lack of strong Key Performance Indicators in the delivery contract. Any programme under H2020 should seek to overcome these issues through frequent quality checks, checks on completion and external evaluation at a later stage; all of these based on measures which reflect the objectives of the SME Instrument.

The full analysis is available as part of Deliverable 2.6.

WP2 was essential for the Commercialise project as it provided the partners and the Commission with a deep understanding of other business coaching and mentoring programmes around Europe and beyond. Some of the good practices generated by these programmes were then leveraged to feed into all of the other WPs aimed at the preparation of the Commercialise Coaching and Mentoring pilot programme.
4.3 Work Package 3 – Evaluate the coaching and mentoring schemes
The objective of WP3 was to identify best practice approaches in coaching and mentoring schemes from across Europe that can be applied when implementing the new scheme in Horizon 2020 and to create a model framework to allow the various coaching and mentoring schemes to be collated and compared.
Furthermore, WP3 looked into the delivering of targeted Coaching and Mentoring Schemes and created an evaluation report of those schemes.
A classical business analysis framework was used for mapping the coaching and mentoring schemes from across Europe to define the various approaches being applied. The framework, which came out of the analysis of 89 programmes in Europe and more specifically the seven leading programmes identified in WP2, provided a rich picture of the mentoring practices in Europe. Deliverable 3.7 describes the model framework in detail. The model framework focuses on the purpose of the programmes and the mentoring process, as well as the people involved, process, structure and the firms participating in the programme.
From the schemes studied aimed at supporting SME’s, variations have been found which can be categorised into all three main purposes of supporting SME growth through coaching and mentoring (growth, innovation and strategy). The table below summarises the findings within each of the 5 categories in the framework.
Table 4.3: Mapping the schemes identified
Having in mind the scope of the SME Instrument in Horizon2020 and the rationale for its creation, it makes sense to design the coaching scheme in Horizon2020 with a clear orientation to growth but with some of the elements of the innovation focused programmes.
In this sense, as the Horizon2020 SME Instrument is to be working in phases, coaching for phase 1 may take the form of a growth coaching scheme (shorter in duration, run by coaching experts aiming to help the SMEs to define its growth strategy) and coaching in phase 2, linked to phase 2 projects where the innovation dimension will be relevant and the duration larger, may add extra features such as specialist consulting or tailor made sessions.
Building on the learning from the cases as well as literature analysed it is possible to suggest some elements which could help to improve the proposed Horizon2020 SME Instrument. The suggestions have been categorised under the labels of Purpose, Process and People.
Purpose recommendations

Clear purpose The purpose of the programme needs to be clear and simple. Three different purposes were found in the examples; growth, innovation and strategy. Different purpose calls for different design of the programme and different actions.
Mission The mission has to be an operationalisation of the purpose. There needs to be a commitment to the mission from all stakeholders.
Objectives Objectives need to be clear and measureable. They can change during the process.
Outcome expectations
Expectations of outcome need to be managed. Coaches/mentors and clients need to be clear about the potential benefits of the programme and focused on the outcome.
Process recommendatons

The screening has a profound influence on the success of the programme. There is a need to look for relevant company, team commitment and business idea.
Validating companies to avoid free-riders and serial grant takers
Match making
Mission focused match making as this is important to create trust
Important to create trust between partners and understanding of the programme and the expected outcome
On-going process Mission-orientated with reflection and reporting
Reporting in the beginning on the objectives and at the end on the results (mentors and mentees) as well as during the process on development.
Clear reporting on objectives, efficiency and effectiveness measures
People recommendations

Type of need and relevance
It needs to be clear which type of people are needed, e.g. mentors, coaches, consultants or teaches with focus on the purpose and the outcome
Network approach
It is important to build networks of mentors/coaches to have number of people to choose from and also to create a community of learning
Skills and capabilities
The skills of the people need to be relevant to the purpose and the outcome. Coaches need not be industry specialists but innovation consultants need to be. In general business experience and knowledge is important, especially from start-ups and SMEs
Need to haves and nice to haves
People need to be committed and have the time to mentor, people with relevant networks which could help start-ups would be nice to have. It is important to define what mentors need to have for the purpose and what would be nice to have to facilitate the selection process
Table 4.4: Recommendations for rollout based on evaluation of current programmes
4.4 Work Package 4 – Confirm the core services to be offered by the proposed scheme
This work package aimed to define a core set of services that would deliver the most effective impact to increase the commercialisation of research for a reasonable return on investment.
The first step in addressing this objective was to identify the barriers to successful commercialisation experienced by SMEs undertaking innovation projects. As a starting point a barrier identification model developed by Pera Consulting was employed, based on over 60 years of the SME business support experience. The model states that for SMEs to be in a position to achieve change (such as innovation or growth), they need to have the following elements present:
• The Capability to develop and execute a strategy mobilising and managing the available resources to deliver growth
• Sufficient Capacity of available resources (Finances, Facilities, Staff, Partners) to deliver the volume of activity required at the necessary quality to achieve the growth
• A realistic commercial Opportunity where their offering has sufficiently differential to achieve the required market share to deliver growth
• The Leaders Desire to risk investing time, money and resources to achieve growth
• Operate within a supportive Environment that gives them access to support services, facilities, partners and logistics to enable them to realise the opportunity

This model is known as CCODE. For each individual organisation, the 5 elements need to be addressed for the company to successfully progress. Any shortfall will reduce or even block the progression to the desired future state and reduce the value and sustainability of the impact and outcomes.
Using CCODE as a guide, a list of 32 barriers to SME growth was created. These were assembled from brainstorms and desk-based research, all of which were then validated against research and real-world experience. Clearly, it was not possible to identify the nature of all these barriers for an SME participant, let alone implement measures to correct them. As such, it was important to identify which of these barriers were most crucial to the successful exploitation of the results of Dedicated SME Instrument projects. This was approached in two ways, understanding the most important barriers to;
• SME high growth in general – three studies were conducted and the results aggregated to reach a common set of findings:
- Brainstorm amongst project partners at the Kick-off Meeting,
- Desk-based research of growth and innovation literature
- Survey of active coaching programmes
• SME exploitation of research results – two studies were conducted and results aggregated to reach a common set of findings:
- Desk-based research of innovation literature
- Workshop on exploitation barriers

The results of the two studies were combined to produce a single list of the most important barriers facing participants of the Dedicated SME Instrument:
Growth Barriers Common Barriers Commercialisation Barriers
Lack of strategy development skills Access to Finance Poor understanding of market
Lack of leadership skills Access to skilled workforce Understanding and management of IPR
Poor competitive position Poor networking and collaboration High risk
Not able to manage growth Innovation not core to strategy Unable to manage innovation process
No culture of innovation/risk taking Marketing/sales
Lack of access to information/support
Poor motivation
End of project environment
Table 4.5: Barriers to growth and exploitation in SMEs
Finally, a series of workshops enabled the creation of a set of intervention development areas directly addressing the most common barriers highlighted above. These development areas were:
Development Area Development areas encompassed
Effective Leadership Change Management
Motivating team
Leadership skills
Encouragement and promotion of risk taking and new ideas
Core Management Skills Core Management Skills
Developing and implementing an innovation-focused strategy Developing strategy
Strategic innovation
Strategy implementation
Developing a compelling Value Proposition Improving market analysis/ insight
Increasing value to customers
Creating a clear route to market Taking new products to market
Accessing new markets
Marketing and communications
Commercial skills
Taking new products to market
Management and exploitation of IP IPR Management
Staff Competence and Capacity Recruiting retaining and motivating staff
Developing staff
Collaboration, networking and partnering
Access to Finance Access to Finance
Table 4.6: Intervention development areas
Using the research above and the findings of work packages 2 and 3, a delivery model was created to identify barriers amongst client SMEs and to design the most appropriate intervention set to be delivered through a coaching programme.
The approach developed is detailed in Deliverable 4.8 and is too extensive and detailed to describe here. In summary, the tools and processes developed are as follows:
Stage Session Purpose Tools Outputs
Feasibility Strategic Review 1 Establish rapport with client
Understand the SME starting point and conduct a gap analysis Feasibility Diagnostic Gap Analysis
2 Establish a desired future state and identify the steps needed to bring this about Coach Value Canvas
Financial Impact Tool Coach Value Canvas
3 Define a step-by-step action plan to move from starting point to desired future state Action Plan
Development Plan Action Plan
Development Plan
Direct Coaching 4 Further build desire, confidence and commitment to deliver Action Plan Commitment Charter
Table 4.7: Delivery processes and tools
Finally, a set of recommendations were created for implementation of this programme element:
• The coaching approach must not be completely fixed - it must be flexible enough to accommodate each individual SME’s needs
• The proposal guidelines should place strong emphasis on the commercial intent of the applicant
• Innovation strategy should always be examined and addressed where necessary by the coaches
• Commercial exploitation planning should be monitored throughout the project through regular deliverables
• Coaching should focus on 8 core areas:
- Effective Leadership
- Core Management Skills
- Developing and implementing an innovation-focused strategy
- Developing a compelling Value Proposition
- Creating a clear route to market
- Management and exploitation of IP
- Staff Competence and Capacity
- Access to Finance
• SME Instrument coaches should provide a balance between Executive Coaching, working directly to support the development of the senior manager in the SME, and Business Coaching, focused on developing the capability of the SME to realise the commercial opportunity.
• During Phase 1, the coach should collaborate with the Key Account Manager (KAM) to ensure the SME is accessing the EEN to support the development and production of the Phase 2 Application.
• The focus of the coach is to develop the competence of the business, not to assist the proposal process directly.
• Phase 1 coaching should last 4 days and Phase 2 coaching should last for 11 days
• Coaches should use a standardised diagnostic tool as part of the Phase 1 coaching
• The Phase 1 coaching process should produce:
- An action plan, describing what activities should be carried out in the coaching programme in Phase 2
- A Development Plan, providing a project management plan for the Phase 2 coaching activities
- A Commitment Charter, signed by the SME, in which they commit to the outcomes of the project
- A Value Canvas for both coaching and the project as a whole, describing exactly how the SME will benefit from taking part in these activities. The Value Canvas should be updated at the beginning of each phase of the project
• Coaches should be free to decide how best to implement the Action Plan, based on their own experience and coaching style.
• Any activity the coach carries out must leave a capability legacy within the SME
4.5 Work Package 5 – Create a mitigation plan
The objectives of this relatively small work package were to create a Mitigation Plan to:
• Overcome potential barriers to success
• Ensure that all appropriate opportunities are realised

This study was conducted in two phases. First, an opportunity identification workshop with a group of innovation, growth coaching and SME research programme experts at Pera was undertaken. The team were asked to identify opportunities to increase the value of coaching activities planned for introduction as part of the Dedicated SME Instrument (DSI) in Horizon 2020.
Each opportunity identified was rated based on likelihood and consequence, and then colour coded. For each opportunity, the team then identified a Leverage Plan – a set of actions required to realise the opportunity. The opportunities were then re-rated assuming this Leverage Plan was in place.
For the second phase, the team conducted an assessment to consider the major risks to successful implementation of the DSI and developed mitigation plans to ensure lower risk likelihood and impact. A similar ranking exercise to that described above was then carried out, including rerating the risks based on the mitigation activities identified.
As a result of these activities, detailed tables of opportunities and risks were created, which can be found in Deliverable 5.10. In the case of risks, many of these were addressed through mitigation actions built into the design of the programme, meaning no further action was necessary. The small number of residual risks and the opportunities identified were then formed into a series of recommendations for programme implementation, as shown below:
• Enterprise Europe Network Nodes (EENs) as the delivery providers should develop maps of local and national business support, and establish referral routes for programme participants to enable them to access complementary support.
• EENs should proactively seek complementary support for programme participants, potentially creating bespoke coaching support to dovetail with a national or local programme.
• The EEN should establish an alumni portal across the whole of the programme where programme alumni can offer peer support and motivation, as well as creating business and collaboration opportunities.
• Within the alumni group, there should be the possibility for Special Interest Groups in relevant technologies and/or sectors.
• Coaches should consider post-programme needs as part of the client’s Action Plan, and should be able to offer extended commercial coaching where requested by the client.
• Part of the Phase 1 coaching activity should be to draw up ‘what-if’ scenario plans to understand and de-risk unexpected events such as changes in market, unexpected research results or the loss of key commercialisation partners
• The coach should have the option to ‘Back-load’ coaching (i.e. do more coaching later in the Phase 2 period) for high-risk projects, where key early milestones dictate the success or failure of the project.
• Where appropriate, the client and the coach should be able to switch the recipient of the coaching, or should be able to split the coaching effort across multiple recipients. This could mean different employees within the same SME, or different SMEs within the consortium. However, any such move must be fully justified and approved by the Project Officer.

There were no significant deviations from the original delivery plan for this work package, except to combine Deliverables 5.10 and 5.11 into a single deliverable document.
4.6 Work Package 6 – Define process to identify coaches and mentors
The purpose of Work Package 6 was to create a process to identify recruit and develop a pool of competent coaches who will be able to support the companies to increase the commercialisation of R&D.
The research methodology used for this task was mainly qualitative with input taken from four main sources:
1. The experience and knowledge of the European Mentoring and Coaching Council (EMCC)
2. The experience and knowledge of the project partners
3. Library literature search
4. Internet search

The first task was to define the ideal mentoring and coaching competences. This was based around the EMCC competences (see Annex 5 to D6.12) and on the Professional Charter (listed as a self-regulation initiative in with the European Commission in June 2013).
The Professional Charter was also used to define the difference between mentor and coach and agreed that according to these definitions this programme needed mainly coaches and therefore that was what the focus would be on.
The difference between a core and specialist coach was also explored with a view to identifying the expertise required for the different phases of an H2020 project.
It was identified that it takes a lot of training, development and experience to become a coach (see D6.12 for more details), therefore it was decided that it would be advisable for anyone wanting to implement this scheme to go down the route of developing existing coaches.
The area that is less intensive and therefore more feasible is to develop the knowledge and specialism needed to deliver the objectives of this (and other) schemes (e.g. H2020 specific skills and knowledge).
The ICF 2011 coaching study was used to identify the availability and geographical location of coaches. The analysis identified 10 countries that seemed to have inadequate levels of coaching provision to support SMEs engaged in H2020.
Work was undertaken to identify good practice in the selection and evaluation of coaches. A process was defined and used successfully for the pilot project.
The sources used to identify coaches for the pilot included:
• The EMCC database of 5,000+ coaches
• Growth Accelerator database of over 1,000 coaches
• Polish Society of Business Coaches of 30-50 coaches
• Polish Association of Business Coaches of 30-40 coaches
• ICF Polska of over 300 coaches
• ASESCO (asociación española de coaching), 50-60 coaches
• ICF (International Coach Federation-España), 140 coaches
• In addition calls went out via:
- LinkedIn
- Personal networks
- Business networks
- Coaching training providers

There was some disparity between the number of coaches available, the number of coaches expressing an initial interest and the number who finally submitted their information is significantly reduced e.g. UK = 970 EMCC possible coaches, 150 EMCC coaches expressed initial interest and 9 EMCC coaches sent in their information. An analysis of reasons for this was undertaken and is included in D6.12 T6.4 ‘Inviting Coaches to Apply’.
Once a coach has been recruited to the dedicated SME Instrument coaching pool, they must go through a process of orientation to understand the programme, their role and the approach which should be taken.
In order to design this briefing, a series of questions were developed for which research was then used to seek answers:
1. How should the briefing programme be delivered?
• Group or individual?
• In-person or remote
• Assessment or information only?
• Duration?
• Presentation or discussion?
2. What should be covered in the briefing?
• Contractual issues
• Background to the coaching programme
• Nature of the R&D project
• Implementing the coaching
- Phase 1
- Phase 2
- Reporting
- Continuing Professional Development
- Governance and administration
Coach performance is the most important factor in programme success. Therefore, a comprehensive performance monitoring and improvement process was required. As a starting point, the successful coach CPD programmes used in the UK’s GrowthAccelerator and its predecessors were examined. This model was then adapted to suit the unique circumstances of the SME Instrument coaching programme. Particular issues include the geographic dispersal of the coaches, the different management structures of the key account managers and language barriers.
The design of the programme was examined to identify where monitoring was required and where it could be implemented effectively. The KPI model developed in work package seven was also revisited to ensure that the coach monitoring activities were integrated effectively with those in the programme monitoring suite.
Taking data from the EC’s estimated participation in Horizon 2020, and each member state and associated country’s participation in FP7, an expected capacity model for each country was created. This identified 12 countries with potential capacity issues. The next activity was to seek to identify:
1. How many countries could accommodate additional coaching capacity? To do this, the existing coaching markets within the countries were examined to identify the size of the market provision against the business population.
2. Have coaching markets in these countries changed in the last four years (since the original data is gathered)? The results of a more recent ICF coaching survey was compared with the Frank Bresser survey used during the first part of this work package, seeking to normalise the datasets and compare findings.
3. How many registered coaches are there in the countries with potential capacity issues? To do this, the databases of membership for ICF and the EMCC were looked at, as well as the ICF survey respondents, to identify named coaches in the countries.
4. Could cross border coaching fill any remaining capacity gaps? If any country still remains with issues, is there sufficient capacity in neighbouring countries with common language to enable sufficient capacity to be provided?
Full details of all the methodologies used can be found in Deliverable 6.13.
The pilot programme enabled testing of the coach briefing methodologies very soon after development. The feedback from coaches and the programme team enabled the creation of a set of recommendations for programme implementation as follows:
• The coach briefing should be a single-day, in-person group session, following a set agenda
• The EC should consider a discretionary grant towards costs of attending coach briefings, where these would be prohibitive.
• The European Commission should examine the feasibility of a national joint briefing for SMEs and coaches soon after the coach matching process has been carried out

The results of the research identified a range of best practice across coaching programmes, which could be adapted to suit the specific scenario of the SME Instrument coaching programme. This led to the following recommendations:
• Technical knowledge can supplement core skills – see section on core vs specialist coaches in D6.12
• There is a range of pan-Europe and country specific coaches that can be used as a source for this and future projects. The key is to:
- Make the work interesting and inviting so that experienced coaches want to apply
- Make the call for coaches visible so that sufficient coaches apply
• Coaches should have the ability to report directly to the European Commission Project Officer in situations where they feel there is a risk of programme funding being wasted. This could be in the form of a 6-monthly coaching report direct to the Project Officer.
• The EC should create a central point of implementation for the Quality Assurance, sufficiently skilled in distilling and disseminating good practice
• Coaches should receive regular refresher sessions. These should be delivered via tracked e-learning
• Coaching excellence should be recognised through an annual rewards scheme, where each Key Account Manager can recognise an individual coach (or possibly 2 in countries with larger coaching pools) for their contribution to the programme
• The EC should establish a peer-to-peer community of learning for coaches to share good practice
• Coaches should receive an annual appraisal from their Key Account Managers. This should be face-to-face for active coaches (i.e. those who have delivered coaching within the year)
• The Key Account Manager (KAM) should be asked to review the Phase 2 Action Plan to ensure it is in the best interests of the SME
• The proposal evaluators should review the Phase 2 Action Plan, to help them understand the SME’s development strategy and hence fairly assess their ability to commercialise
• The monitoring of Action Plan implementation by the KAM should occur at key milestones set in the Action Plan, not at set time periods (e.g. 6-monthly)
• Commercialisation performance statistics should be collected from SMEs via annual surveys of number of employees and turnover, with SME compliance mandated in the contract
• The Central Quality Assurance function should be responsible for KAM Quality Assurance
• The EC should retain an option to retrain or remove failing KAMs, even if this means replacing the EEN node
• A KAM peer-to-peer portal should be created to allow KAMs to share good practice

Our research identified small but adequate and growing coaching pools in all member state and associated countries, allowing the following recommendations to be made:
• Further work needs to be done to define where there may be a shortage of suitably skills/available coaches
• There is a need to develop the expertise of existing coaches to enable H2020 specific support
• The EC should not invest resource in building coaching capacity in individual countries
• Cross-border coaching should be used where capacity/capability gaps occur, and where the costs of travel are not prohibitive
4.7 Work Package 7 – Develop effective measures of success for mentors and coaches
The objective of this work package was to create an effective measurement system to evaluate impact and drive the improvement of programme delivery and coach competence.

This objective required investigation of multiple aspects of performance measurement, namely to use performance measurement to:
• Justify programme investment – does the programme deliver a sufficiently good return on investment to justify its existence?
• Validate coach involvement – is an individual coach or regional group of coaches performing as well as should be expected?
• Identify best practice – are particular coaches outperforming their peers, and can their best practice be captured and disseminated?
In order to achieve these aims, the design of the measurement system was started from the bottom up, using a log frame approach. This requires the creation of goals (high-level objectives to which this programme will contribute), outcomes (tangible impacts achieved through exploiting the results of this programme) and outputs (measurable results created by carrying out a programme). These were taken from the EC’s description of the SME Instrument. All influencing factors that could affect programme outputs, outcomes and goals were then identified. After eliminating elements outside of programme control, five key influencing factors that need to be optimised to continuously improve the programme were left.
In order to create key performance indicators (KPIs), these five elements were combined with measures of output, outcome and goal to create a final list of elements to be measured, as follows:
• Growth in Jobs and GVA through innovation
• Creation of an innovation culture
• Increased commercialisation of R&D results
• Increased capability, capacity and desire to commercialise R&D results
• Quality of coaching
• Accuracy of diagnostic
• Effectiveness of coaching model
• Performance of Key Account Managers
• External factors (to be monitored to understand root cause of changes)

For each of these elements, quantitative and qualitative measures were identified sufficient to enable justification of programme investment, validation of coach involvement and identification of best practice.
In total, 24 key performance indicators were created, with a total of 31 separate elements. Whilst this may seem like a high number, it was then possible to create just six instruments to capture all 31 elements. These instruments are:
Instrument Used Measurement Stage KPIs Measured Measured by
Survey of Coaches End of Phase 1
End of Phase 2 18,19,23 KAM
Survey of Clients End of Phase 1
End of Phase 2 18,20,22,24 KAM
Coach compliance analysis End of Phase 1
End of Phase 2 12,13,16,17 KAM
Repeat diagnostic (gap analysis and SME Desire Tool) End of Phase 2 5,7,8,21 Coach and Client
Post-Project survey of clients Annually for 5 years post-project 1,2,3,4,6 KAM
Coach appraisal Annually 9,10,11,12,14,15 KAM
Table 4.8: Programme evaluation measures
As can be seen, completion of these instruments happens at the end of phase 1 or phase 2, or annually in the case of the last two instruments. This ensures a very low administrative burden on clients and coaches while still ensuring collection of extremely rich data.
Full details of the instruments and the KPIs can be found in Deliverable 7.14.
Using these KPIs, it will be possible to validate exactly which elements of the coaching programme are leading to commercial success for clients, and act effectively on this information to continuously improve the programme.
Completion of this task required a rethink of the project methodology part way through execution. The original approach was to rely primarily on qualitative measures, taking multiple samples from mentor, clients and key account manager to improve the validity. However, this approach proved to be too complex for clients to complete and did not sufficiently address the need for quantitative measures of programme performance to justify investment. Therefore the methodology was revisited to come up with a new approach described above.
Due to this change in approach, the revised pilot evaluation tools were not able to be applied to the pilot programme and it was therefore evaluated using the original methodology.
4.8 Work Package 8 – Develop test and validation model
As described in the DoW, WP8 aims to prepare all the elements needed to run the pilots, including the evaluation models, as well as a preliminary executive summary for dissemination from the project results.
The methodology used in this WP has relied on the work carried out in previous WPs, analysing it from the SME Instrument perspective to capture the elements that can make the coaching scheme a success, when linked to the SME Instrument, on one hand, building the needs issues for the pilot scheme and on the other, to give coherence to the previous learning and define an executive summary for dissemination (Deliverable 8.18).
In this respect, Deliverable 8.16 has analysed the potential factors that may influence the coaching scheme design and delivery and tested their real incidence before suggesting a clear framework of operations for the scheme, and a number of variables to be tested in the pilots. Once the detail and objectives of the intervention sessions were fixed, the coach requirements were profiled and a procedure was defined to rank accordingly the different coaches in order to be transparent and coherent in the four pilots. Moreover, the rest of the logistics for the pilot were prepared, including briefing material, reporting material, coaching contracts etc.
Finally, to capture the usefulness of the interventions as well as the suitability of the design proposed, an evaluation frame was defined in Deliverable 8.17 for the pilot, getting inspiration from previous WP7 deliverables but also on the actual execution of the coaching delivery.
The WP activities proposed in the DoW were all covered and reported in the three deliverables of this WP, namely Deliverables 8.16 8.17 and 8.18. However, as the project has devoted more time than expected to gathering evidence on coaching programmes to define the coaching interventions design, this delay has been transferred to this WP and instead of having everything ready for M6 (Nov 2013), it was ready in M8 (Jan 2014). This delay has had an impact on WP9 with regards to starting the pilot and has reduced their duration from 6 months to 4 months.
Furthermore, to avoid defining an evaluation model just in theory, the final D8.17 was delayed on purpose to capture the actual issues raising in the coaching delivery, and its final version was delayed to M12 (May 2014). This delay has no impact on the pilot delivery or on the feedback collection as the templates were available in time for the KAM.
The main achievements of this WP can be summarised as follows:
1) The overall design of the pilot was defined, including the variables to be tested in the pilot. Considering the achievements of previous WPs as the basis for such design, the coaching interventions for the pilot have been divided in two modules: 3 sessions devoted to the typical interventions H2020 will offer to SME Instrument participants in phase 1 and 6 sessions devoted to typical interventions to be offered to the SME Instrument participants in phase 2.
Interventions linked to phase 1 can be classified as pure coaching and will be common in all the pilots making use of some of the tools presented in WP4. Interventions linked to phase 2 are a mixture of coaching and specialised consulting and are significantly more SME dependant.
This hybrid nature makes them more difficult to be framed into an output, even although their working dimensions are defined also in WP4, but offers the opportunity in the pilot to test different alternatives of programme design for H2020, namely the possibility to offer phase 2-6 session package in a modular format based on expertise vs. the option to offer phase 2 with the same coach from phase 1 according to its overall expertise.
2) The logistics for running the pilot are prepared, including the definition of the pilot delivery team in each country, the procedures to select SMEs and coaches for the pilot and the content of the coaching briefings.
Among all these issues, the coach selection is of special importance for this scheme, especially due the decentralised nature of this in the H2020 rollout. The criteria for selecting the coaches take as reference a holistic vision of the coach profiles with special emphasis on its coaching track record (better if accredited), their experience in dealing with high growth firms and working with elements such as business modelling or technology transfer and their implications in the funding world, either business angels, venture capital funds or similar. A global rating matrix has been developed for all these fields and it can be found in Deliverable 8.16.
3) The evaluation model for the pilot is set to capture the feedback on usefulness but also on the overall coaching support design. In contrast with WP7 where the evaluation model is defined for the impact of the whole scheme in the long run, D8.17 defines the templates to capture the feedback on the coaching pilot delivery from a qualitative way in terms of the process itself and in terms of the intervention design. It has covered four aspects:
• How the coaching helps the SME to move into change.
• How the relationship between the coach and the SME works.
• What are the perceived results from the coaching.
• What is the feedback on the coaching scheme design as a whole.
4) The evidence for the proposed coaching scheme is summarised, in an executive summary format. Deliverable 8.18 summarises all of the work carried out in previous WP that has served as basis for the definition of the interventions, so far, from the theoretical perspective. It starts from the analysis of similar schemes running in the world and the selection of the most relevant with respect to coaching and mentoring, going through the framework for their comparison and the subsequent recommendations and ending in the actual design selected for the pilot and its rationale. This deliverable also foresees the main stakeholders to be involved and targeted to the dissemination effort of the project results.
4.9 Work Package 9 – Deliver pilot study
As described in the DoW, WP9 aims to pilot the coaching and mentoring scheme to assess the effectiveness and efficacy of the model and to identify development actions required before the programme is implemented in full.

The methodology used in this WP has followed closely the process defined in WP8 to actually implement the coaching programme.
Therefore, this WP has finalised the details for running the pilot, namely the selection of both the SMES and the coaches, briefings on the input-output needs of the process, has monitored the smooth implementation of the coaching programme, has captured the feedback on the process and based on these evidences, has drawn the relevant conclusions to be transferred to the H2020 coaching and mentoring service linked to the SME instrument.
In terms of deliverables, Deliverable 9.19 collects how the pilot has been implemented in the four pilots, gathering information on the different coach-SME partnerships, Deliverable 9.20 collects all the elements regarding the evaluation of the pilot and finally in Deliverable 9.21 collecting together a set of recommendations for the H2020 coaching scheme, together with the rationale and evidence for such recommendations.
The WP activities proposed in the DOW were all covered and reported in the three deliverables of this WP, namely Deliverable 9.19 9.20 and 9.21. However, there have been two modifications in the initially foreseen plans.
Regarding the pilot implementation, it was agreed that the coach contracts for Spain and Poland would be issued by the coordinator to guarantee a quick response for the needs of the pilots that public entities were not able to guarantee. Pera Consulting has contracted with the coaches for these countries, considering the recommendations from the corresponding Spanish and Polish project partners and working closely with them to monitor the coach to perform accordingly to the signed contract.
In terms of the second modification, it was decided not to deliver a centralised coach briefing as this was impractical to deliver for all coaches, particularly the Turkish participants who would need visas to attend a course in the UK.. An alternative was agreed where a single partner prepared the content of the briefing and shared it with the rest of the pilots, taking advantage of the meeting in Denmark in January 2014 to do this, with each pilot organising their decentralised briefing, with the support, of other partners through physical presence if needed. Relevant budget will be re-allocated in line with these changes.
Finally, in terms of timing, as the project has devoted more time than expected to the research phase to ensure maximum benefit was obtained, this had an impact in the pilot, especially for phase 2 interventions where more time would have been desirable between sessions to allow the SME to have time to do their “homework”.
Despite the requirement for these changes, the extension meant that the overall task of this WP has been successfully addressed, and its main achievements can be summarised as follows:
1) SMEs and coaches were recruited to the process. According to the agreed procedures from WP8, each country recruited coaches for their pilot. Different approaches were considered. TK preferred to select as many coaches as possible (15) as a way to prepare a wider group of experts for H2020 SME instrument coaching while Poland and UK (5 coaches each) preferred to work with a more reduced number of them but in higher intensity (3 SMEs per coach). Similarly, in Spain and due to the modular approach, 3 coaches were originally recruited for phase 1 and 4 more for phase 2. Regarding SMEs, 15 companies were selected in each country trying to cover different matureness states but typically already involved in R&D projects, in many cases funded at European level.
2) SMES and coaches were briefed for entering the pilot: Decentralised briefing sessions were organised in each country for launching the pilot, in three of them involving SME as well as coaches. This launch session was used for a first contact between the coach and SME (as in Spain) or to select appropriate coach options (as in Poland).
3) The implementation of the 4 pilots has been monitored. A total of 9 coaching sessions were defined for each company but not were completed during the pilot phase. (UK finalised 13 out of 15, in PL, 1 company left in phase 2 and in ES, 1 company was not able to attend two session with one of the coaches in phase 2). Despite this, in most cases the relationship between the coach and the SME has been really successful. As a variable, in Spain, intermediate mentoring sessions were organised between each coach and its five coachees, and the results were very interesting from the SME perspective.
4) The evaluation of the pilot has been analysed and lessons extracted for the H2020 scheme. The evaluation has looked into feedback on usefulness of the coaching scheme for the personal needs regarding commercialisation of R&D results of the selected SME but also on the overall coaching support design to be rolled out in H2020 with the SME Instrument.
With this in mind and the templates defined in WP8, the information has been gathered from both the SMEs and the coaches taking part in the pilots. The summary of the learning of the pilots is summarised in Deliverables 9.20 and 9.21 but the main recommendations are extracted here:
• Recommendation 1: The business coaching scheme offer should be clear to the SME Instrument beneficiaries: To maximise the chances of the SME to seize the opportunity identified for its SME Instrument project from a holistic point of view of the company.
• Recommendation 2: The scheme should offer the SMES the top coaches in Europe that combine coaching experience with track records in growth company support.
• Recommendation 3: The scheme should be able to build a coaching community in Europe, aiming to aggregate as many coaches as possible and giving visibility to this new feature of the H2020 funding.
• Recommendation 4: The coaching and mentoring scheme in phase 1 should take the form of a typical coaching process customised for growth and commercialisation of R&D results, with a common frontend in all Europe.
• Recommendation 5: The coaching scheme outputs from phase 1 should be part of the project proposal from phase 2.
• Recommendation 6: The interventions in phase 2 should be tailor made to the SME needs, being a combination of coaching for the business and for its management team to accompany and support the SME in implementing its action plan.
• Recommendation 7: The coaching and mentoring scheme should empower the feeling of “promotion of beneficiaries” of each SME Instrument call.
• Recommendation 8: The scheme should have quick and common feedback mechanisms along the different steps of the process.
5) The results of the project have been disseminated widely. Taking into account the scope of the project, the rationale of the dissemination effort has been very focused on the European Commission, especially DG RTD, not only as contractor of the project but also as leading DG in the implementation details of the SME Instrument coaching and mentoring scheme. However, due to the possible implications it may have for the future H2020, other key stakeholders have been targeted.

Potential Impact:
5.0 Project potential impact
Taking into account the scope of the project, the rationale of the dissemination effort has been very focused on the European Commission, especially DG RTD, not only as contractor of the project but also as leading DG in the implementation details of the SME Instrument coaching and mentoring scheme.
This project does not therefore have the same level of ‘public’ or ‘peer group’ dissemination as would normally be associated with an FP7 funded project, however, in the early stages a project website ( was established detailing the project aims and partners. Coaches participating in the pilot scheme in all four countries involved have now had their profiles uploaded to the site and dissemination of results which are intended for public release will also be added.
Whilst wide dissemination is not a key focus of the project, due to the possible implications it may have for the future of H2020, other key stakeholders have been targeted;
1) Member States. The SME instrument is a key instrument in the future H2020 and the implementation of the coaching scheme is a relevant feature for MMSS to capture its details and scope. For this reason, the learnings of the project were presented in the H2020 Programme the Innovation in SME-Access to risk Finance Programme Committee is their second meeting on June 3rd 2014 and will also be discussed with MS and the whole research community in the LET’S Conference 2014, under the Italian Presidency on early October.
2) Enterprise Europe Network. As implementers of the coaching scheme as KAM in the regions, the Enterprise Europe Network will be a key figure in the success of the roll out. Although it is not the objective of this project to give them detailed training, the relevant experience, at practical level within the pilots together with the lessons learned have been shared with the EEN on their “Infoday on innovation services” held in Brussels on June 30th 2014 and can be repeated with more detail once the KAM have been selected in each region, in September 2014 to train them on the template pack used for the intervention and the reporting.
3) Coaching community. As main actors in running the coaching, the coaching community has to be especially encouraged to take part within the H2020 coaching scheme. Although the call for coaches is already realised by EASME, it has been shown that not all coaches have the required experience and expertise for business strategy oriented coaching. In this respect, special effort has been made in clarifying the expectations from the H2020 coaching interventions, presenting the scheme in the ICF International Coaching Week, taken place in Spain in June 2014 and expected to be presented in the EMCC 21st Annual Mentoring and Coaching Conference on 22-24 November 2014.
4) Innovation agencies. As important agents to make SME support available at national or regional level, they are an important group to disseminate this project results and as such a training is being scheduled on this topic on October in Vienna (8 October 2014) where the experiences of this pilot will be presented.
5) Social networks. LinkedIn has been a very active network related to news, advances, project search…regarding Horizon 2020.due to this, a special campaign will be run under this network during September 2014 to disseminate the findings further. It was expected initially that this would be done in July but considering the activity around the results of the SME Instrument phase 1, it has been decided to postpone this and link it to the signature of the first contracts.

6.0 Societal implications

A General Information (completed automatically when Grant Agreement number is entered.
Grant Agreement Number:
604739 - THEME [SME-2013-4]
Title of Project:
Name and Title of Coordinator:
Pera Consulting (UK) Ltd
B Ethics

1. Did your project undergo an Ethics Review (and/or Screening)?

• If Yes: have you described the progress of compliance with the relevant Ethics Review/Screening Requirements in the frame of the periodic/final project reports?

Special Reminder: the progress of compliance with the Ethics Review/Screening Requirements should be described in the Period/Final Project Reports under the Section 3.2.2 'Work Progress and Achievements'

2. Please indicate whether your project involved any of the following issues (tick box) :
Research on Humans
• Did the project involve children? NO
• Did the project involve patients? NO
• Did the project involve persons not able to give consent? NO
• Did the project involve adult healthy volunteers? NO
• Did the project involve Human genetic material? NO
• Did the project involve Human biological samples? NO
• Did the project involve Human data collection? NO
Research on Human embryo/foetus
• Did the project involve Human Embryos? NO
• Did the project involve Human Foetal Tissue / Cells? NO
• Did the project involve Human Embryonic Stem Cells (hESCs)? NO
• Did the project on human Embryonic Stem Cells involve cells in culture? NO
• Did the project on human Embryonic Stem Cells involve the derivation of cells from Embryos? NO
• Did the project involve processing of genetic information or personal data (eg. health, sexual lifestyle, ethnicity, political opinion, religious or philosophical conviction)? NO
• Did the project involve tracking the location or observation of people? NO
Research on Animals
• Did the project involve research on animals? NO
• Were those animals transgenic small laboratory animals? NO
• Were those animals transgenic farm animals? NO
• Were those animals cloned farm animals? NO
• Were those animals non-human primates? NO
Research Involving Developing Countries
• Did the project involve the use of local resources (genetic, animal, plant etc)? NO
• Was the project of benefit to local community (capacity building, access to healthcare, education etc)? NO
Dual Use
• Research having direct military use No
• Research having the potential for terrorist abuse NO
C Workforce Statistics
3. Workforce statistics for the project: Please indicate in the table below the number of people who worked on the project (on a headcount basis).
Type of Position Number of Women Number of Men
Scientific Coordinator
Work package leaders 3 3
Experienced researchers (i.e. PhD holders)
PhD Students
Other 4 4
4. How many additional researchers (in companies and universities) were recruited specifically for this project? 0
Of which, indicate the number of men:

D Gender Aspects
5. Did you carry out specific Gender Equality Actions under the project?
- Yes
6. Which of the following actions did you carry out and how effective were they?
Not at all
effective Very
- Design and implement an equal opportunity policy - - - - -
- Set targets to achieve a gender balance in the workforce - - - - -
- Organise conferences and workshops on gender - - - - -
- Actions to improve work-life balance - - - - -
- Other:
7. Was there a gender dimension associated with the research content – i.e. wherever people were the focus of the research as, for example, consumers, users, patients or in trials, was the issue of gender considered and addressed?

- Yes- please specify

- No
E Synergies with Science Education
8. Did your project involve working with students and/or school pupils (e.g. open days, participation in science festivals and events, prizes/competitions or joint projects)?

- Yes- please specify

- No
9. Did the project generate any science education material (e.g. kits, websites, explanatory booklets, DVDs)?

- Yes- please specify

- No
F Interdisciplinarity
10. Which disciplines (see list below) are involved in your project?
- Main discipline :
- Associated discipline16:
- Associated discipline16:

G Engaging with Civil society and policy makers
11a Did your project engage with societal actors beyond the research community? (if 'No', go to Question 14) -
- Yes
11b If yes, did you engage with citizens (citizens' panels / juries) or organised civil society (NGOs, patients' groups etc.)?
- No
- Yes- in determining what research should be performed
- Yes - in implementing the research
- Yes, in communicating /disseminating / using the results of the project
11c In doing so, did your project involve actors whose role is mainly to organise the dialogue with citizens and organised civil society (e.g. professional mediator; communication company, science museums)? -
- Yes
12. Did you engage with government / public bodies or policy makers (including international organisations)
- No
- Yes- in framing the research agenda
- Yes - in implementing the research agenda
- Yes, in communicating /disseminating / using the results of the project
13a Will the project generate outputs (expertise or scientific advice) which could be used by policy makers?
- Yes – as a primary objective (please indicate areas below- multiple answers possible)
- Yes – as a secondary objective (please indicate areas below - multiple answer possible)
- No
13b If Yes, in which fields?
Audiovisual and Media
Development Economic and Monetary Affairs
Education, Training, Youth
Employment and Social Affairs

External Relations
External Trade
Fisheries and Maritime Affairs
Food Safety
Foreign and Security Policy
Humanitarian aid

Human rights
Information Society
Institutional affairs
Internal Market
Justice, freedom and security
Public Health
Regional Policy
Research and Innovation

13c If Yes, at which level?
- Local / regional levels
- National level
- European level
- International level
H Use and dissemination
14. How many Articles were published/accepted for publication in peer-reviewed journals? 0
To how many of these is open access provided?
How many of these are published in open access journals?
How many of these are published in open repositories?
To how many of these is open access not provided?
Please check all applicable reasons for not providing open access:
- publisher's licensing agreement would not permit publishing in a repository
- no suitable repository available
- no suitable open access journal available
- no funds available to publish in an open access journal
- lack of time and resources
- lack of information on open access
- other : ……………
15. How many new patent applications (‘priority filings’) have been made? ("Technologically unique": multiple applications for the same invention in different jurisdictions should be counted as just one application of grant). 0
16. Indicate how many of the following Intellectual Property Rights were applied for (give number in each box). Trademark 0
Registered design 0
Other 0
17. How many spin-off companies were created / are planned as a direct result of the project? 0
Indicate the approximate number of additional jobs in these companies:
18. Please indicate whether your project has a potential impact on employment, in comparison with the situation before your project:
- Increase in employment, or - In small & medium-sized enterprises
- Safeguard employment, or - In large companies
- Decrease in employment, - None of the above / not relevant to the project
- Difficult to estimate / not possible to quantify
19. For your project partnership please estimate the employment effect resulting directly from your participation in Full Time Equivalent (FTE = one person working fulltime for a year) jobs:

Difficult to estimate / not possible to quantify Indicate figure:

I Media and Communication to the general public
20. As part of the project, were any of the beneficiaries professionals in communication or media relations?
- Yes - No
21. As part of the project, have any beneficiaries received professional media / communication training / advice to improve communication with the general public?
- Yes - No
22 Which of the following have been used to communicate information about your project to the general public, or have resulted from your project?
- Press Release - Coverage in specialist press
- Media briefing - Coverage in general (non-specialist) press
- TV coverage / report - Coverage in national press
- Radio coverage / report - Coverage in international press
- Brochures /posters / flyers - Website for the general public / internet
- DVD /Film /Multimedia - Event targeting general public (festival, conference, exhibition, science café)
23 In which languages are the information products for the general public produced?
- Language of the coordinator - English
- Other language(s)

List of Websites: