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INnovation CApacities of Mediterranean Enterprises

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - INCAME (INnovation CApacities of Mediterranean Enterprises)

Reporting period: 2014-05-01 to 2014-12-31

Middle and Southern Italy area are treasured as a human heritage worldwide, thanks to their landscapes, the healthy way of life and their natural gems. By the way, INCAME consortium partners are willing to add another added value to this well-known scoreboard.
Some experienced Enterprise Europe Network partners operating in those Italian areas, whose expertise range from business consultancy to innovation strategy planning, built up a consortium, applying for H2020-INNOSUP-2014-2015, to increase the local SMEs’ capacity of tackling the dramatically high request of innovation and competitiveness coming from the EU market, pressed by emerging economies to lead the stage. INCAME consortium groups together public and public/private agencies for innovation and technologies and chambers of commerce to provide a double support: for the SME Instrument beneficiaries, to guide and accompany them in such an ambitious path towards coaching activities, business strategy, innovation management, till their products concretely uptake the market; for potentially innovative SMEs, to let them acquire a deep awareness of their capabilities, developing competences, shaping successful and concrete scenarios.
To give an idea of how ambitious this initiative actually is, it’s interesting to go through the Union Innovation scoreboard, annually ranking EU member states and regions in terms of innovation and competitiveness, and have a look to the performance characterizing the regions covered by INCAME Consortium. These regions are labelled as moderate innovators, following trends and paths already marked by other regions, operating as innovation drivers. This starting point acted as further motivational push for the INCAME partners to carry on their purpose to enhance the innovation management capacity of SMEs.
They firstly tested and increased their own knowledge and analysis skills about growth and innovation management consultancy being trained by IMP3rove, the European Innovation Management Academy, then they delivered high specialized support and assistance to potentially innovative SMEs operating locally in their regions. Some of partners also examined and used other tools complying with European standards in order to speed up activities.
They found out many firms and entrepreneurs willing to go international with their ambitious business plans, often kept inside a drawer because of the pressure of everyday business routine.
Thanks to EU funding opportunities, many companies had the chance to be accompanied in a concrete way towards a valorization of their business idea, being orientated and assisted by experts, allowing frustration being gradually replaced by commitment and willingness to try, to approach opportunities not considered so far. Some of them applied or will for the highly competitive SME Instrument, few of them hopefully will be beneficiary, but what’s remarkable is how the INCAME partners positively impacted on the SMEs attitude, by pushing them to rethink their way of making business, to invest in credibility, in human capital, in intangible assets, translating innovative ideas in market opportunities and successful business models.
WP1 – supporting innovation management capacities of SMEs benefitting from H2020 instrument
Since no SMEs in the regions of INCAME project has been beneficiary of H2020 SME Instrument in the Southern Italy, no KAM services have been provided.
WP2 - Enhancing SME innovation management capacity
The INCAME partners followed a specific procedure to select SMEs able to welcome the proposed strategy in management .They : monitored their EEN own clients databases; monitored the lists of innovative companies participating in any other regional / national programs and initiatives (e.g. spin-offs, start-ups…..); organized operational workshops to explain the SME instrument, the services and the main objectives of INCAME project
After this first screening, a desk analysis has been carried out in order to select the most suitable companies, and a first meeting between EEN experts and companies has been arranged, in order to start the process and plan the actions needed to be further implemented.
The In-house training course “Introduction to the IMP3rove Approach” was held during the period 2-3 December 2014 at the ENEA ROMA premises. The course was attended by 12 innovation expert listed in the staff of the project partners (4 ENEA, 2 Arca, 2 CCR, 2 Spin, 1 Unioncamere Molise, 1 Unioncamere Puglia)

During this period INCAME consortium as a whole, assisted 41 SMEs.

ENEA: by performing the Step 0 “Assess SME’s suitability for the service”, has selected 15 different companies to carry out the assessment of the ability to manage innovation processes in accordance with the work programme;
Arca: In view of the fact Consorzio Arca hasn’t got any cases assigned to the service delivery of WP1 it has covered a number of cases slightly higher than expected in WP1. In fact by performing the Step 0, No 9 companies have been selected to carry out the assessment of the ability to manage innovation processes in accordance with the work programme. Waiting for the introduction of IMP3rove methodology, Arca performed step 1 and 2 of WP2 by using Innovation Health Check proposed by Enterprise Ireland an alternative tool to IMPR3ove compliant with requirement of EASME in order to maximize opportunities for companies without disappointing the expectations of whom had been already selected. No. 4 SMEs have received a complete “7 day service packages” Step-1-4; No. 2 SMEs have received the services related WP2 step 1 e 2 ;No. 3 SMEs have received the services related to WP 2 step 3 ( action plan has been implemented but not already completed.
CCR: in performing the WP2 activities, CCR has selected no 5 SME different companies to carry out the assessment of the ability to manage innovation processes in accordance with the work (Step0) programme, through Annex2 forms Innovation Intake Check. N. 1 SMEs have received a complete services through methodology Innovation Health Check by Enterprise Ireland.
SPIN During the Step 0 “Assess SME’s suitability for the service”, No7 companies have been selected through an Innovation Intake Check. The same companies were also assisted to carry out the activities planned in step 1 and 2 of WP2 by using the IMP3rove methodology .
Unioncamere Molise carried out the “Innovation Intake Assessment” of “ICT for Life Quality srl”SME by , using the form proposed in the document “Outcome of the Working Group (WG) on the future innovation support services of the Network”. They also launched for the same SME the WP2 STEP 1 activities by utilizing IMP3ROVE methodology but unfortunately, assessment has not been already completed
Unincamere Puglia: in performing the Step 0 “Assess SME’s suitability for the service”, No 2 companies have been selected to carry out the assessment of the ability to manage innovation processes in accordance with the work programme.
In terms of impact of services provided, SMEs supported by INCAME partners:
 enriched the network of relationships both locally and internationally;
 increased their Awareness of protecting intellectual property;
 are going to reduce their costs and risks coming from the complexity of managing innovation processes;
 are more likely to translate innovative ideas in market opportunities and successful business models;
 have empowered human capital