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Establishing services enhancing the innovation management capacity of Hungarian SME's in the Enterprise Europe Network

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - INNO-HUN2014 (Establishing services enhancing the innovation management capacity of Hungarian SME's in the Enterprise Europe Network)

Reporting period: 2014-10-01 to 2014-12-31

The general and specific objectives of the call were only partially met, as a result of shortage of time and lack of information on the methodology of innovation services and timing. In the original tender, the following objectives were defined: delivering clear impact by facilitating the exploitation of research results and implement innovation & business plans; improving the overall innovation management and exploitation levels by actively supporting SMEs to innovate, actively engage in funding programmes and commercialize R&D; reducing the time from idea development to the marketing of innovative products, or services; facilitating access to Horizon2020 for suitable candidates and filtering potential applicants according to need, opportunity and capacity to engage for Horizon2020 schemes; directing SMEs to build innovation capacity; facilitating access to finance through successful innovation management; increasing SME engagement in Horizon2020 and associated programmes and instruments; preparing SMEs with Horizon2020 potential to participate. Most of these objective were clearly accomplished by reaching out for the Hungarian beneficiaries of the SME Instrument’s first cut-off date and providing Key Account Management services for them. The innovation potential of these small or medium-sized enterprises is indisputable and mentoring them provided a comprehensive introspection into their operation. Most of them struggle with lack of staff, but employing more people would endanger the profitable operation of the company itself, which usually results in employees having multiple tasks at the same time.
The global objective of the services delivered under this project was to effectively contribute to the innovation-driven competitiveness and sustainable growth of the European economy via improving the innovation management processes of SMEs enabling them to get their products, services successfully on the market. The SMEs were accompanied through the SME Instrument projects and will have constant follow-up from the experts of Enterprise Europe Network. SME Instrument beneficiaries were thinking of handing in the Phase 1 projects for Phase 2 and two out of the three beneficiaries have already submitted their applications to Phase 2, as per our best knowledge.
With the Enhancing Innovation Management Capacity service, highly innovative companies were invited to participate in a thorough innovation audit. Numerous SMEs indicated their willingness to go through this audit in early 2015.
For the identification of the market barriers of the successful Phase 1-2 SME Instrument projects, the expert of the Enterprise Europe Network analyzed the companies’ innovative capacity and initiated a dialogue for which a common objective basis and an analysis was required. The Key Account Manager provided in-depth support services to SMEs in the area of innovation management. Through the evaluation of innovation capacities of SMEs, the KAM identified the weaknesses that usually hinder the realization of growth opportunities. As a result of our Key Account Management services, the companies could get to know their strengths and weaknesses with the help of a complex SWOT analysis, carried out with a diagnostic tool, called InnoKen. The beneficiaries were informed about the possibility to have free business coaching sessions up to 3 days (all three of them were Phase 1 beneficiaries) and could get familiar with the basic services of Enterprise Europe Network, such as partner searching, IPR advisory services, or organization of brokerage events and company missions.
In the frame of Enhancing Innovation Management Capacity, innovation audits were carried out at selected companies which stated that they were capable of growth and internationalization. Possible gaps were identified between the SME’s innovation capabilities and goals and tailored action plans were developed and provided for implementation in order to improve the management of innovation processes within the given company.
For an organization, most importantly for SMEs, innovation means both risks and opportunities. The risks are obvious - the innovation may fail and the organization's investment spent on it could be easily wasted. Innovation audits weave together threads of organizational research; namely studies of innovation, implementation, and organizational learning.
Measurement of this impact has been and will be done with constant follow-up via email and telephone. Moreover questioners were filled out by the participants after each consultation regarding the quality of service and information provided and the expectation towards the possible results. Due to the information received from our clients we could summarize the impact of the service packages, i.e.: providing management with the information required to support a successful innovation process; motivating all employees to embrace innovation broadly and handle it as a priority, because they support the overall contribution to the organization and its customers. As an outcome of the service they cannot only identify “what” happened, but more importantly “why”, and which dimensions need more attention, improvement, and minor, or extreme change. This has direct impact on the decision-making process as well.
IMP3rove assessment at Lipoti Bakery was supported by GYMSKIK consultant