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Establishing services enhancing the innovation management capacity of the Slovak SMEs in the Enterprise Europe Network in 2014

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - H-BISS Slovakia 2014 (Establishing services enhancing the innovation management capacity of the Slovak SMEs in the Enterprise Europe Network in 2014)

Reporting period: 2014-07-01 to 2014-12-31

The aim of the action was providing services to Slovak SMEs in the field of enhancement of the innovation management (EIM) for innovative SMEs with high growth potential and key account management (KAM) services for SMEs having been successful within the Horizon 2020 - SME Instrument. The original aim was to provide 7 EIM services for innovative SMEs and 3 KAM services. Due to the fact that no Slovak SME was successful obtaining the SME instrument all 10 SMEs have been provided with EIM services.
The objectives of this action was the enhancement of innovation management capacities within Slovak SMEs with the aim to increase their competitiveness, to support them in more intensive penetration of the single market or on the third countries markets by developing actions supporting their innovation and thus their entire management system.
BIC Bratislava is the Enterprise Europe Network coordinator in Slovakia and provides consulting services to Slovak SMEs since 1991 but this was a new type of service that is why staff part of the BIC Bratislava was trained by the IMP3rove Academy (Introduction to the IMP³rove Approach) and has obtained the methodology how to provide efficient consulting services for the enhancement of innovation management. The first part of the training was carried out in October 2014, the training continues in 2015.
According to long term experience of BIC Bratislava the Slovak technology based SMEs are very good in manufacturing skills providing high technological output but they are less experienced in marketing skills. This creates serious limit for their further development. That is why the enhancement management services provided are focused on especially on new business model development.
The EIM and KAM services are new in Slovakia but it is already now clear that they will become an important part of the entire services provided to SMEs by the Slovak EEN consortium.
The work performed should originally start in July 2014. As the contract was only signed in October, the work started later than expected and has to be finished by the end of the year 2014. Nevertheless 10 innovative SMEs have been reached and the EIM services have been provided to them. The majority of companies receiving the services are either IT companies or renewable energies related companies but there are also electrical engineering, metallurgy and construction companies receiving the service. As the period for providing services for these companies was just two month compared to planed six month, just a part of the originally planned the results have been achieved. Within the 10 EIM services the IMP3rove methodology has been used. In all 10 companies the assessment has been carried out, in 9 of them the action plan has been developed as well. That is why the services will be continued in all 10 companies in the year 2015.
The most actions elaborated are concerning the business model development. The emphasis is put on new marketing models, reaching new clients including large multinational corporations, achieving foreign markets, etc. Further actions have been aimed at product standardisation, manufacturing of products with higher added value, rationalisation and standardisation of research and development processes, etc. Finally actions proposed have followed the entire strategy – to achieve the improvement of innovation results as this seems to be a weak point even in high innovative companies.
Due to the significant time shortage in none of the 10 companies the implementation plane has been elaborated. This will be done during the year 2015.
As the action duration was significantly shortened compared to the original time planning, less than 60% of the planned resources have been spent.
Final results could not be will be reached within the shortened action period. That is why the work will be continues in 2015, when all action and implementation plans will be realised.
The potential impact will be visible after the implementation of the actions elaborated in each of the 10 supported companies. This will be expected in the second half of the year 2015.