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“Establishing services enhancing the innovation management capacity of SME's in the Enterprise Europe Network” in Flanders

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - VEBIN SME (“Establishing services enhancing the innovation management capacity of SME's in the Enterprise Europe Network” in Flanders)

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

The final goal of this project is to create more robust SMEs in Flanders that can deliver a genuine added value to Europe's growth and that are sustainable to stay in a global market with tier innovative producs and services.
In this project that is closely related to the continuation of the Enterprise Europe Network services delivered by the VEBIN consortium in Flanders supported under the COSME programme.
The activities concentrated mainly on two specific action lines: 1. ensuring the key acount management for the beneficiaries of the SME instrument in the region of Flanders, and 2. delivering mentoring and coaching for enhancing the innovation management competencies of Flemish SMEs in general, indepently from a specific project.
Particular attention has been given to the management of these two new services and the organisation of smart signposting of clients within the VEBIN conosrtium in charge of the overall EEN activities in the region, and to ensure a close interaction with the NCPs for Horizon 2020 in Flanders. An important element in the project management is also the interaction with the local support ecoosystem for SMEs in the region. The focus of the project has therefore been on smart signposting, high quality service with a clear Europan added value taking into account the existence of local support systems and thus respecting the principle of additionality.
The first cut off evaluations of the SME instrument resulted only in a very limited number of Belgium companies having been selected. During the lifetime of this project we diligently looked into the causes there might have been for this and how we can remediate this through our own services. This resulted in an even more close cooperation with the NCPs in the region and with the invitation of a third partner in the consortium for the next edition (2015-2016) of the project: we identified some weaknesses on the internationalisation strategy of SME instrument potential candidates and hope to remediate this in the future with out new partner Flanders Investment and Trade, the Flemish agency for internationalisation. Evaluating the results of the first cut-offs resulted also in another more focussed communication strategy for the SME instrument among the Flemish business community. Special efforts have also been made to promote the programme among potential coaches in the region and to encourage them to apply for registration at EASME for future coaching assignments.
The corrective actions taken in the course of this first project period already show their impact now in the first months of 2015, resulting in more approved SME instrument project from Flemish applicants (both for phase 1 and phase 2) and more mature applicants for innovation and/or internationalisation projects in general.
The activities concentrated mainly on two specific action lines: 1. ensuring the key acount management for the beneficiaries of the SME instrument in the region of Flanders, and 2. delivering mentoring and coaching for enhancing the innovation management competencies of Flemish SMEs in general, indepently from a specific project.
Particular attention has been given to the management of these two new services and the organisation of smart signposting of clients within the VEBIN conosrtium in charge of the overall EEN activities in the region, and to ensure a close interaction with the NCPs for Horizon 2020 in Flanders. An important element in the project management is also the interaction with the local support ecoosystem for SMEs in the region. The focus of the project has therefore been on smart signposting, high quality service with a clear Europan added value taking into account the existence of local support systems and thus respecting the principle of additionality.
The first cut off evaluations of the SME instrument resulted only in a very limited number of Belgium companies having been selected. During the lifetime of this project we diligently looked into the causes there might have been for this and how we can remediate this through our own services. This resulted in an even more close cooperation with the NCPs in the region and with the invitation of a third partner in the consortium for the next edition (2015-2016) of the project: we identified some weaknesses on the internationalisation strategy of SME instrument potential candidates and hope to remediate this in the future with out new partner Flanders Investment and Trade, the Flemish agency for internationalisation. Evaluating the results of the first cut-offs resulted also in another more focussed communication strategy for the SME instrument among the Flemish business community. Special efforts have also been made to promote the programme among potential coaches in the region and to encourage them to apply for registration at EASME for future coaching assignments.
The corrective actions taken in the course of this first project period already show their impact now in the first months of 2015, resulting in more approved SME instrument project from Flemish applicants (both for phase 1 and phase 2) and more mature applicants for innovation and/or internationalisation projects in general.
Enterprise Europe Network Vlaanderen