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EEN Innovation Management Services Berlin-Brandenburg

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - InnoManage BB (EEN Innovation Management Services Berlin-Brandenburg)

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

The Action allowed Berlin Partner für Wirtschaft und Technologie GmbH (BP) and ZAB ZukunftsAgentur Brandenburg GmbH, the business and technology promotion agencies in the German capital Region, to perform innovation orientated services for SME which would not have been possible otherwise. InnoManage brings to SME a novel kind of service: So far, innovation related services of the two agencies had mostly been geared at either improving technological innovation in companies by funding R&D projects and human resource qualification or by organizing technology transfer and cooperation. With the INNOSUP-Action it is for the first time possible to look at a company´s internal and external innovation processes and how they organize Innovation in a European context.
The audit gives company executives the opportunity to systematically look at their management processes and thereby to discover gaps and weaknesses or simply issues that should be given more attention.
The work packages of the project were related to two different target groups:
(1) SME which have successfully applied for funding under the H2020 SME instrument and which have received an initial assessment through a Key Account Manager (KAM) and which have assisted the process of the selection of a EU-certified coach to further assist SMEs in their innovation process;
(2) other SME which are innovative, growth-orientated and international in outlook and which have been received services of innovation management consultancy.
As mentioned before KAM Services within the work package 1 were delivered to two companies in Berlin, Space Structure and Solardynamik. Analysing the coaching needs of a company and helping beneficiaries to identify suitable coaches are the core tasks of this service. After receiving a notification from EASME that the grant agreement has been signed, the KAM started to approach both companies. After the initial contact, the needs analysis had been carried out in both SMEs. The needs analyses were conducted with the management team of the companies, KAM and one senior advisor from the related sector or cluster of BPWT. The needs analyses were based on the SEZ Innovation Competitiveness Audit and on the smE-MPOWER approach, which has been handed out by EASME to KAM.
The main coaching needs identified with the companies during the need analyses were the lack of limited internal resources, in particular finances. Based on the identified challenges for coaching support, a short-list of coaches with the necessary profile and expertise were selected by the KAM and provided to the companies. Both SMEs selected the appropriate coach from the list. The contract finalisation with the coach by EASME after uploading the coaching plan took more than four weeks. The coaching process is still ongoing.
Additional EEN Services were provided to both SMEs such as search for appropriate business partners, advising on IPR issues and facilitating access to additional funding on the national level and to potential private investors.
Work package 2 has been used by the project partners to help particularly promising SMEs enhance their innovation management capacities. SMEs candidates for these services were carefully selected to ensure that the limited funding resources are used in the most effective way.
As auditors we led the managers through the open interviews guided by the structure of the audit-tools. After the interviews, the auditors analysed and discussed what they heard, read (and saw) and prepared the report including conclusions and recommendations for measures to improve and develop the situation. BP did nine audits, ZAB two.
For both partner Berlin Partner and ZAB, in all cases the recommendations included further consultations such as preparing the SME for European funding programmes (e.g. the SME-Instrument or other Horizon 2020 calls) or to access cooperation partners for innovation through the database of the Enterprise Europe Network.
As both Services KAM and EICM carried out by both project partners are fairly fresh, the companies are still in the midst of realising the coaching’s and the action plans resulting from the Audits.
Publication Innomanage BB on the EEN Website