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Providing services under Horizon 2020 enhancing the innovation management capacity of Hungarian SME's within the framework of the Enterprise Europe Network - 2015-16

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - INNO-HUN2015-16 (Providing services under Horizon 2020 enhancing the innovation management capacity of Hungarian SME's within the framework of the Enterprise Europe Network - 2015-16)

Reporting period: 2015-01-01 to 2016-12-31

The general and specific objectives of the call were met, but only partially, as a result of certain unexpected obstacles. The grant agreement’s signature was hindered and it was signed a year later, hence the innovation experts could only start the Enhancing Innovation Management Capacity assessments later. One of the consortium members quitted the project at the end of the first year, who were the practical work package lead of the EIMC services, so the project members had to recalculate the resources. Fortunately, the project partners are experienced in innovation and within a short period of time they rearranged the numbers and resources. Although the training of the newly involved experts took time, the consortium tried its best to reach the targeted numbers. This late action did not hinder the Key Account Management service, all beneficiaries received the EEN support in time. Most of the overall objectives, such as delivering clear impact by facilitating the exploitation of feasible research results and implement innovation and 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; improving capabilities in innovative SMEs to thrive on new international business opportunities, create good value proposition, increase their customer base and expand their share of the market; sharing the best practice of SMEs, who have already received such services throughout the previous project period were accomplished though. The Key Account Management for the SME Instrument beneficiaries was a very successful service within our portfolio. 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. Other crucial challenge is the access-to-finance for these SMEs. The use of business coaches helped them to focus their existing resources and exploit them successfully. 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. We worked or still work together with 31 Phase1 beneficiaries and 14 Phase2 beneficiaries in Hungary. We are more than proud that three out of the fourteen Phase2 beneficiaries come from Phase1 projects.
The previous project phase in 2014 was closed down with three finished Phase 1 cases and one ongoing Phase 2 case within the Key Account Management. The number of beneficiaries increased massively ever since; there are thirty-one Phase 1 and fourteen Phase 2 beneficiaries in Hungary. The increase in the number is significant and the Hungarian consortium aims at further raise these numbers. The EEN consultants disseminate the results every chance they have, during giving presentations, participating on workshops, or even during one-to-one consultations with new clients.
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 the project impact has been and will be done with constant follow-up via email and telephone. Moreover, questionnaires 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.
Enterprise Europe Network consultants held presentations all over Europe, including several Hungarian conferences, disseminated all results and introduced the innovation services to the broad public. Several newspaper articles promoted the Network and its innovation services.
Within Enhancing Innovation Management Capacity service package, the innovation experts of the Hungarian consortium assessed a total of 46 SMEs, out of which 4 cases are still ongoing.
The continuous promotion and the organization of thematic workshops and events helped Hungarian SMEs to get to know the existing possibilities, which could further improve their operation and which services are on the Enterprise Europe Network portfolio. Within the 2-year work programme, the Hungarian consortium was entirely committed to empower SMEs in their efforts and challenges towards the successful commercialization of their innovative products. Specific objectives were varying from providing useful knowledge for further financing, finding international business partners, or providing knowledge for IP and market strategies among many other services. It is crucial to provide all necessary information for the Hungarian enterprises, so they can compete with other international SMEs in the European and global markets. Both the Key Account Management and Enhancing Innovation Management Capacity services are unique and have high value-added for Hungarian SMEs. The EEN consultants participate at external and internal trainings (e.g.: Pump up the KAM, Introduction to the Action Development Plan with Imp3rove Academy, Train the trainer sessions on innovation, etc), so to have the most up-to-date information on any hot topics. These information are disseminated via different platforms (e.g.: online, workshops, newspapers, presentation, etc) aiming at Hungarian innovative enterprises.
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