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Enhancing Innovation Management Capacity in Hessen

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - InnoHessen2Europe (Enhancing Innovation Management Capacity in Hessen)

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

Enterprises succeeding as growth champions tend to have a significantly better innovation management along the whole value chain from idea generation to market entry. This issue was the main idea of the project InnoHessen2Europe implemented by Hessen Trade & Invest GmbH (HTAI), representing the EEN Hessen. The project was embedded in the action „Establishing services enhancing the innovation management capacity of SMEs in the Enterprise Europe Network”.
The overall objective of this action thus was to support innovative SMEs with a high potential for growth and internationalisation to optimize their innovation value chain by enhancing their innovation management capacity. The objective was targeted with two services: Key Account Management (KAM) and Enhancing Innovation Management Capacity (EIMC).
The services delivered contributed to a balanced business and technology development of clients consulted, resulting in an increased competitiveness and growth. Thus, they are likely to strengthen their ability to perform well in the European Single Market and outside. The objective therefore supports the Europe 2020 strategy in terms of activation of SMEs’ business potential.
Hessian beneficiaries of the SME Instrument were supported with Key Account Management (KAM). EEN Hessen assessed their gaps and challenges, identified suitable coaches, facilitated the interaction between the coaches and the SMEs and responded to further needs by additional support measures. The overall aim was to enable those companies to conduct their innovation projects successfully and thus to contribute to their commercial growth.
Other Hessian SMEs with significant innovation activities and a high potential for growth and internationalisation were supported in the separate service Enhancing Innovation Management Capacity (EIMC). EEN Hessen assessed their gaps and needs, developed together with the SMEs suitable action plans and facilitated their implementation. With these activities, complemented by a wide range of further EEN services, HTAI contributed to the increase of competitiveness of Hessian SMEs and strengthened their ability to operate successfully in the European Single Market and outside.
The action was conducted by EEN Hessen innovation experts, all senior staff experienced in innovation management. They used the „Innovation Health Check“ by Enterprise Ireland as a CEN/TS 16555-1 tool to assess the innovation management capacity of Hessian clients and to identify needs to be responded to.
The services helped the clients to define priorities and to tackle challenges in their innovation process. This should support conducting the innovation projects successfully. In the KAM case the support should result in a smoother transition into the phase 2 of the project.
Further expected results are a higher commitment to a structured innovation management and a stronger involvement of the staff into the innovation process.
The project contributes to the aims of the Europe 2020 strategy in terms of increasing business and innovation performance of SMEs.