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EEN Advanced Support Services for Walloon SMEs 2015-2016

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - KAMWAL 2.1 (EEN Advanced Support Services for Walloon SMEs 2015-2016)

Berichtszeitraum: 2015-01-01 bis 2016-12-31

The KAMWAL 2.1. project aimed to the provision of innovation services to Walloon SMEs by the Enterprise Europe Network in Wallonia during the period 2015-2016.
The innovation services were operated by 4 specialised partners among the 9 partners of the Walloon consortium.
The innovation services were
- the KAM service: the service consists of helping the Walloon SMEs benefiting from SME Instrument grants to access to the associated free coaching service. Indeed, beneficiaries of SME Instrument grants have also access to an amount of 12 days of coaching provided by professional coaches duly agreed by the European Commission. The role of the EEN advisors, called KAMs, consists of evaluating needs, identifying related external coaches and managing the coaching relationships. The service, optional before June 2016 and mandatory onwards, has been provided to 3 Walloon companies.
- the EIMC (Enhancing Innovation Management Capacities) service: the objective of the project was to propose this service, helping them to better manage their innovation processes, to innovative Walloon SME with a high growth potential and a capacity to internationalize. In order to propose the best adapted service to the needs of Walloon SMEs, 2 tools were tested on 2 real cases : IMPROVE and CCI MAP (developed by CCI Lorraine, France). This latter tool was selected and will be used widely during the next working period.
The innovation services were operated by 4 specialised partners among the 9 partners of the Walloon consortium.
- the KAM service: the service was proposed to all the Walloon beneficiaries from SME Instrument grants.
Wallonia got 5 cases during the reporting period 2015-2016. Four of them have been processed during the period. The latter one will be processed beginning of 2017. All the cases were phase 1 cases.
Until June 2016, the coaching service was optional for beneficiaries. During this first period, Wallonia got 2 files. One company, already EEN client, accepted the coaching service and was therefore helped by an EEN advisor to identify a coach corresponding to its needs.
During the last semester of the project, Wallonia got 3 more cases. As the coaching service began to be mandatory for all beneficiaries from July 2016, these cases were duly taken in charge by the Walloon EEN team resulting into 2 successful cases and the last one planned for early 2017.

- the EIMC service: the first objective of the period were to check whether proposed tools are adapted to Walloon SME through field tests among selected clients. Two real-life field tests, one with Improve and one with the tool CCI MAP developed in France, both agreed tools, were performed. As a result, it appeared that CCI MAP was more convenient because developed with a mind-set closer to the working environment of Walloon SMEs.
Another objective was to integrate the new service in the Walloon framework of support services to innovate Walloon SMEs. As this framework is closely linked to the ERDF projects and that the start of those projects was delayed until fall 2016, the provision of EIMC service was also delayed.
It is therefore expected to really start this activity during the first quarter of 2017.
The KAMWAL 2.1 project constitutes another step to the provision of innovation support services through the Enterprise Europe network in Wallonia.
The KAM service is operational and ready to support all Walloon beneficiaries of the SME Instrument scheme. However, Wallonia continues to suffer from an insufficient number of beneficiaries. Although the decision of reinforcing the links between EEN and NCP has been taken months ago, the effects of this decision do not exist yet. In this context, the number of beneficiaries remained low. On the other, synergies /signposting between Kamwal and Cosme activities have been favoured by the fact that KAMs are also providers of COSME services.
Regarding the EIMC service, the project has suffered from constraints, mainly external, which prevent from being already fully operational with respect to the initial expectations. But it is clear that provision of Cosme services as well of other existing support services is always considered for each file.