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Services in Support for Business and Innovation in Croatia - Key Account Management

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - SSBI-CRO-KAM3 (Services in Support for Business and Innovation in Croatia - Key Account Management)

Reporting period: 2017-01-01 to 2018-12-31

The overall objective of the project is the provision of the innovation support services addressing SMEs with significant innovation activities and in particular the beneficiaries of the SME instrument. This action provides the continuation of the activities started with SSBI-CRO-KAM and SSBI-CRO-KAM-2.
The activities realized in the previous periods showed sever lack of innovation creation processes in SMEs and consequently almost complete absence of successful innovation management activities, which is a serious barrier for the SMEs to create economic impact. The project addressed these problems through the delivery of innovation support packages.
All planned activities started with a delay due to the fact that one of the project partners decided to pull back and all its tasks had to be redistributed to other project partners. Another project partner in 2018. experienced lack in human capacities for performing envisaged activities. In order to assure quality and avoid underperformance the consortia redistributed the tasks among other consortia partners.

The consortium decided to focus on SMEs with high potential that are able to conduct innovation processes in a more efficient and effective way. This resulted with the delivery of 21 innovation support packages to SMEs (out of 21 planned), enhancing their capacity to manage innovation processes in order to increase their efficiency and effectiveness. The clients were reached through a national joint call with two cut-off dates (resulting with 13 applications) and through signposting COSME clients to EIMC for further support. The selected SMEs were from the textile industry, energy industry, manufacturing industry, water supply industry, bio-plastic and agricultural industry, IT industry (with an incremental innovation).

Some of the clients that received EIMC services were, after the completion of the needs/gaps analysis, directed to use the services of the Network or of other COSME activities (such as Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs program).

The other activity foreseen in the project application was the delivery of 16 support packages to successful SME Instrument applicants. The consortium focused on promoting the Instrument in order to assure that companies with significant innovation activities learn about the possibility to apply for H2020 funding. The aim was to reach higher number of proposals to SME Instrument per country. All the activities were coordinated with COSME activities and realized in cooperation with other project partners and with the NCP. This resulted with the organization of 6 info days/workshops for SMEs interested in accessing the available funds.

An additional effort was made by HAMAG-BICRO and STEP RI that planned to organize workshops in all the region, targeting companies that got the Seal of excellence or that reached more than 10 points with their project application. The idea was to give them concrete support to improve their possibility to succeed. The first step in this process was the collection of expression of interest of the SMEs to participate to the workshops. This research showed that Croatian innovative companies are more focused on applying for national funds that are quite available at his moment. For this reason, the consortium focused on direct promotion of the SME Instrument to the companies that have the potential to apply for it.

Unfortunately, and despite all the previously mentioned activities, due to many available national funding programs for innovative SMEs with much higher success rate, the number of applications to SME Instrument decreased, thus resulting with only 3 successful project applications (one for Phase 1 and two for Phase 2).

During the project period the consortium focused on the implementation of all the activities planned in the implementation strategy, providing the innovation support services addressing in general Croatian SMEs with significant innovation activities.
The impact of all this activity on clients’ performance in terms of significantly enhanced growth and profitability is still not visible as the 21 EIMC services were delivered in 2018, the two SME Instrument Phase 2 projects are ongoing, and the one SME Instrument Phase 1 project finished only in October 2018. All 21 SMEs that received EIMC services have the potential to be future beneficiaries of the SME instrument.
SME Instrument info day - HAMAG BICRO
SME Instrument info day - HAMAG BICRO
SME Instrument info day - HAMAG BICRO