Skip to main content


Periodic Reporting for period 1 - InnoMedia (InnoMedia)

Reporting period: 2017-04-01 to 2018-02-28

SMEs play a central role in territorial development since they are generators of industrial and economic performance. Although they are a small part of the total RTD activity within European regions, SMEs contribute to a large extent to the innovation system by introducing new products and adapting existing ones to the needs of customers. Nevertheless, it is widely recognized that paradoxically SMEs create innovation without research.

The project proposal InnoMedia originates from a chain of factors that show why and how regional innovation support agencies have to provide SMEs with better innovation support and services:
- SMEs do not usually possess the necessary resources and skills for innovation, so that they have to rely on the public support provided by external specialists
- indeed, SMEs receiving innovation support from the public often remain dissatisfied with the services they receive, since generally the public approach to innovation consists in supporting single technical projects within single enterprises
- as a consequence, the need arises for the public to pay more attention to work out effective innovation policies, in accordance with which the regional and local innovation support agencies can design and implement improved innovation programmes for SMEs, monitor and evaluate the outcomes of the programmes, promote or accelerate the development of product and process innovation in SMEs
- in such perspective, territorial innovation policies are the determining factor for the innovation-driven economic and productive growth of SMEs and it is the responsibility of public authorities to determine effective policies, consistent with the territorial peculiarities, to enable innovation support agencies to design and implement improved and effective SME innovation support programmes
- SMEs need intermediaries able to foster and facilitate the access to the knowledge basis needed to develop innovation: these intermediaries are the Regional Agencies for SME Innovation Support.
The InnoMedia peer learning action aims at fostering a new, structured and comprehensive approach to SME innovation challenge and to formation and implementation of SME innovation support programs as well as to create a permanent learning environment by sharing resources, competences and experiences from a group of three leading regional innovation support agencies across national borders.
The three Regional Agencies for SME Innovation Support are: Innova BIC Srl (Italy), Steinbeis Europa Zentrum (Germany), RCISD Ltd (Hungary).

The DOP-Design Option Paper developed, which is the ultimate result of InnoMedia, represents the synthesis of the initiatives to be undertaken and the methodologies to be adopted by the regional innovation agencies to create a new model of animation for the innovation of SMEs that can be adopted in the widest European context and, for this reason, aims to be a public and comprehensive learning tool to serve European SME development.
The activities developed during the 11 months of the project life have been settled around 4 different and interrelated tracks based on:
The methodological support to the challenge of developing innovation in regional SMEs by applying an original method of evaluation and benchmarking of innovation processes and its application. Moreover, some successful innovation programs carried out in some European regions have been studied. Finally, a benchmark and showcase of 4 success cases of regional policies applied by development agency and the case of an initiative launched by the EU Commission for companies’ acceleration was performed.
The study of the activities modus operandi of the development agency partners of the project
The development of the Design Option Paper that is ideally divided into 3 parts:
- In the first, it provides an extensive theoretical framework on the main theories related to the innovation environment by analysing the Regional Innovation System, the open innovation concept and the quadruple and quintuple helix model, the cluster a metacluster theory etc. In the second part, it exploits the work carried on during the project life by analysing more in deep the activities and modus operandi of European innovation agencies and by identifying some success cases and the characteristic elements encompass in those success cases.
- Finally, starting from the analysis of the modus operandi and from the experience of the InnoMedia partners, a wider model of innovation agency is proposed. Moreover, some suggestions on possible acceleration programmes to be developed by the innovation agencies in order to stimulate the enforcement of a SMEs ecosystem are provided.
As transversal activity the work was complemented by a set of communication and dissemination activities done via the website, the social media and the organization of a final conference/roundtable.
InnoMedia has proposed an innovative approach/tool for development agencies developed around the quintuple helix model. The proposed innovation sees the concept of “center of competence” merged with the concept of the accelerator, where the accelerator incorporates business and technical competence and relay on the external supplier for hardware.
The accelerator model proposed as an in-house organization within the development agencies has the following features:
• it has operational and financial independence, but it is subjected to respect the public laws regulation for transparency, conflict of interest, procurement rules, etc.
• it has a fund available for funding specific (per topic) innovation programs submitted by the SME interested to go from TRL 7 to 9, during the acceleration process.
• the funds are disbursed via open call organized by the accelerator and widely promoted in the region.
In addition to the grants, the accelerators offer to the selected companies (grantees) that are led into an acceleration programme the following advantages:
• technical coaching: development and deployment of the technical project applications with the support of accelerator experts and external experts by activation a network of labs/research units in the territory (center of competence)
• commercial/business coaching: development and definition of the business model, support in the analysis of potential customers and users site opportunities, reaching of the market uptake goals and commercialization through commercial coaching activities
• dissemination and visibility of the solution developed
• pan European networking
• partnership with potential clients
• European show-case event to publicize the solution
• access to business angels and venture capitalist and incubators
• education and training & summer schools;
• organizing international matchmaking events for innovative clusters
• thematic, administrative and financial project management
• scientific research and analysis; science incubation
• partnering events;
• workshops;
• boot camps;
• pitching events;
• best practice exchange & peer 2 peer learning moments;

The accelerator will have the role to create a co-opetition mechanism among the selected beneficiaries.
The organization of simultaneous and synergic acceleration programmes will have as results the set-up of a companies’ ecosystem where some of the elements of the system will be supported in finding some space of co-opetition or of cooperation.
general immage