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INnovation CApacity of Mediterranean Enterpises

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - INCAME_2 (INnovation CApacity of Mediterranean Enterpises)

Reporting period: 2019-01-01 to 2019-12-31

The aim of INCAME_2 project is to provide support to bridge the differences in terms of capacity to manage innovation processes through a support for increase expertise internal to companies, to acquire greater awareness of the international market in terms of barriers, competition, intellectual property protection and accelerating the process of growth thanks to access to European funding for innovation and competitiveness mainly those in the framework of H2020 program.
During 2019, Consortium partners put in place strong actions to promote the activities related to the SME-Instrument, FET Open & FTI. Dedicated seminars, conferences and workshops (mainly in the framework of COSME project) were organized to increase awareness of SMEs about H2020 Programme. Partners provided information to SMEs about how to participate with increase chances for their success and provided them EEN technical support, in order to have an increasing number of participating companies and, consequently, more KAM cases to follow in future perspective.
The Consortium partners’ staff, involved in the project, attended training courses and working groups to share their knowledge and improve the impact of their supporting activities.
The Consortium, in the framework of INCAME_2 project (WP1 KAM + WP 2 EIMC), served 124 clients in total: one more than the expected target (123 clients mentored expected). The Consortium showed a significant increase in the performance and results, also in comparison with the previous reporting period.
Referring to WP1 KAM services, we have to report that in 2019 there was a very small number of SMEs beneficiaries of SMEs Instrument and no beneficiaries for FTI and FET Open.
The total number of clients served in 2019 is 8, considering the 3 cases assigned and referring to the call cut-off of the end of 2018.
Coaches were all assigned to the 8 cases; the coaching status reported is: 3 Evaluated, 4 Coaching Report, 1 Feedbacks. 4 cases were completed by KAMs.
As a result of the Needs Analysis we can report that 75% of beneficiaries of WP1 services are micro SMEs and are asking for Access to Finance and Markets services which can be offered by the Consortium within COSME project activities, in an integrated client – centric approach. All companies are looking for Private Investors (100%) and most for Public Support (50%).
Referring to WP2 services, 116 clients were served, 17% more than the expected target (99 clients served, according to internal prevision of the Consortium). 61 cases were completed (52,59 % of clients served) and 55 cases were started but not completed.
In comparison with the previous reporting period (120 SMEs served in 2 years - 57 in 2017 and 63 in 2018) the Consortium almost doubled the number of clients served. The same consideration can be made for completed cases: 61 in 2019 whereas in 2017/2018 60 cases were closed in 2 years.
All companies served with KAM and EIMC services have been properly registered to receive services related to COSME activities (drafting of technological offering profiles, involvement in B2B, CM or workshops, scouting, personalized audit, identification of alternative funding sources, etc..).
As far as concerns tools used by the Consortium for the delivery of the EIMC services, according to the characteristics and size of the company, together with the Intake Check used to get a picture of the specific company for the purposes of the assessment tool selection, 2 tools were used: the IMPROVE tool "IMP³rove - European Innovation Management Academy"; Innovation Health Check - questionnaire and evaluation platform were made available by the Enterprise Ireland EEN partner.
Downstream of the assessment activities were defined the specific action plans for each company and, subsequently, were activated supports for the implementation of the action plans. Finally for each company was elaborated a report describing activities carried out and expected impacts.
Direct impact on clients of WP1 services provided was mainly related to:
- Phase 1 beneficiaries submitting a proposal in Phase 2: thanks to support provided by EEN Consortium partners and coaching activities, some weaknesses have strengthened facilitating access to next phase;
- expected increase of the staff in the company due to the opportunity offered by the SME-I;
- transfer to the company of the added value and the importance of technological innovation: as a consequence some companies are registering a patent thanks to the growth of consciousness of intellectual property rights);
- the registration of a patent contributing to the growth of consciousness of the inherent intellectual property rights.
Direct impact on clients of WP2 services provided emerges from the relationship with SMEs:
- the expansion / creation of a network of contacts at national and international level for access to new markets;
- growth of the ability to manage those aspects of innovation within their organization reducing risks and costs coming from the management of complex activities and processes;
- raising of awareness about the crucial process of ideas generation;
- involvement of stakeholders in the innovation process;
- capacity building of human resources in the company;
- awareness and knowledge of the business model to adopt.

As regards the potential impact on job created or maintained and the financial gain or saving allowed, it cannot be exactly estimated. However, the provision of the EIMC services should have at least allowed the preservation of the Client’s status quo in terms of maintenance of employment levels and an increase in the Clients’ competitiveness thanks also to a greater awareness on innovation management and its importance.