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ENHANCEMENT OF BLACKSEA INNOVATION CAPACITY

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - B-SEENOVA (ENHANCEMENT OF BLACKSEA INNOVATION CAPACITY)

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

In the region, there is no SME beneficiary that has a project related to Horizon SME-Instrument so we could not provide KAM services to any SME, that was the most important problem regarding the project. In some cases getting an appoinment from the selected SME was the problem.
Also by courtesy of our activity plan within this project, the awareness level of the companies in the region regarding the necessary actions to enhance their innovation capacity is quite increased. But the project duration is very short for observing any improvement on a innovation process of a company. To observe a concrete impact you need much more time than the project duration.
Through this project, on all of these basis, the production, innovation, innovation management and export capacities of SME’s can be enhanced.The main objective for the Network with its services under H2020 is to ensure that the innovation management capacity of the SME clients is increased. Innovation management capacity is recognized as an important element to creating economic impact (competitiveness, growth and jobs) from innovation activities in SMEs.
There are two major objectives for this project. The first main objective for the Network with its services under H2020 is to ensure that key SME beneficiaries of H2020 are helped efficiently so that their full innovation potential can be exploited. SME beneficiaries of the funding schemes SME Instrument, Fast Track to Innovation ( hereinafter referred to as FTI) and Future and Emerging Technologies Open (hereinafter referred to as FET-Open) under H2020 should receive dedicated Key Account Management (KAM) services by the Network which should be complemented by coaching services. The objective of these services is to identify weaknesses in the innovation capacities of the SME beneficiaries hindering their growth opportunities and hence their full commercial potential. The Network's Key Account Managers shall identify the coaching needs of the SMEs and should identify suitable coaches who will be tasked with the addressing of the identified weaknesses.
The second main objective for the Network with its services under H2020 is to ensure that the innovation management capacity of the SME clients is increased. Lack of innovation management capacity is recognized as an important barrier to creating economic impact (competitiveness, growth and jobs) from innovation activities in SMEs. Horizon 2020’s SME-instrument foresees offering mentoring and coaching services to beneficiaries to address this need. On the other hand; the Enterprise Europe Network, as a European-wide network of public, public-private and private providers of support services to SMEs that was established for the period 2008-14 under the Competitiveness and Innovation Framework Program (CIP) and that has been re-established for the period 2015-21 under the Competitiveness and SME program (COSME), facilitates access to European and international markets for European SMEs and by providing growth-oriented,integrated business and innovation support services that help strengthen the competitiveness and sustainability of European enterprises.
During the reporting period, we have provided EIMC services totally for 35 SMEs (22 SME from Samsun CCI, 13 SME from Trabzon CCI).We have prepared 35 tailor made action plans for them which not only include the innovation process mapping from idea to result, but also including leadership, management and co-operation strategies, providing SMEs with in depth analysis of their innovation management, investigating possible gaps between innovation capabilities and innovation goals. We have supported 35 SMEs to implement their action plans. Within the framework of our studies which were made in this project the awareness level of the SMEs in the region about H2020 SME Instrument has been raised and also encouraged them to prepare proposals for the mentioned instrument and so most probably there will be KAM clients in the upcoming period. Regarding 35 selected company,only 1 of them has innovation strategy and with the action plans prepared within this project the companies realized the importance of having an innovation strategy and they started to preparations to form an innovation strategy for their company.
The experts provided service for each SME (totally 35 SME within the project) within 12 months from the beginning of the project after selecting the most suitable SMEs with the information that the partners (Chambers) have about their potential.
Direct impact from the action is a significantly enhanced growth and profitability of SMEs receiving the services. But innovation studies/projects are long-termed so to observe the impacts during the project life cycle is very difficult. Awareness level regarding their innovation capacity of 35 SMEs were raised, they could realise their current innovation capacity and also realised what they could do more to enhance their current innovation capacity via the tailor made action plans prepared within this project, they were informed related to financial supports on innovation management projects, their innovation processes have been started to be conducted more efficiently and more effectively after our visits within the framework of this project. Indirect impact is expected from the introduction of high quality innovation management capacity assessment and support services in the Project region. This project aims to enhance the innovation capacity of the selected SMEs and so the enhanced innovation management capacity of SME is recognized as an important element to creating economic impact (competitiveness, growth and jobs) from innovation activities in SMEs. Also taking into account that the enhanced capacity which the selected SMEs for EIMC services will have, to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of their innovation management system, will increase the number of KAM clients in the upcoming period.