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EEN Scotland EIMC

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - EEN Scotland EIMC (EEN Scotland EIMC)

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

The project’s underlying objective is to encourage smart inclusive and sustainable growth in the EU by increasing effective investment in innovation linked to profitable exploitation in international markets.

The project’s specific objective is to ensure that Scottish SMEs with international innovation and growth ambitions are empowered by unlocking their full growth potential through better internal innovation management capability (EIMC) and tailored mentoring and coaching for EIC Pilot beneficiaries (KAM). The aim is to support SME’s international competitiveness through the exploitation of new or enhanced products, process or service through improved innovation efficiency.

Scotland’s SMEs innovation performance has traditionally been under par, with average levels of innovation activity and low BERD: below the EU average and in the bottom half of regions in the UK. According to evidence sources such as the Community Innovation Survey, or BERD data, Scotland’s SMEs tend to the following innovation characteristics:

• Conservative: invest more in innovation to reduce costs than to open up new revenue streams
• Incremental: rather than disruptive
• Adoption: more likely to buy in than invest in R&D or level development
• Insular: less likely to collaborate with other companies and more likely to have local collaboration partners
• Local: innovate to serve local markets: UK sales more likely than international

There is a need to support our SMES to increase their innovation performance and management capacity, ensuring that their investments and resources in this area result in profitable, sustainable growth and increased productivity.
Value Proposition:
1. Synergies with Scotland’s local business support ecosystem and fit Scotland’s Innovation Strategy and delivery approach
2. Synergies and cooperation with SE’s Innovation Strategy and teams: integrated service building on common and shared knowledge of Scottish innovative SMEs. High performing client “account” teams
3. High quality expert staff
4. Structured workflows for EIMC and KAM

We used segmented approaches towards identified potential in Scotland’s SME innovation base in order to build a rolling pipeline for EIMC and EIC Pilot candidature. EEN Scotland works in smart, high performing “account” teams to deliver this project: allowing for the necessary flexibility to supply the right support to the right SME at the right time, using the right innovation expert: calibrating effective resource deployment with optimum SME support: putting the client at the centre.

This enables the ability to respond quickly to new internal or external opportunities/challenges or changes in the market/SME environment. In addition, this approach also allows for critical real-time capacity building of the staff through mentoring and joint learning: building a strong team and processes for a longer term high quality service which is integrated into the main Scottish Innovation Support Framework.

In developing a network for the future, building on current EEN capability, we have adopted a highly client centric approach, targeting and supporting those businesses with real potential and ambition to grow and scale. This approach is designed to deliver a unique resource that builds on what is available locally and has global reach to help businesses access global markets.

Participating companies are ‘account managed’ and receive the right support to be meet their needs at the time when it is required. A longer-term relationship is be built with them to ensure they are given the best chance to be successful. This approach implies a seamless and totally integrated support with the COSME services. All Scottish EIMC clients have been supported through COSME (EEN “Phase III” services), as well as being linked into the full range of support available through Scottish Enterprise and in the region. Holistic all-round support has been made available to all our client SMEs. Pipeline, capacity building and project development is supported through the COSME SGA, and closely linked to the Innovation Management Capacity activities.

This approach has proved successful, with very positive results for the SMES and all target outputs having been meet. 33 SMES, up from a target of 30, have received targeted support service packages to help them capitalise on their innovation activities.
Expected impacts
Direct impact from the two actions will be enhanced potential growth and profitability of SMEs receiving the services. Innovation processes will be conducted more efficiently and more effectively. In turn, this should lead to more highly capable SME strategic innovators successfully launching globally competitive products and services, as well as feeding a pipeline of successful EIC applicants. These SMEs will be strongly integrated into and supported by the regional innovation ecosystem accelerating the impact of the support provided.

Indirect impact is expected from the introduction of high quality innovation management capacity assessment and support services in all regions across Europe. In an increasing number of regions, the described action will lead to the integration of innovation management capacity building into regional innovation support. Benchmarking through IMProve will also become more meaningful as a critical number of SMEs undertake the assessment.

Impact Measure Targets:

• €6million-€10million additional revenues to the Scottish economy from R&D, Innovation and Internationalisation