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Innovation support through specialized EEN services for Walloon innovative SMEs 2019

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - Kamwal 2.3 (Innovation support through specialized EEN services for Walloon innovative SMEs 2019)

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

The main objective of the KAMWAL2.3 project was to propose a professional coaching system for Walloon SMEs beneficiaries of H2020 SME Instrument, Fast Track to Innovation (FTI) ,Future Emerging Technologies (FET) and EIC related measures.
Through specialised advisors, KAMs for Key Account Managers, EEN Wallonia identified coaching needs associated to the SME and its project, coaches’ profiles that could be associated to these needs in order to propose to the company to collaborate with them.

The objective of the coaching is to help the SME to develop its growth project under the best conditions and to increase the chances of success in order to obtain a positive impact on the health and wealth of the European economy.

The project aimed also to propose to relevant Walloon SMEs a specialised service in order to help them to progress at the level of innovation management. The EIMC - Enhanced Innovation Management Capacity - is based on the use of on EC agreed and standardized tools used to assess the starting situation and then to draw action plans with the company and to help in their implementation. The provision of this service is also a way to identify potential candidates to the SME Instrument programme.
Regarding the context, establishing links with Cosme environment and especially providing "basic" EEN services is of particular interest.

During 2019, EEN partner InnovaTech operated both services in Wallonia.
For the “KAM” part, the KAMWAL 2.3 project allowed to take in charge 11 Walloon cases (8 in phase 1 and 4 in phase 2) representing 11 Walloon companies.
For the “EIMC” service, during 2019, partner Innovatech used its tool INNONET to achieve the assessment part of the service. Innovation practices within 10 Walloon companies were evaluated and led to action plans for 8 among them.
In Wallonia, there exist a lot of funding mechanisms proposed by public-like bodies. EIC funding mechanisms are clearly not among the first choices of companies when looking for financial support for their innovative projects. The level of competition at European level is indeed clearly so high that companies prefer apply for other schemes. It follows however that those who apply are held by companies really willing to grow. The KAM service has duly been activated for the 11 Walloon companies that have benefitted from SME Instrument and EIC programmes.
The impact generated by the KAM service itself is difficult to evaluate precisely but it appears anyway to be of interest for the beneficiaries as attested by their positive feedbacks.

During 2019, the “EIMC” service was operated by a new partner used to deal with innovation management. However, as the service is not project-based but company-based, it is not obvious to convince (rather small) companies to go. But as 80% decided to continue after the assessment phase, that probably means that their expectations have been met during the first phase and that they are willing to move their organisation forward.
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