CORDIS - EU research results

Providing Key Account Management services to H2020 SME Instruments, FET and FTI beneficiaries, and enhance innovation management capacity of selected SME's.

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - ICEKAM-4 (Providing Key Account Management services to H2020 SME Instruments, FET and FTI beneficiaries, and enhance innovation management capacity of selected SME's.)

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

The main objectives of this project are to provide efficient assistance to enable SME Instrument-, Fast Track to Innovation- (FTI) and Future and Emerging Technology Open (FET) grant beneficiaries under Horizon 2020 to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of innovation processes within these small and medium sized enterprises

The specific object of this project was to identify bottlenecks to the creation of economic impact in companies benefitting from grants by Horizon2020 SME Instrument and address these bottlenecks with the help of capable coaches. It is important for the society and the economy to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of innovation processes in SMEs with growth potential and with significant innovation activities that could potentially become international.

Most frequently mentioned bottlenecks hindering the implementation of the SMEs business ideas in Iceland were usually the same for all the Icelandic SMEs. Main bottlenecks mentioned was access to finance, demand for simplification on service provided by the SME ecosystem and valuable resources such as the right staff.

The consortium has ensured and monitored the activities' performance through regular contact with the SMEs and the coaches, to ensure that both parties were happy with the services received from the KAM and the coach.
KAM services were offered to 12 (eleven) Icelandic SME Instruments beneficiaries, 4 (four) phase II beneficiaries and 7 (seven) phase I beneficiaries. There was 2 successful Icelandic FTI beneficiaries( one global company which was not eligable for coaching service) and no FET-Open beneficiaries during this project period.

All SMEs accepted the KAM services, and received a needs analysis and offer of other COSME services provided by Enterprise Europe Network in Iceland.
Synergies with COSME services was successful.

Deviation from the planned work program is mainly the exclusive service to SME instruments beneficiaries, more specifically phase II beneficiaries with difficulties finding the right coach, mostly because of high exclusivity of needs (3 phase II cases from 2018).

As KAM cases were fewer in comparison to previous period, special emphasis was put on synergizing with COSME services with good success. SMEs were treated in line with client-centric approach and relevant solutions were elaborated on their journey. Especially challenging are the phase II beneficiaries demanding more exclusivity, growth based support.

Due to high workload within KAM services, especially phase II beneficiaries with exclusive coach needs and because of increased emphasis on client-centric approach by using Hub and Spoke model therefore increasing linkage between KAM and other COSME services, there was no opportunity to offer any formal EIMC services.
All 12 SMEs received KAM service even though two companies did not select any coach. All of them received in depth analysation of status and needs of support.

It can frankly be said that almost all clients and the experts in Iceland, have been very happy about the experience relating to the H2020 services. The KAM experts in Iceland have met the most innovative and forward-thinking SMEs in Iceland, most of these SEMs have happily received expert advice and utilised the business coaching services offered by the EU.

State of the art progress is seen to be the successfull synergy between KAM and COSME services securing future collaboration and trustworthy business relationship. Furthermore the number of SMEs receiving Seal of Excellence was high in comparison to all SME instruments beneficiaries which is a great success and important for the overall goal of the project and for the future growth of SMEs when in scale up process.

Documented direct impact regarding "significantly enhanced growth and profitability" should be mainly through phase II SMEs. They have very likely been able to secure growth because of status of project, in-depth coaching possibilities, connection and networking invitations by the EIC and KAM support on a Hub and Spoke model terms.
The client-centric approach has proved to be successful and a red line throughout the KAM service and during synergizing with COSME services. The focus is on supporting the client throughout their journey and paying attention to their future requirements and challenges. By using the client-centric approach, the communication with fellow experts in the Network increased simultaneously.