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InnoBremen3 – Establishing services enhancing the innovation management capacities of SMEs in the Federal State of Bremen

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - InnoBremen3 (InnoBremen3 – Establishing services enhancing the innovation management capacities of SMEs in the Federal State of Bremen)

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

The project, carried out by Enterprise Europe Network Bremen under the topic ‘Specific activities in the context of innovation support (Horizon 2020)’, namely the in-depth services enhancing the innovation capacity of SMEs, i.e. ‘Key account management' under the SME Instrument of Horizon 2020’ and ‘Services to enhance the innovation management capacities of SMEs’, was implemented in 2019.
Innovation is a key driver for the success of enterprises, a requirement for their competiveness and thus a precondition for exploiting international opportunities in the Single Market and beyond. Offering growth-oriented business and innovation support services to SMEs is therefore seen as the core task of the Enterprise Europe Network.
The overall objective of the action is to enhance management capacity of growth-oriented SMEs with significant innovation activities and a high potential for internationalisation. The consortium aims at delivering its services to two different groups of SMEs:
1. The ‘Key Account Management’ (KAM) services are provided to beneficiaries of the SME Instrument within the framework of the Horizon 2020 programme.
2. The ‘Enhancing the innovation management capacity of SMEs’ (EIMC) services are delivered to enterprises with high potential for innovation and internationalisation.
In order to contribute to the growth of the EU by increasing the effectiveness and efficiency of investments in research, development of innovations as well as by contributing to a more efficient connection of actors along the innovation chains, the services have been provided since 2014 and will be available for SMEs in the federal state of Bremen.
Beneficiaries of the SME Instrument are accompanied to help identify weaknesses in the innovation capacities that hinder the realisation of growth and therefore limit the development of the full commercial potential. The EIMC service aims at increasing the effectiveness of innovation processes in SME, namely by offering the provision of innovation and technology audits as well as technology transfer partnering services. The objective of the activities thus also includes enabling potential companies to qualify for successful EU support for research and development. With the help of an assessment of their innovation management a need-gap analysis will help to create a suiting and individual action plan.
During the funding period 2019 the following services have been offered:
1. ‘Key Account Management services’ (KAM) for beneficiaries of the SME Instrument under Horizon 2020
2. Service package ‘Enhancing the innovation management capacity of SMEs’ (EIMC)
Both service packages, offered by Enterprise Europe Network Bremen as an integral part to other activities, has contributed to the enhancement of innovation management capacities in the respective enterprises. In 2019 there has been one beneficiary for the SME Instrument in the Federal state of Bremen, although the case could not be completed. Seven EIMC cases have been delivered to SMEs in the Federal state of Bremen.
Both service packages, offered by Enterprise Europe Network Bremen as an integral part to other activities, has contributed to the enhancement of innovation management capacities in the respective enterprises. In 2019 there was one beneficiary for the SME Instrument in the Federal state of Bremen. The consortium has been able to deliver all seven planned EIMC services to SMEs in the Federal state of Bremen.
The EIMC services where provided to enterprises with significant potential for innovation and internationalisation. The actions have met the different objectives of the call and helped to unlock the latent potential within the beneficiary companies. The used methods have shown to be widely accepted as they demand close cooperation between the beneficiaries and the innovation management experts and therefore are very transparent. The actions have been linkable to advantages for the beneficiaries, i.e. in the optimization of quality processes, enhancement of international marketing and sales, definition of new target groups, methods for the systematic development of products and services products or granted national funding. By delivering the EIMC services the beneficiaries receiving these services were also enabled to improve their innovation management as they learned about the Innovation Management System that has been used during the consultancy (DD in-house Innovation Review Tool, basis: technical specification CEN/TS 16555-1, published by the European Commission).
The services are expected to influence the innovation management capacities in the significant fields of business operation of the companies. The aim is to initiate growth with the implementation of tailor-made action plans. The different ways of growth are derived from short- and long-term goals of the companies and are therefore individual. Measurable impacts so far have ranged from adjusting business plans to identifying new marketing strategies, new market opportunities and identifying cooperation partners. SMEs that were willing to improve their competitiveness in the context of globalized and internationalized market through the improvement of their innovation processes and management are convinced of the positive effects that these applied changes will have based on the advices and assistance provided during the EIMC services. Even if they didn’t immediately account to an increase in their sales or turnover, they were expecting valuable returns on the services received. These impacts are in line with the Implementation Strategy of Enterprise Europe Network Bremen, namely the objective to facilitate access to European and international markets for SMEs and to provide growth-oriented, integrated business and innovation support services that help strengthen the competitiveness and sustainability of European enterprises.
EEN Bremen