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Innovation services and key account management support for Basque SMEs for 2019

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - BASKAM3 (Innovation services and key account management support for Basque SMEs for 2019)

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

The BASKAM3 project aims at providing the Basque SMEs with two Enterprise Europe Network services:
1) Key Account Management (KAM) for SME Instrument, FET Open and Fast Track to Innovation beneficiaries.
2) Enhancing Innovation Management Capacity (EIMC) of innovating SMEs,
These services have been provided in an additional but integrated way to the usual COSME EEN activities related to the SME competitiveness and innovation.
The aim of the KAM services is to conduct an analysis and assessment of the innovation needs for each individual beneficiary and, based on them, an agreed programme of coaching is provided to support their project realisation, leveraging partnerships to connect them with relevant advice and funding support, including the provision of specialized coaches. The KAM also accompanies the beneficiary throughout the entire project, getting the full SME´s satisfaction.
The objective of the EIMC services is to define a consulting service that demonstrates a measurable positive impact on the capacities of promising SMEs to manage their innovation processes. The goal is to assess a subset of promising individuals SMEs and support them to develop their innovation management. When the EEN expert identifies a promising SME capable of growth and successful internationalisation, an assessment of the current status of innovation management capacity of the SME is carried out, highlighting their main weaknesses and needs in order to develop and implement a jointly agreed action plan to improve the SME’s capacity to manage innovation processes.
For the period 2019, the Basque Node (BASQUE-EEN-4SMES) partners participating in this action, SPRI and Innobasque, proposed to deliver 20 new “service packages” to SMEs in the Basque Country: 19 KAM services plus 1 EIMC services. In addition, there were some cases that continued from the previous periods.
Eventually, there were only 7 new cases (6 Phase 1 and 1 Phase 2), a number much lower than expected. In total, during 2019, the two Basque partners offered KAM services to 27 cases (26 SMEs), 15 were completed and 12 will end in the following period.
Most of the projects are in line with the Basque RIS3 strategic priorities: Advanced manufacturing, Energy and Biosciences-health.
The tool used for the need analysis is the smE-POWER. All the companies accepted to work with a business coach. For Phase 1, all the companies decided to work only with one coach, due to the limited number of Coaching days. In Phase 2, some of the companies (HWS Concrete Towers, Satlantis, Fresmak, Smiley, Graphenea, and Gogoa), decided to work with two or more coaches.
Besides informing about the Coaching services, the KAM presents the COSME services and activities to the SME and as a result, some of the beneficiaries start an active collaboration with our Consortium. All the beneficiaries were duly informed about the initiatives related to the EIC Business Acceleration Services. Some SMEs participated in these events with excellent results. They were also informed about the Innovation Radar.
During the period, the Basque KAMs participated in the Networking activities organised by EASME and in other initiatives relevant for the project.
Regarding the Enhancing Innovation Management Capacity services, SPRI planned to complete the 4 actions pending from the previous periods and to deliver one new EIMC services package. Unfortunately, the planned EIMC services could not be delivered.
Although the methodology was presented to over 60 different companies, no SME showed interest in the service. It is very difficult to find companies interested in it, as there is regional support for more advanced innovation management tools. Besides, the pending cases declined to finish the service and to implement the innovation roadmap.
All the beneficiaries were duly informed about the initiatives related to the EIC Business Acceleration Services. As an example, Alerion Technologies and HWS Towers were invited to the EIC Corporate Day organised by the EIC and Equinor in January 2019 in Oslo with the aim to discover challenges and explore opportunities within oil & gas, renewable energy and digitalisation. The participant SMEs highly appreciate the value of the BAS that helps them to attract clients and investors.
The KAMs also informed beneficiaries about the Innovation Radar. The company Graphenea was finalist for the Innovation Radar Prize 2019 in the Innovative Science category.
It is also worth mentioning that, in May 2019, the company Bunt Planet signed a distribution agreement with the German company Siemens, whereby the German multinational will be responsible for marketing the BuntBrain software worldwide, thereby improving the sustainable water supply worldwide.
The picture demonstrates the interrelation between both EEN actions, COSME and H2020