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KAM2WestPoland 2019 – Enhancing the innovation management capacity of SMEs in the area of West Poland in 2017-2018

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - KAM2WP2019 (KAM2WestPoland 2019 – Enhancing the innovation management capacity of SMEs in the area of West Poland in 2017-2018)

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

Both KAM and EIMC services had a direct impact on strengthening the innovation capacity management of the SMEs.
The EIMC service was aimed, as assumed in the implementation strategy, at promising SMEs capable of growth and successful internationalisation that have real potential for innovation via proper development of their products, processes, services or business model but who lack the right skills, knowledge and experience to manage the innovation activities. Most clients of the EIMC schemes have not been aware of the importance of innovation strategy in their daily operation and development so far. They needed guidance and support in organisation of innovation management process.
It is important to stress that the increase of awareness of the innovation management process in the companies was one of the most important achievements of the schemes and the implementation of the Action Plans developed within the EIMC schemes will definitely bring new opportunities to the companies in the future.
Overall both schemes helped in:
- Building a long-term strategy for innovation management/implementation in SMEs,
- Adopting strategic goals and objectives in terms of innovation development strategies,
- Establishing new technological relationships,
- Developing of products, services and technologies that are much closer to the local consumer
While the number of implemented KAM schemes depends fully and solely on the success of the proposals submitted to the SME Instrument, the WP 2 services depend on the effectiveness and engagement of the EIMC consultants. Therefore, the EIMC consultants were promoting the WP 2 services during various events (EEN trainings and workshops for the clients) and using various means (newsletters, e-mails, direct meetings, cooperation with Regional Contact Points - presentation of the scheme during their events etc.). Close cooperation with NCPs and their regional offices created a complementary support chain for Innovative SMEs with growth potential.
In general the WP 1 and WP 2 services were implemented successfully.
The KAM services were standardised and each step was reported in the Case Tracker, while in case of EIMC services the consortium had to develop the standards to ensure that the services delivered by all partners were of similar quality.
Only 4 KAMs were implemented in 2019 since only 4 proposals were successful in the SME Instrument in the reporting period. All planned 15 EIMC services were successfully delivered.

It has to be mentioned that for some cases in WP2 implementation, the scope of expertise was extended. In addition to the Innovation Management Assessment offered so far, the Digital Innovation Management Assessment (DIQ) was included (EIMC expert was properly trained). Additionally, as part of the implementation of the support plan, analysis and work on improving the current business model were offered.
Direct impact on the clients of KAM services:
- The SMEI beneficiaries received the most appropriate services enhancing the probability of successful exploitation of their awarded projects;
- After receiving dedicated KAM services, the companies have a better chance to find investors needed to convert the projects into marketable products.
Direct impact on the clients of EIMC services:
- By completing the IMP³rove / SMEpower / Innovation Health Check questionnaires the companies obtained knowledge about the holistic approach to innovation management, and were able to assess their own capability to manage innovation. The analysis helped the companies to understand how the innovation management can influence their development. The final outcomes of the service were often adjustments of the business models used.
- The opportunity to be benchmarked across the high-growth European champions was often a starting point for structured discussions about the companies’ development strategies, and resulted in re-definition of their strategies;

Support received in the EIMC schemes related to various topics and issues definitely allowed to increase the companies’ knowledge on intellectual property rights, corporate finance and business - especially in terms of business model changes. These results translate into an increased operating range and greater internationalisation capabilities. The potential impact of the social context is also linked to the awareness the companies gained regarding the importance of strategic planning and how important it is to have clear milestones to validate each development step.
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