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Enhancing Innovation Management Capacities and Key Account Management (KAM) services for Greek SMEs

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - Enhancement SGA3 (Enhancing Innovation Management Capacities and Key Account Management (KAM) services for Greek SMEs)

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

EEN-Hellas, comprises a national infrastructure for the support of SME with potenatial to innovate and internationalise. Through the Enterprise Europe Network, SMEs receive advisory and partnering support from specialised consultants in order to grow successfully and achieve their full potential.

In this framework SMES, which show promising potential receive further two-fold support.
- SME Instrument beneficiaries (now extended to all EIC programmes beneficiaries) receive the Key Account Management service which links them to appropriate coaches that will further guide the companies to successfully drive their innovation and business forward.
- Innovative companies with potential to develop new products and services receive the EIMC service in order to raise their capacity to manage successfully their innovation development process.

The project activities continue to be driven forward by the same objectives, to identify suitable SMEs, assess their ability to innovate and grow and provide them with support and solutions to achieve their goals in the most efficient manner.
During the reporting period, specialised EEN-Hellas consultants provided bespoken KAM services to EIC beneficiaries and EIMC services to innovative SMEs with high-growth potential. The type of beneficiaries has been extended to include also other entities who appreas as beneficiaries from the Pathfinder programmes (FET Open, FET Proactive, FET Launchpad and FET Innovation Actions).

In all cases the general format of the services included at least one visit with Client management staff, a detailed recording of goals, processes, activities and problems, an assessment phase for diagnosing areas for further support, and final consulting in the form of Coaching suggestions or an Action Plan for implementation.

EEN-Hellas provided support 39 clients, an 87% achievement over the envisaged target during the proposal stage, although a number of cases (13) both for KAM and EIMC services will continue to 2020. The one-year duration of the contract has introduced considerable strain in completing numerous cases within a limited time. This is reflected also to the large number of cases for both KAM and EIMC services that although started in 2019 have not yet completed and are thus not reported in the PES files.
KAM services have been extended to EIC but non-SMEs beneficiaries. Partners rendering the KAM services were prompt to examine and determine whether the entitled entities were standing to gain from the Coaching offered. The first results were very encouraging.

Adhering to the Client-centric approach, and in the framework of providing support throughout the Clients’ journey, consultants have crucially included the EIMC service as part of the overall SME support. In conjunction will all EEN-Hellas partners companies are identified, contacted and directed SMEs to the EIMC consultants.
Moreover clients who have been supported during the EIC programmes proposal preparation, but eventually received a Seal of Excellence distinction were promptly directed to the EIMC services.

An attempt to promote the EIMC service to national actors took place in 2019, with the goal of further dissemination of the service to clients. This effectively has prompted consideration of enlarging the pool of SMEs who could potential benefit from the programme.

Linkage with the National Contact Points continued in earnest. The project partners rendering the KAM service also host the relevant National Contact Points for the EIC programmes which facilitates the exchange of information and the promotion of the services.

The EIMC and KAM services continue to provide SMEs with valuable insight and assessment over their activities. The outcome of this are issues that need to be addressed and can contribute significantly to their growth potential and resilience in the face of an extremely competitive environment.