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Innovation support actions for Swiss SMEs in the frame of the European Innovation Council programme 2019 by the Swiss EEN consortium

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - SwissEENissme2.0 (Innovation support actions for Swiss SMEs in the frame of the European Innovation Council programme 2019 by the Swiss EEN consortium)

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

The SwissEENissme2.0 project continues the activities of support to innovation and innovation management performed by the SwissEEN consortium with Swiss SMEs, after the successful completion of the SwissEENissme project in 2017-2018.
The support activities address the help in choosing the best possible business coach for all Swiss companies winners of a European Innovation Council project (KAM activities) and the help with Innovation Management of weaker SMEs in the frame of the EIMC programme.
The support offered by EEN is societally important as SMEs are the backbone of the economy in most European countries, including Switzerland. Their capacity to innovate is not always addressed and not all of them have the means and the time to proactively look for help that is not always commercially available.
In 2019, the big success of Swiss applicants in the programs eligible for the ‘KAM’ support obliged again the Swiss consortium to concentrate on activities in WP1, delivering almost no effort on WP2. This situation is suboptimal but the number of cases received for the WP1 was simply to high to forecast, and the resources available to the consortium to deliver the effort needed were not available in time.
In parallel, a reorganisation of the regional support to innovation in Switzerland made it more difficult for the EEN consortium to have a clear mandate for EIMC activities with some regional clients. The Swiss innovation support ecosystem now is setup with a ‘first contact’ network (Regional Innovation System network) that acts like a first entry door with SMEs, providing a Key Account Management – like service which should be used by the EEN consortium for efficient client acquisition. But at the same time special care should be used not to duplicate their services with the EIMC activities.

The consortium thus concentrated their efforts on completing on time and with best client satisfaction the activities related to the KAM services.

The results in terms of client satisfaction are very good for both packages. The results can be clearly seen in the clients’ feedbacks expressed directly in the case tracker for every key account management package, and in the feedbacks received from the two EIMC packages.
Feedback from the clients show that in 92% of the cases the clients ‘agree’ or ‘strongly agree’ that the KAM helped identify, at the Needs’ Analysis stage, relevant business needs.
Feedbacks also show that in 58% of the cases the needs analysis performed together with the KAM even lead the company to take internal actions – this even before they started working with the assigned coach!
Finally, 100% of the SMEs answered that they ‘agree’ or ‘strongly agree’ with the statement: “I was well informed by the KAM about coaches to be able to choose the appropriate one”, which is a very good testament on the fact that the KAM activities and in particular the help to choose the best possible coach was performed in a good way.
Clients feedback on KAM services provided