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KAM and Innovation services for SMEs in Lombardia and Emilia-Romagna

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - KAMINLER (KAM and Innovation services for SMEs in Lombardia and Emilia-Romagna)

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

The overall concept of KAMINLER project is the set up and development of a new EEN service addressing in general SMEs with significant innovation activities and in particular the beneficiaries of the SME Instrument, FTI and FET-Open.
The project addresses the following issues:
- lack of innovation management capacity is recognised as an important barrier to creating economic impact (competitiveness, growth and jobs) from innovation activities in SMEs; specifically, in the Northern part of Italy, where companies that are not competitive and innovative are forced to close or dramatically reduce their workforce. Consulting services are not available, too expensive or fragmented in hundreds of small firms lacking a network and international vision.
- SME Instrument, FTI and FET-Open (H2020) require that the beneficiaries are supported by Key Account Manager from the Enterprise Europe Network.

The main objectives of the project, through the delivery in Lombardy and Emilia-Romagna of specific Enterprise Europe Network services, are:
a) To ensure that SME beneficiaries of the funding schemes SME Instrument, Fast Track to Innovation (FTI) and Future and Emerging Technologies (FET-Open) under H2020 are helped efficiently through dedicated Network Key Account Management (KAM) services complemented by coaching services in order to enhance the probability of a successful exploitation of their innovation projects.

b) To enhance the innovation management capacity of SMEs, with potential for growth and significant innovation activities, by providing in-depth support in the areas where these services are absent or unaffordable on local markets, in order to allow to SMEs to exploit their innovation activities in the Single Market and beyond and create economic impact.
WP1: Key Account Management services for the beneficiaries of the SMEs Instrument
The main objective of the work package was to provide support services to the beneficiaries of the SME Instrument in order to identify weaknesses in the innovation management capacities and specific needs of the companies and identify suitable coaches to address the identified weaknesses and moderating the coach-client relationship through the SME instrument project.
The action has been carried out by seven partners of the KAMINLER project: Finlombarda S.p.A. (the coordinator), ART-ER, Innovhub SSI, FAST, Confindustria Lombardia, Confindustria Emilia-Romagna. Innovhub SSI was the WP Leader.
The coordination of the partners has been realized at two levels: at consortium level and at regional level. It mainly consisted in assigning the cases to the KAMs and monitoring the progress of the activities and the achievement of the results.
The Consortium shared common tools and exchanged good practice to ensure the quality of the activities and of the services. Partners participated in Network trainings, in the National Working Group on KAM/EIMC and in the Network KAM Days, in order to improve quality and performance of the of the project’s activities.
Synergies with COSME activities have been achieved first of all by promoting and supporting SMEs participation in the SME Instrument call by means of EEN Info Days, workshops and individual advisory services organized and provided by the partners.
Partners have also provided other EEN services both to the beneficiaries of the SME Instrument and the SMEs awarded with a Seal of Excellence, especially with regards to support for innovation, international partner search and access to finance.

WP2 Enhancing Innovation Management Capacity for innovating SMEs
The main objective of the work package was to carry out innovation diagnostic audits of SMEs, in Emilia Romagna and Lombardy regions in order to identify and propose actions for improving their Innovation Management performance.
The Work Package, led by ART-ER, has been realized by all the KAMINLER partners: Finlombarda S.p.A. ART-ER, Innovhub SSI, FAST, Confindustria Lombardia, Confindustria Emilia-Romagna, Unioncamere Emilia-Romagna, Unioncamere Lombardia and Promos Italia.
For each completed case, Partners carried out the following tasks:
Task 0: Assess SME's suitability for the service
Task 1: Assess innovation management capacity based on performance
Task 2: Needs/gaps analysis and action plan development
Task 3: Action plan implementation
Task 4: Closing the case

Partner delivered KAM and EIMC servicse to more than 200 SMEs.
The Consortium has adopted and implemented the client-centric approach in order to provide KAM and EIMC services, integrated by high added value EEN services, focused and tailored on the client’s needs.
All the services started with and in-depth assessment of the SME’s needs: the needs analysis for the KAM services and the innovation management capacity assessment for the EIMC services.
In order to support the growth of SMEs with a high potential for innovation and internationalization, partners defined with them tailored Action Plans, including EEN and external advisory services.
The Consortium provided quality tailor-made services over time to clients with a high potential for innovation and internationalization in order to support their “Network Client Journey”. According to the “hub and spoke” model, many clients were supported with tailor-made services provided by more than one consortium partner or in collaboration with other network partners or local stakeholders.
For each client, one partner was the primary contact and support integrator, providing the core services and coordinating other Consortium or Network partners or local stakeholders in order to provide added value advisory services. Relevant stakeholders, external experts and consultants have allowed to integrate the Consortium’s offer with additional specialised services necessary for the implementation of the Action Plans. The coordination of the partners has been facilitated by the use of the common IMT, which allowed to track all the partners’ activities and services provided to each client.
Partners have reported some success stories, which describe some examples of implementation of the client-centric approach, of the hub-and-spoke model and in particular the integration of the KAM and EIMC services with the EEN services.
In WP2 there were many different types of expected benefits for the clients: from the definition of a new business strategy to the access to EU, national and regional fundings for research and innovation and many others, according to the specific needs of the clients supported with tailored EIMC services.