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Innovation Support Network East Mediterranean

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - InnosuppEastMed (Innovation Support Network East Mediterranean)

Reporting period: 2020-01-01 to 2021-12-31

The aim of the project is to become a local Hub between SMEs and the EU through the HORIZON 2020 Program and in line with the European 2020 Industrial Leadership strategy, serving as a real one stop point for business and innovation support of throughout the entire value chain.
Innovation support services will help strengthen the competitiveness and sustainability of regional enterprises. The proposed actions will also be associated with activities related to Enterprise Europe Network 2019 Work Packs 1-3 and 5
Aim of the project is to become a true one-stop-shop for business and innovation support along the entire value chain, providing its services in the proposed region the context of HORIZON 2020 Programme and in line with the Europe 2020 strategy. Innovation support services will help strengthen the competitiveness and sustainability of regional enterprises. Proposed actions will be also connected to the activities related to the Enterprise Europe Network Work Packages.
Proposed project will include two acitivity type which are “Key account management under the SME Instrument of Horizon 2020” and “Services to enhance the innovation management capacities of SMEs”

Specific objectives inline “Services to enhance the innovation management capacities of SMEs”
are:
• To determine SMEs with significant innovation activities and a real potential for international growth via product, process, service or business model innovation who lack the knowledge, skills or ability to manage innovation activities.
• Provide proven 7 day service packages in accordance with CEN/TS 16555-1 standard.
• To carry out a diagnostic audit of selected SMEs that are capable of growth and successful internationalization in order to develop and implement a tailored action plan.
• To improve the SME’s capacity to manage innovation processes.
• develop and utilize action plans for SMEs with high capacity of internalization
• Deploy CEN/TS standards in innovation management systems
• Seek for opportunities to remove bottlenecks and problems in innovation processes of the
Consortia visited by 108 companies in total. These companies are selected from various sectors, especially textile, agriculture, machinery and software. The companies suitable for the InnoSup project were determined by cooperating with the relevant institutions in the region. USIMP Innovation Scorecard program was used to carry out the activities of the InnoSupp project. The companies were visited and the InnoSupp project was explained to the technical staff of the companies. The USIMP Innovation Scorecard program was introduced to the companies, and how the program would be used and what would be achieved as a result were explained in detail. InnoSupp Project experts have started working with companies that want to benefit from the program.
The items determined by InnoSupp project experts and technical staff of the companies as a result of the graphic reports obtained using the ÜSİMP Innovation Scorecard program are as follows:
Innovation capacities are foreseen,
Weaknesses in innovation capacities identified,
Determining the strong and weak points of the companies,
Growth opportunities have been identified.
After the analysis of the companies through the USIMP Innovation Scorecard, the following results were obtained in general;
The innovation activities of the companies in the region are low.
The companies in the region have not been aware of the concept of innovation.
Employees of companies are inexperienced and uninformed about innovation management.
Companies and employees are not ready for the creation of an innovation culture.
Companies do not have project development experience for EU Calls.

According to the data obtained, after the current situation of the innovation management system in the companies was evaluated, an action plan was developed by making a needs analysis. Developed action plans include increasing the quality of personnel in companies and carrying out awareness-raising activities. InnoSupp project experts cooperated with Çukurova Technology Transfer Office and directed companies that requested mentors to academicians from Çukurova University which is the most established university in the region, and University of Adana Alparslan Turkes Science and Technology which is a young and dynamic university.
KOSGEB Kahramanmaras Directorhip and Cukurova Teknoopark serve for the context of KAM services. The target is totaly 4 for the KAM services. The target is closely linked to the successful applicants. However, as there is no application to be supported within the scope of the SME instrument from the region, services have not been provided under this package.
Although the InnoSupp EastMed project activities carried out in 2020-2021 started with a serious delay due to the fact that physical company visits could not be made due to the Covid-19 epidemic, the targeted number of companies was reached within the project period. Although the targeted number of companies has been reached, there has not been enough time to observe the results of the implementation of the project. It will take some more time for the innovation culture to become established in the companies and for the results of the activities to be noticed in a more realistic way.
In addition to all these, the InnoSupp EastMed project has provided significant benefits for companies in the eastern Mediterranean region. The trainings and the time spent by InnoSupp project experts in companies have created an important belief that innovation processes will increase the probability of success of companies and created awareness. We can list these benefits as follows;
Appropriate infrastructure has been prepared in the region for similar projects to be carried out in the future.
Awareness about the concept of innovation began to emerge in the companies in the region.
An awareness of innovation began to emerge in the employees of the companies in the region.
Appropriate infrastructure has been prepared for the formation of an innovation culture.
The innovation visions of the companies have expanded.

Considering these items, it can be clearly seen how important the InnoSupp EastMed project is in terms of establishing the innovation infrastructure of the region. As a result of the activities, trainings and the time spent by the InnoSupp project experts in the company, the companies have gained many competencies. In companies; Awareness and competencies were gained on very important issues such as Innovation Life Cycle Management, identifying market needs, establishing an idea management system, and increasing idea generation for innovation-oriented projects. Thanks to the infrastructure created with the InnoSupp EastMed project, we anticipate that companies that have crossed paths with this project in the eastern Mediterranean region of Turkey will make a difference in the coming periods.