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Key Account Management process in EIC pilot activities (Accelerator, FTI/FET-open projects) and enhancing the INnOvation management capacities of SMEs (KAMINO-3)

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - KAMINO-3 (Key Account Management process in EIC pilot activities (Accelerator, FTI/FET-open projects) and enhancing the INnOvation management capacities of SMEs (KAMINO-3))

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

KAMINO-3 allowed project staff to offer assistance packages for successful applicants in EIC activities (Accelerator, FTI, FET-open projects) resp. assessments, advice and consultations to support SMEs to strengthen their innovation management capacities. Three EEN partners, ATI Küste GmbH, Steinbeis-Forschungszentrum and Technologiepark Warnemünde GmbH worked actively on the mentioned activities, partner IHK coordinated. Different assessment tools were combined and if needed creatively adapted to the innovation environment and the company size.
In 2020, partner Steinbeis continued supporting a start-up in the field of geodata service and forecast of climate and for agriculture modelling in a KAM case that has been finalized very successfully and recommended for a success story by the coach as well as the KAM. EIMC service was provided to 25 SMEs utilized the structured action plan to improve their innovation capacities. The technology fields comprise classical engineering, lightweight technologies in different applications, water management networks, up to health services. The consortium recommended client made actions to suited funding opportunities, to life-cycle topics, applied digitalization and circular economy approaches. Beyond the planned 15 EIMC packages for both years, 10 more has been offered and conducted in 2021 because of specific demands. The active partners worked closer together to overcome personal shortages and exchanged experiences with other network partners.
The EIMC services for innovative SMEs were based on the local and regional preconditions and led to new approaches. SMEs know that strategic, sustainable thinking and innovation are developing into an economic factor.
The qualitative input from the KAMINO-3 staff to problems with high responsibility and proactive solutions with innovation tools were highly appreciated. Very small SMEs and new settled companies as well as start-ups generated added value on their specific level of development.
The three active partners jointly worked on 25 EIMC cases to improve the innovation management capacities of small and medium sized enterprise in the region of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. The regional preconditions require adapted audit tools to generate tailor-made action plans for the clients.
One KAM case “CLIMFOR” was accompanied by the partner SFZ with high intensity and led to very successful results. BAS activities were introduced (GHG group was joined) and international applications for funding were prepared in the field of geodata application for forecasting of climate changes, agriculture management, or adequate fertilizer utilization. The existing great EEN staff experiences from previous periods led to the integration in two clusters.
Regarding the EIMC cases, the maintained jobs under pandemic restrictions were a most positive result of all accompanied cases. The innovation strategy development just started in the SMEs, but the effects will be visible in the next years. One EIC Accelerator application to the development of a smart sensor for water management was selected in December 2021 for funding.
With all 25 companies the responsible EEN partner conducted annual updates of the impact and supported the exploitation of the results through publishing adequate POD profiles or participating in b2match events.
Progress beyond the state of the art will be exploited in the next future, when 6 companies of the conducted 25 EIMC cases will implement innovation projects for new products on a new level of value generating in the own region to be attractive for international cooperation.
In three cases special process innovations will start and led to a step forward in the integration of digitalization and sustainable development. The envisaged internationalisation of the product and process innovations is based on ecological and socio-economic impact on the region and the new business models for the interactions with new business partners.
New perspectives and technological benefits in sustainable business models, resource efficient value chains and life cycle issues are initial benefits.
Future oriented concepts, participation in cluster collaboration, use of results from higher technology readiness levels will be incorporated in the strategic thinking by the advised companies.
The results of the awareness of corporate social responsibilty and social impact will be visible when the internal structures in the client’s organization will be built up. At least the motivation was raised up in this period to develop strategic goals and a detailed action plan for each company and to describe milestones in order to reach self-defined green goals step by step.
The green potentials of the region will lead zu future concepts in all EIMC cases. The socio-economic impact is expected in closer customer and consumer relations, in the documentation of the new products and processes which consider green strategies, environmentally friendly methods and more detectable sustainable innovations, work-life balance models, sharing models and extension of life span or complete reuse /recycling of materials.
The integration in the Regional Innovation Strategy Smart Specialization 2021-2027 (RIS M-V) led to synergies and interaction between all innovation partners with a new international dimension.