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Pan-European Open Innovation Network for Corporate Challenges in advanced technologies

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - PITCCH (Pan-European Open Innovation Network for Corporate Challenges in advanced technologies)

Periodo di rendicontazione: 2020-05-01 al 2021-10-31

Advanced technologies are key drivers towards transformation and efficiency of industry. The sheer number of SMEs (24 million SMEs) makes innovation from SMEs key to the innovation capacity of the industry at large. Therefore Big Corporations often use the innovative strength of SMEs to maintain and increase their competitive advantage. Collaboration between SMEs and Big Corporations can be seen as an important driving force to the competitiveness of the industry at large. Collaboration stimulates the creation of a competitive advantage by accelerating internal R&D and innovation along value chains through collaboration between the technological supply - and demand - side. Open innovation paradigm has proven its value to enhance SMEs and Big Corporations’ collaboration and has become more and more important to deal with the lack of internal resources needed to address the complex innovations of today. However, it is not easy for SMEs to get engaged with Big Corporations and vice versa. Finding interesting innovations and connecting them to the needs of Big Corporations is challenging. Creating trust and economical beneficial collaborations is difficult. Especially the collaboration with Big Corporations is seen as challenging by SMEs due to the risk of losing the intellectual property. And on a European level, these collaborations are even more challenging. Finding interesting inventions outside your (often regional) ecosystem for your innovation needs as well as dealing the different cultures is complicated.
The PITCCH project aims the first Pan-European Open Innovation Network that makes operational an appealing approach to bring SMEs and Big Corporations together on a pan-European scale. To support the connection between SMEs and Big Corporations, technology centres are seen as pivotal to not only broker SME inventions to the innovation needs of LEs, they are also seen as supporting actors to help tweaking and demonstrating the technological inventions.
The objectives of the PITCCH project are:
• Establish and position PITCCH as a trusted network to boost collaborations between Big Corporations and SMEs;
• Attract a critical mass of stakeholders and partners willing to participate in Open Innovation collaborations;
• Launch at least 15 Corporate Challenges and ease the starting of as many Open Innovation collaborations through the provision of brokerage services;
• Explore different business approaches and identity the most appropriate one for running PITCCH activities in the long-term.
Work performed under the first reporting period and main results achieved are summarised below:

• Creation of the PITCCH identity and branding;
• Development and launch of the main tool supporting the network and facilitating Open Innovation collaborations: the PITCCH Open Innovation platform;
• Set-up of the network management and structure, including the definition of the criteria to join the network, the roles and interactions, which was run in parallel to the development of the PITCCH Open Innovation platform;
• Initiation and consolidation of the network attracting 22 Big Corporations; 371 SMEs/start-ups, 26 Technology Centres and 63 Ecosystem Support Organisations;
• Definition of the procedures to participate in the Open Innovation contest and launch of the first and second cut-off of Corporate Challenges (12);
• Successful establishment of 7 Open Innovation collaborations;
• Refinement of the brokerage service portfolio offered by the PITCCH consortium. Brokerage services provided to the participating Big Corporations and SMEs, including technology scouting, technology dissemination, pitch training, IP training, negotiation, moderation and technology advice;
• Testing and implementation of the first business model and re-definition of the second one.
The PITCCH project has created a single entry point to an Open Innovation arena where SMEs/start-ups can enter into structured collaborations with Big Corporations intermediated by the PITCCH consortium and technology centres. PITCCH facilitates access to hands-on support services and management of requests that help to coordinate the network spanning over Europe. Safe arenas, where entities can enter into win-win collaborations, are important for strengthening the European industry. PITCCH project is expected to contribute to the creation of a more productive business-ground, to push the uptake of Open Innovation and effective collaborative business models.
Its main results and impacts are:
- An established mechanism to translate economic needs of Big Corporations into technical requests that can be better understood by SMEs democratising the access to the right contacts and opportunities for a larger number of companies coming from different European countries and even from local environments.
- A refined portfolio of brokerage services to support structured collaborations between Big Corporations and SMEs finalised at creating a “comfortable and safe” ground in which partnerships are perceived as “win-win” situations. SMEs benefitting from the assistance of the “brokerage service kit” are projected to: explore and access new markets/sectors of innovation application; identify new potential users and meet new clients; be stimulated/inspired in adopting more ambitious growth strategies availing of the assessment provided by external experts; increase of their own network and market reputation, of their business contracts and commercial agreements, of their turnover which ultimately turns into a reinforced competitiveness, major investments in innovation and new job opportunities and positions.
- A mean to overcome lack of resources that SMEs experience and provide external and experienced assistance in the identification of collaborative opportunities, in the active promotion of their solutions and innovations, and in the negotiation of contracts and agreements.
- An increased number of interactions between large industry users and SMEs providers of advanced technologies under an Open Innovation umbrella.
- A place where research and technology centres can upsurge themselves as translators and intermediaries of innovations needs and requests, where they can contribute with their knowledge and resources in upgrading or improving through tailored-made services the innovations and solutions provided to answer at best the needs of large industry users and ultimately the market;
- Improved access to existing Research Infrastructures across Europe that may be needed to support the SMEs in scaling up their products;
The PITCCH project aims to promote Open Innovation and this way stimulate the innovation development in Europe. Open Innovation model brings a set of advantages from which the overall European industrial competitiveness can benefit: it speeds-up the processes from idea creation/generation and development to market application of technologies by getting preferential access to market; shortens the time to market; shares the risks related to innovation between entities; reduces costs associated with investments in infrastructure and resources.
2nd event: Corporate Challenges Launch
Logo of the PITCCH project and the acknowledgement of EC public funding
Logo of the PITCCH project
1st event: Corporate Challenges Launch