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Northern Ireland SME Innovation Support Services 2014

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - EENNI_INN (Northern Ireland SME Innovation Support Services 2014)

Reporting period: 2014-07-01 to 2014-12-31

CORE Report 642933 EENNI_INN

The action context was that of a pilot project for EEN partners to: 1) deliver support services to local SMEs who were successful SME Instrument applicants, or 2) were selected to receive Enhancement of Innovation Management Capacity Services (EIMC).
Minimal work was performed, for 2 reasons. 1) the late launch of the call, 2) only 1 local successful SME Instrument applicant and 3) the need to obtain training in EIMC tools in a very short space of time (the tool in question being IMProve).
As it stands very limited results are expected. The one successful SME Instrument company has progressed to the stage of coach selection, but they are a very small (1 full time staff) company. Their ability to absorb and benefit from coaching is minimal and they do not have a strong requirement for a coach.
As regards the EIMC service, although the IMProve training was completed, it was not possible to do this until early October, (first available training date). Subsequent to this, legal problems with the restrictive nature of the IMProve tool user agreement prevented us signing the agreement. There then remained no time to select any companies to deliver the service to.
The work performed during the reporting period was as follows.
Training on 2 tools - IMProve and Invest NI's online Health Check - all completed
A local company who sucessfully gained H2020 SME Instrument Phase 1 funding were approached. The concept of mentoring and coaching assistance was explained to them and an Onvest NI online Helath Check was completed. Some initial discussions on possible coaching options were held.
The local company has been made aware of the advantages and possibilities of coaching. They may take this further (outside this action)