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Establishing services enhancing the innovation management capacity of SME´s in Hamburg and Schleswig-Holstein

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - INNOKAM 2015-16 (Establishing services enhancing the innovation management capacity of SME´s in Hamburg andSchleswig-Holstein)

Reporting period: 2015-01-01 to 2016-12-31

The three partners Investitionsbank Schleswig-Holstein (IB.SH) Tutech Innovation GmbH (TUTECH) and Wirtschaftsförderung und Technologietransfer Schleswig-Holstein (WTSH) are part of the Enterprise Europe Network (EEN) consortium in Hamburg and Schleswig-Holstein and established a well-known regional one-stop-shop for all EU-related enquiries for SMEs and regional stakeholders.

For the period 2015-2016 core objective is to expand the client base and deepen the level of assistance by offering the service of “Key Account Management” (KAM) and “Enhancing SME Innovation Management Capacity” (EIMC). Aim is to face existing lack of innovation management capacity in small and medium sized companies (SME) and support their innovative activities in order to creating economic impact (competitiveness, growth and jobs). The guiding principle is that the services are tailored to the needs of the identified regional innovators and innovation systems.

In this context the KAM is targeted at beneficiaries of the SME instrument under Horizon 2020, the EIMC addresses other highly innovative SMEs. The EIMC helps companies to establish effective innovation management systems that enhance the realisation of growth opportunities. The KAM focuses on those weaknesses which endanger the success of the funded project. It assists in finding specialised coaches and establishing a coach-client relationship. Both approaches aim to raise the company´s competitiveness and profitability.

In the framework of the project the consortium acquired an annual user license for the IMP3rove tool in order to assess gaps and needs of the SMEs. In this context senior staff of the EEN attended training to ensure that the tool is used correctly and the assessment exercise complies with the envisaged EU standard. In addition the participation in Decentralised training courses gives the chance for a best practice exchange with other EEN colleagues and is of great benefit for the consortium.
In 2015 and 2016 17 Enhanced Innovation Management Consultancy Services (EIMC) and 6 KAM services for beneficiaries of phase 1 of the SME instrument were performed by the consortium:

- 4 EIMC and 3 KAM cases by Schleswig-Holstein
- 6 EIMC cases by Schleswig-Holstein
- 7 EIMC and 3 KAM cases by Tutech (Hamburg).

IB.SH and WT.SH use the NBank Tool and Tutech uses in most cases the IMProve tool.

All companies appreciated the offered EIMC services and were eager to work on the action plan together with the consultants. The KAM services and the coaches also were appreciated in five of the six cases.
The 17 companies expect to improve their innovation management skills by the EIMS. Given the different starting points of each company, the different branches and education of staff the action plans differ for each of the companies and also the expected final result for each company.

Expected results range from stronger market and business orientation towards focused development of the innovation strategy and enhanced internationalisation. The capacity to participate in European projects also has been enhanced by the EIMS.

The six SME beneficiaries were able to reflect their innovation managment capacity and thus improve the outcome of their feasibility studies. It is envisaged that the KAM and coaching services, in synergy with the common EEN advisory services will lead to stronger innovation projects with reduced risk and improved growth potential.