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Maltese-European Linkages for Internationalisation, Innovation and Technology Transfer

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - MELIITA (Maltese-European Linkages for Internationalisation, Innovation and Technology Transfer)

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

The action consists of two WPs, one offering KAM services to local SME Instrument beneficiaries, and the other offering EIMC services. KPIs were as follows: 4 clients taking up KAM services, and 18 clients to benefit from EIMC. At the start, one EEN staff member had already undertaken training in IMP3rove assessment methodology, while it was planned that another two members of staff would attend training in order to be in a better position to reach set targets and offer an improved service overall.
WP1 (KAM): This service depended entirely on external factors, since the service could only be offered to local SME Instrument beneficiaries. In addition, it was still not obligatory for all SME Instrument beneficiaries to also benefit from SME Instrument Phase 3 (coaching). There were three local beneficiaries during the project period, two being through Phase 1 and one through Phase 2.
Contact was immediately made with all three clients upon notification of their success, whereby EEN staff provided some background on the scope of KAM services, a KAM was appointed and the first meetings were set up within one week from first contact. A needs analysis was carried out for each of the three clients, and suitable coaches appointed. Two of the coaching packages were completed by the end of the project period, while the other was completed at the beginning of January 2017, and will therefore be logged as part of the new project cycle 2017-2018. Coaching progress was monitored closely by the assigned KAM to ensure that beneficiaries achieved maximum benefit from the activity.
WP2 (EIMC): Following the training of two additional EEN staff members, a strategy was made to identify companies to be approached, based on their potential to benefit from the exercise.
The exercise kicked off rather slowly during the first half of the project period due to the lack of experience of most of the EEN staff, and the necessity for training in order to use the IMProve methodology. The process was kicked off with one company, jointly undertaken by two certified assessors. A lot of effort was inputted to the task by the two assessors in order to obtain the extensive data necessary to carry out the analysis.
WP1 (KAM): Due to the situation where there were no local SME Instrument beneficiaries, local entities with innovative ideas were encouraged to submit proposals. General promotion of the instrument was done through local events, and more specifically during one-to-one meetings with SMEs with good potential. Results of SME Instrument were followed closely in order to retain an updated list of local SMEs that are submitting proposals, including those receiving a Seal of Excellence. An investigation of possible ways of supporting SoE holders has commenced, with direct communication with the relevant personnel from the European Commission and the SoE Community of Practice. Discussions in this regard are still at the preliminary stages.
WP2 (EIMC): Four clients were targeted to perform in the process of enhancing innovation management capacity. The initial meetings were held wherein it was explained to them the benefits and purpose of assessing one’s company disposition to utilizing innovation management techniques and whether improvement could be made in the future. Ultimately only one client effectively participated in the assessment of its extent of its innovation management techniques used in their daily operations, organisational structure, culture and policies.
Following the improve assessment process a report was prepared and a discussion on the outcome ensued. A work programme was drafted to outline the way forward to introduce changes to improve the use of the innovation management techniques and improve areas of operations. The recommendations were as follows:
1. Develop a new business model and innovation strategy.
2. Develop an innovation organisation and culture.
3. Disseminate and communicate the innovation strategy.
4. Identify new market opportunities and strategic alliances.
Subsequently the company started to adopt these recommended actions and the consortium will re-visit the client in the near future to monitor the progress.