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Raising Innovation Capacity for Innovative Companies from Latvia (2015-2016)

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - InnoSME-LV-2015-2016 (Raising Innovation Capacity for Innovative Companies from Latvia (2015-2016))

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

The overall objective of the project Raising Innovation Capacity for Innovative Companies from Latvia (2015-2016) was to contribute to smart growth in the European Union by increasing the efficiency and effectiveness of investments in research, development and innovation and by contributing to a better and more efficient connection of actors along the innovation chain. The offered services were delivered in the geographical area NUTS1 region - Latvia by EEN-LV Consortium partner – Latvian Technological Center (EEN-Latvia/LTC).
The successfully fulfilled project differentiate between the case level of the innovation project led by the SME - beneficiary of the SME instrument of the Horizon 2020 and in intervention at the corporate level in the case of high innovation and internationalisation potential SMEs. The nature of barriers and challenges related to each situation are different:
• on the case level - they are related to a search of a viable business models of the new offering or process to be developed in the course of the project;
• on the corporate dimension of the SME - the challenges are in the organizational practices and culture that can slow down future innovation projects or ability to benefit to full extent from their results.
To achieve this, the following objectives were foreseen:
Objective 1: To support SMEs, as the beneficiaries of the SME Instrument to identify bottlenecks to the creation of economic impact in companies benefiting from grants by Horizon2020's SME instrument and address these bottlenecks with the help of capable coaches.
Objective 2: To increase the efficiency and effectiveness of innovation processes in small and medium sized enterprises with significant innovation activities that could potentially become beneficiaries of European support to research and innovation, but would not have effective access to consulting services for innovation management.
In total eighteen service packages were delivered to SMEs from various industry sectors.
The project consists of two work packages: WP1 and WP2. The management of these work packages was integrated as a part of EEN-Latvia/LTC management activities, and the services was offered in parallel to ordinary EEN services. The awareness rising, as it is described in communication strategy and justified in Implementation strategy, of the SME Instrument and offered services Key account management and Enhancing SME innovation management capacity was achieved by using EEN-Latvia advertisement services: press releases, webpage EEN-Latvia newsletter, etc.
The project was started from 1 January, 2015 and ended in December, 2016. During the project implementation in total 18 SME support cases were performed. Each case took seven days.
The selection of beneficiaries - SMEs was made by consensus between all senior Enterprise Europe Network innovations experts nominated for these in-depth services.
Work package 1 (WP1), included Phase 1 and Phase 2 of key account management (KAM) functions of SME instrument. WP1 was started from the beginning of the project – month 1 (M1) and was active till the end of the project M24.
Service packages not required to deliver KAM services was expected to use in WP2, to help particularly promising SMEs enhance their innovation management capacities. The purpose of this activity was to carry out a diagnostic audit of selected SMEs that are capable for growth and successful internationalisation. This required developing and implementing a new tailored action plan. WP 2 started from M1 as it was planned, however in M13 the rearrangement of number of service packs was done. At that moment LTC had a more clear vision about number of service packs available for WP2.
In this period the Consortium successfully delivered 18 (5-KAM, 13-EIMC) service packs to companies from different industry sectors. The undertaken actions –service packages gave a significant impact for SMEs. The companies innovation capacity was increased. The main impact will be in next 5 year, however already today 2 companies reached increase of turnover. 1 company established 4 new job positions. 2 new products were developed. 1 service innovation introduced. 6 companies were prepared to approach investors and to take part in Horizon 2020 research programs and Horizon 2020 SME Instrument. 5 companies, after KAM services, will apply for SME Instrument Phase 2. Additionally, coaches worked with private investors to attract financing for serviced companies.