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Continuation of the efforts of the local Enterprise Europe Network to further enhance the Innovation Management Capacity of Cypriot SMEs (KAM2CY 2)

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - KAM2CY2 (Continuation of the efforts of the local Enterprise Europe Network to further enhance the Innovation Management Capacity of Cypriot SMEs (KAM2CY 2))

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

The general objective of KAM2CY2 project was the continuation of the provision of specialised coaching services addressing the innovation management capacity of SMEs in order to increase efficiency and effectiveness of investments in research, development and innovation in Cyprus. Furthermore, it aimed to contribute to a better and more efficient connection of local SMEs along with the innovation chain, resulting to a smart growth of SMEs and to contribution to the Cypriot economy.
In order to achieve the abovementioned objectives, a separate set of activities was addressed to each of the following two SME target groups:

• Key Account Management Activities addressed to H2020 SME Instrument beneficiaries (KAM): As a first step, activities included the identification of Cypriot SME Instrument Beneficiaries in H2020 Calls. Subsequently, they included identification of bottlenecks of these SMEs for the creation of economic impact with the use of reliable tools supporting strategic business innovation in SMEs (smE-MPOWER Business Innovation Roadmap methodology). A coaching plan was prepared for the SMEs to address the specific needs identified for each SME, and was implemented with the help of capable coaches and selected by SMEs, with the assistance of the Key Account Managers.

• Activities for Enhancing Innovation Management Capacity addressing innovative SMEs with High Growth Potential (EIMC): This stream of activities aimed to increase efficiency and effectiveness of innovation management and processes of promising Cypriot SMEs, which could also potentially become beneficiaries of further European research and innovation support. Activities included the identification of SMEs with ambition and potential for internationalisation and growth and the implementation of an innovation management assessment with the use of reliable assessment and benchmarking tools (IMP3rove Assessment). Based on the results of the IMP3rove Assessment, SMEs were provided with specific suggestions for improvement and were assisted in the development and implementation of an integrated Action Plan targeting various strategic levels of the companies.

The initial target for the provision of KAM services was the delivery of six (6) service packages, depending on the evaluation results of the H2020 SME Instrument proposals. During KAM2CY3 project, RPF concluded the provision of KAM services to two (2) SMEs and initiated the provision of KAM services to another three (3) SMEs, thus addressing the total number of Cypriot SMEs (5), which were the beneficiaries from the H2020 SME Instrument Calls for Proposals (with results announced until November 2016). The provision of KAM services to the last three (3) SMEs will be concluded within the new contract period 2017-2018 of the KAM2CY3 Project (Grant Agreement No 739579).

Within the context of EIMC services, the innovation management capacity assessment was completed within the duration of the project for two (2) companies with the support of the IMP3rove assessment methodology. Communication with a number of SMEs that expressed an interest to receive EIMC services but did not manage to respond within project duration is foreseen to continue within the new contract period 2017-2018 of the KAM2CY3 Project.
The Research Promotion Foundation (RPF), as Coordinator of the local branch of the Enterprise Europe Network in Cyprus, was the organization responsible for providing the abovementioned KAM and EIMC services to the Cypriot SMEs. While engaged in the provision of the aforementioned services to SMEs, RPF aimed to enhance its own capacity for the provision of high-quality innovation management and support services, hence supporting relevant future activities.

Moreover, synergies emerging with the rest of the services provided by RPF within the context of the Enterprise Europe Network were exploited in order to enhance impact on the SMEs. More specifically, all clients receiving KAM and EIMC services were introduced and directed towards a wide range of services provided through the Enterprise Europe Network. Furthermore, a number of Phase 3 SME Instrument participants receiving a “Seal of Excellence” were signposted to EEN Cyprus and were assisted in areas including participation to national Research and Innovation funding Programs and future H2020 SME Instrument calls for proposals.