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Establishing services enhancing the innovation management capacity of SME's in the Enterprise Europe Network

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - ICEKAM-2 (Establishing services enhancing the innovation management capacity of SME's in the EnterpriseEurope Network)

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

Main task of the project is to establish the services “Enhancing the innovation management capacity of Small and Medium sized companies (SMEs)” within the Enterprise Europe Network (EEN) with the intention to enhance SME’s potential in a successful result of their participation in The SME instruments project and to assist particularly promising SMEs in enhancing their innovation management capacities. The services are aimed at SMEs in Iceland with a great potential for international growth, but lack knowledge, skills or ability to manage innovation activities. Highly qualified staff of EEN at ICI possesses the skills required and in-depth knowledge of the support required to enable companies to reach their potential.

The main objectives of this project are to identify bottlenecks to the creation of economic impact in companies benefitting from grants by Horizon2020's SME instrument and address these bottlenecks with the help of capable coaches. Also to Increase the efficiency and effectiveness of innovation processes in small and medium sized enterprises (SME´s) with growth potential and significant innovation activities that could potentially become international. The final objective is to empower the SME's innovation management capacity through targeted consulting.
At the mid term of the project four Icelandic SMEs that were successful in applying for H2020 SME Instrument have been approached and offered KAM services, all have accepted. Only one SME has selected and is working with a coach. One SME has not decided if they will accept coaching at this stage, since they already applied for Phase II. Two companies are still in the Needs analysis phase of the KAM services.

The project achieved great overall results in Key Account Management assignments and over reached the target of six KAM companies, in fact the number of Icelandic SMEs receiving KAM services was double the target or 12 companies. Of those 12 SMEs, eight selected to work with coaches. The EIMC resulted in only one SME taking part, which is under the overall target. This is however due to that fact that so many Icelandic SMEs received SME Instruments grants and therefor the focus of the Icelandic EEN team was on servicing them with KAM services. The proposed methodology and strategy in the project proposal has supported achieving the objectives in the project.
The impact of the project is not yet forseen. Only one company ha selected a coach at this point. Two other companies are in the process of selecting coaches and one companies has decided not to select a coach.

The impact of the project is not yet fully foreseen, but still some great impact is already obvious. All of the SMEs that have been successful within Phase I are applying or planning to apply for Phase II which I deem as quite successful. In fact, we have two SMEs that have received Seal of Excellence and one of the successful SMEs in phase I in 2015 has received SME Instrument Phase II grant in 2016.
The SME selected for the EIMC offers a state of the art Vessel Monitoring System (VMS) that provides customized solutions and technical support for different needs. The impact of the EIMC was incremental in its value offerings to their clients. The SME needed more design thinking approach to their product development in order to increase innovation value in their offer to clients.