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Young and Innovative: how to help young entrepreneurs be more innovative – a peer learning project

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - YoungInnovative (Young and Innovative: how to help young entrepreneurs be more innovative – a peer learning project)

Reporting period: 2016-05-01 to 2016-11-30

SMEs involve a low level of innovation and this contributes to making them less competitive as much in indigenous domestic markets, as in competing in international markets. This negative trend is particularly clearly evident with reference to the countries that joined EU in 2004 and later. The vast majority of them was classified to a moderate innovators group (including Poland and Hungary). Only Slovenia is in the innovation followers group. The data also shows large differences in the innovation level even between countries that for decades had similar economic conditions (eg. Poland, Hungary and Slovenia). Large differences in the innovation level between EU countries cause that the European economy as a whole becomes less consistent. This situation negatively impacts on the EU economy position in a highly competitive global market. The main obstacles noticed by entrepreneurs which hinder innovation activities are: strong price and quality competition and lack of demand. Nonetheless the data obtained from studies conducted by the ECin 2011 must not be overlooked (SEC [2009] 1997). Those data shows that approx. 80% of respondents from the group of operators involved in the innovation promotion points the need for improving existing mechanisms supporting innovation. The differences of the enterprises innovation level, and therefore national economies as a whole, were one of the condition to the formation of this consortium and the decision to implement a joint project which will focus on the problem of insufficient innovation support system of micro-enterprises created and run by young people before the age of 30, which results in low innovation.
SMEs play a significant role in achieving the objectives of the Europe 2020 Strategy both by impact on the overall economic growth and by creating new and maintaining existing worksites. Furthermore the more innovative SMEs become the more consistent and competetive european economy as a whole will be.
The main goal was to develop recommendations to improve systems supporting innovation among young entrepreneurs, applied by specialized business environment institutions, using the Twinning+ method and then to disseminate them in the partners’ regions and countries and other EU countries.
Specific objectives:
1.Verification of the quality and quantity of the support innovation instruments used by the project partners.
2.Raising the knowledge level of each of 4 Partners through the exchange of experience in the 'peer learning' meetings and remote contacts (online).
3. Spreading knowledge of peer learning opportunities for innovation agencies and results of the project among other entities specialized in supporting innovation (over 100), as well as the authorities at local, regional and national levels.
Month 1
1.1. Development of inventory questionaire
1.2. Online consultation
1.3. Start of the inventory
Month 2
2.1. Peer learning - Bydgoszcz - 14-15.06.2016
2.2. Online consultation
2.3. The Invetory Report - 30.06.2016
Month 3
In July Partners focused on the further delivery of conclusions from The Invetory Report. On 15th July another online consultation was held during which Partnres once again talked about the conclusions from The IR. Partners also set the final date of the second peer learning meeting (22-23.08).
Month 4
4.1. Peer learning - Mór/Szekesfehervar - 22-23.08.2016
4.2. Online concultation
Month 5
5.1. Peer learning - Ljulbjana - 26-27.09.2016
5.2. Development of The Design Options Paper - The final table of contents was delivered.
5.3. Online consultation
Month 6
6.1. DOP development - 31.10.2016 - the final version of The DOP was send to SyGMa
6.2. Online consultation
Month 7
7.1. Remarks to DOP
7.2. Peer learning - Torun - 8-9.11.2016
7.3. DOP development - the final version of The DOP including remarks was send to SyGMa
7.4. DOP - final approval - 11.11.2016.
7.5. DOP - translation.
7.6. DOP - dissemination&exploitation
The starting point for dissemination of the paper was the development of the dissemination plan. Each Partner declared the dissemination channels and also number and types of entities to be reached.
The dissemination channels and number of reached entities:
• Partners’ websites – 6
• Third Parties’ websites – 8
• Newsletters – 4
• Mass media – 4 press releases (5 in total)
• Project events – 1 (during meeting in Torun),
• Other events – 1 (Expansion Forum 28-29th Nov 2016)
• Partners’ offices
• Mailing – 156 in total, including: Austria (1), Croatia (1), Estonia (1), Greece (1), Hungary (9), Italy (2), Lithuania (1), Poland (131), Slovakia (1), Slovenia (7).

In case of both Partners from Poland recommendations already have been integrated or will be integrated. For instance both organizations have established within their structures counterparts to the cooperation managers as both of them have implemented the INKOR project. Further steps will be undertaken in the near future.
Rrecommendations have been directly integrated to the services provided by this CTRIA. Their youth exchange services have been widened along tailor-made consultancy and knowledge exchange approaches. This service developement has been shared as a good practice within the Columbus (Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs) consortium. The running IP evaluation and R&D validation services have been further developed by dedicated young entreprenuer development consultancy.
Selected recommendations discussed and developed by partners of Young Innovative project have been integrated and implemented within a mix of services TPLJ provides as an leading regional ecosystem for commercialization of technology: in a process of further development and execution of tailor made national programs for fast development of ideas and startups as well as programs supporting growing startups and SMEs in testing and adapting their business model to target markets. Additionally, TPLJ provides services to regional development entities in implementation of customized business incubators and technology parks, thus several of identified practices and recommendations could be integrated in a process of knowledge and practice transfer and setting support programs for young population - students and researchers.
Due to the fact that the recommendations are based on the solutions verified by the Partners or other entities their further deployment should end successfully. In the opinion of DOP’s authors this is the only way, that is by showing the real effectiveness of recommendations, to rise the probability of effective dissemination and exploitation among other stakeholders.
1. Cooperation among innovation support organizations is widening by using common approaches on supporting instruments and having joint interventions in many fields.
2. The involvement of young innovative individuals and firms is growing in regional innovation systems as they are better supported and connected to each other.
3. The project contributes to improvement of innovation systems in regions and thus support the shift towards knowledge economy.
4. Project itself implements strict non-discrimination and equal opportunity approach. It practically means, that by nature, all project results are not creating any kind of discrimination and that there will be equal approach to any young entrepreneurs and servise providers using them.
Peer learning meeting in Poland (June) - workshop
Peer learning meeting in Slovenia (September) - workshop
Peer learning meeting in Poland (June) - study visit at The University of Science and Technology
Peer learning meeting in Hungary (August)
Peer learning meeting in Poland (November) - TRDA and TTP presentations of activities
Peer learning meeting in Slovenia (September) - workshop
Peer learning meeting in Poland (November) - workshop
Peer learning meeting in Hungary (August) - workshop
Peer learning meeting in Hungary (August) - study visit at AlbaComp
Peer learning meeting in Poland (November) - workshop