Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS


INNO DK Report Summary

Project ID: 674813
Funded under: H2020-EU.2.3.

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - INNO DK (Innovation Denmark 2015-2016)

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

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

The objectives of the Innovation Denmark project were to:
• Provide Key Account Management (KAM) services to Danish businesses, which have been awarded grants under the SME Instrument. SME which qualify under the SME Instrument have a need, to be provided with a Key Account Manager, who can assist the SME through the entire procedure, helping with with the entire process, identifying relevant coaches and bringing them into the project, as well as coordinating with other relevant internal and external organisations which can help the company develop.
• Provide Enhancing Innovation Management Capacity (EIMC) services to SMEs in 2015-2016. Companies were to be assessed via the IMP3rove tool and depending on results, referred on to relevant organisations in the Danish and European innovation eco-system. This includes provision of services towards businesses helping them with innovation management, bringing them closer to the quality level to allow them to benefit from European financing and research.

The Danish EEN experience of running the KAM service is now based on a relatively high number of cases, giving a reasonable statistical certainty. Feedback from the KAM consultants is that SMEs are very happy with the KAM service. They are frequently stressed when they receive the notification that their application has been approved, partly due to the standard EU language involved. SMEs are very reliant on the KAM to answer practical questions regarding the entire negotiation and starting procedures including communication with the Commission services, practical issues relating to coaching and start dates. As a KAM, it is vital to be good at asking questions – the right questions, and to be adept at listening to what the client says. The KAM role requires very good human contact skills, more than necessarily business expertise, although this is of course an advantage. The KAM role appears to have changed over the course of the past two years from direct innovation support to matchmaking the client with the right coach and support services.

The Enterprise Europe Network in Denmark has staff with strong experience of working with SMEs, with providing innovation support services, large networks of other support partners, and sufficient skills to be able to help the client with the entire process. As a result, each successful SMEI case is given a KAM from the network to help them through the project process. The process is important in order to maximise the development of potential high growth companies which can create employment and wealth in Europe, while assisting with societal challenges.

Work performed from the beginning of the project to the end of the period covered by the report and main results achieved so far

Overall, the network provided a total of 105 services to client SMEs under the programme, compared with an initial target of 70 cases - an increase of 50%. The network provided 84 separate KAM services to businesses in the SME Instrument programme, including 65 phase I applicants and 19 phase II. Resources are always prioritised for the KAM services under the H2020 contract and the Danish network therefore had resources available for 21 EIMC cases during the course of the period.

For both work packages, the results have been disseminated actively to relevant groups. This includes via the EU-DK Support programme, which has the aim of increasing Danish participation in European programmes, where the successful cases are used as inspiration for other relevant businesses and via the COSME EEN website A number of short films are in the process of being made, particularly on the EIMC service.

Progress beyond the state of the art and expected potential impact (including the socio-economic impact and the wider societal implications of the project so far)

For both work packages, the network had an initial target of 35 packages, giving an anticipated total of 70 cases. Over the course of 2015-2016, the network provided considerably more services than originally planned. The network has been highly successful in increasing the number of SME applying for the SME Instrument, which is primarily achieved via the strong EEN involvement in the national EU-DK Support mechanism, under the COSME programme, where the EEN is one of the major players. This has resulted in 84 successful SMEI applications, compared with the 35 planned, based on 65 phase 1 and 19 phase 2 applications. It has also resulted in a large number of other H2020 applications from Denmark as a direct result of the COSME services. The two programmes work together in a highly effective manner, both feeding more SME into H2020, but also ensuring that more SME have supplementary services during the process, maximizing their potential.

Examples of successful cases include QuardCard, which demonstrates the cooperation between the COSME and H2020 services and work with internal and external partners. Søren Bjerregaard from NDEU, a senior expert in financing growth in small companies, met Søren Hald Jensen from North Danish SME QuardLock and recognised that the company had great potential under the SME Instrument. He advised them to find a partner to supplement their services and QuardLock teamed up with Frank Sandeløv from fellow Danish SME CardLab to apply for a Phase I project within the “Protection of Urban Soft Targets and Urban Critical Infrastructure 2014/2015”. The purpose was to introduced to develop the most secure credit card ever seen, and on a later stage introduce it to the market. CardLab and QuardLock had a joint vision to bring a disruptive, highly secure smart card to the financial payments market, which is currently facing major increases in fraud levels. Their joint idea QuardCard combines a smart card with all data inside the card, with a biometric fingerprint and a dynamic one-time password, generated by the user’s fingerprint.
The companies were given help and advice on putting the application together, where and how to apply and on improvements to their application. The project was approved and since Copenhagen-based CardLab was now the official contact, Claus Mortensen from ABP, who also worked from the capital city, was allocated as their KAM. After discussions with the two companies, Claus introduced Søren and Frank to Alan Costello, an SME Instrument coach from Ireland with a broad network and insights into the Irish banking industry. Alan facilitated a meeting between CardLab and a large Irish bank, where a cooperation agreement between the two was discussed, but not in the end agreed. CardLab considered however this process really valuable, since it was also important to close doors and focus on the right market approach. The whole process with Alan Costello helped CardLab to gain valuable experience and knowledge on how to deal with potential customers.
At the same time, Claus Mortensen introduced Frank from CardLab to business consultant Hans Christian Andersen from VHHR, host organisation to the Enterprise Europe Network coordination and regional business advisory service for SME in the Capital City Region. Hans Christian has working in the Fintech sector for many years and gave valuable feedback to the business model and the next important steps. Furthermore, Hans Christian introduced Frank to Danish Fintech pundit Henning Jensen who is advising CardLab on how to commercialise the proposed solution. The companies successfully applied to phase II, to bring the product to market. Three different EEN partners were involved in the entire development chain for this process so far, combining skills from both the COSME and H2020 programmes.

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