Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS


SME Coach LT 2015 Report Summary

Project ID: 673577
Funded under: H2020-EU.2.3.

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - SME Coach LT 2015 (KAM and innovation management improvement services for Lithuanian SMEs)

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

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

"The overall aim of SME CoachLT 2015 was to increase effectiveness and efficiency of investment in R&D and Innovation by enhancing innovation management capacity of Lithuanian SMEs -beneficiaries of the new dedicated SME instrument under Horizon 2020, and SMEs with significant innovation activities and a high potential for internationalisation.
The proposed concept differentiated between two types of support: the case level (or ""object"" as defined in “Oslo Manual” ) 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 (or ""subject"") in the case of companies having high innovation and internationalisation. The nature of barriers and challenges related to each situation is different: on the case level they are mainly related to a search of a viable business model of the new offering or process to be developed in the course of the project or/ and in integration into company business routines; in the case of corporate dimension of the SME the challenges are in the organizational resources, practices and culture that may prevent emergence of future innovation projects or ability to benefit to full extent from their results.
The project had two main objectives:
a) To support beneficiaries of Horizon 2020 SME instrument covering phase 1 and 2 by providing the Key Account Management Services, in particular establishing their coaching needs and connecting to relevant coaches.
b) To provide service packages for innovating SMEs that include innovation management capacity assessment, gap analysis and targeted services addressing the identified gaps.

This project addressed the need of SMEs to improve their innovation management on corporate and case level."

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

The KAM ensures that an SME Instrument beneficiary receives the most appropriate services and supports their innovation project. The aim is also to leave the SME with a footprint for future sustainable growth. Sixteen companies – SME instrument beneficiaries - received the Key Account Management Service. Fifteen of them were SME instrument Phase 1 beneficiaries, and one Phase 2. All of the companies had meetings with the key account manager, and the needs analysis was performed. Five cases from the period 2015-2016 are still active. Except for the few cases, most of the Phase 1 beneficiaries are seeking Phase 2 grants and we are in close contact with these companies.

Totally, 40 companies received EIMC service. The companies receiving service were selected on the basically using two sets of criteria, one related of their interest to commit resources for their process improvement, and the second related to their potential to develop, including internationalization, growth and engage into EEN activities. The help of regional EEN staff who know local business community, companies and their management was crucial for this selection. The cases come from different regions of Lithuania, and the companies served, all of them SMEs, are coming from different industrial sectors.

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)

The direct impact of both services – the Key account Management Service and the Enhancing Innovation Management Capacity service is on a company’s resource level. They increase the capacity of companies to innovate and to better exploit their innovation results, which later translates into more tangible business results.

Totally 16 companies were offered the Key Account Management services. The services impacted the SME instrument beneficiaries in several ways. First it helped the SME instrument beneficiaries to identify and/or clarify relevant business needs in relation to their innovation project; secondly, the needs analysis led the companies to take internal actions to address the identified challenges; thirdly, it allowed to identify appropriate coach who could help to change their approach to challenges, make their project to progress faster, and improve their strategy. It is expected that later these measures will impact business and societal outcomes of their SME Instrument project.

EIMC service’s direct impact is on resources mainly on corporate level: it improves the ability to manage and exploit a company’s innovation project pipeline. The companies receiving the service improved their idea management, project selection, project portfolio management, as well as innovation strategy. To complement that, companies proceeded to opportunity analysis and generated marketing or innovation projects. It is expected that the business impact will follow. Forty Lithuanian companies had an opportunity to use this service.

The impact on the project has been enhanced by linking SME clients to other EEN or national services. Sixteen companies used other EEN services for follow up activities; five of them have inserted their offers and requests in the EEN technology and business partnership database.

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