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H2020

InnoManage BB 1516 Report Summary

Project ID: 674844
Funded under: H2020-EU.2.3.

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - InnoManage BB 1516 (EEN Innovation Management Services Berlin-Brandenburg)

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

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

The overall aim of the project was to raise the innovation competence of Berlin and Brandenburg based SMEs through the provision of services designed to unlock their potential for international growth via innovation. The project sought to address and strengthen the area of innovation management for innovative SMEs in our region. As identified by the European Commission, innovation management is a key area for companies and the inability to manage these processes effectively is a significant barrier to SME innovation and their competitiveness. This was the context in which we attempted to enhance the innovation competence of Berlin and Brandenburg based companies.

The first objective was to provide beneficiaries of the SME Instrument under Horizon 2020 with specific targeted assistance to support coaching assignments addressing specific innovation weaknesses which may hinder the outcomes of the SME Instrument project proposed by the SME. The Key Account Manager in both organisations provided following services to the beneficiaries:

- support to identify weaknesses in their innovation capacities,
- help with identifying suitable coaches to address the identified weaknesses,
- a moderation of the coach-client relationship
- continued support to the beneficiary throughout the SME instrument project.

We estimated that 12 service packages (8 by Berlin Partner and 4 by ZAB) would be delivered in this period for this group of SMEs. Through the delivery of these work packages, beneficiaries would increase their chance of overcoming the obstacles to growth and enhance the probability of a successful exploitation of the innovation project.

The second objective was to deliver a service designed to enhance the innovation management capacity of SMEs by providing in depth support services to SMEs in the area of innovation management. The beneficiaries of these services were to be SMEs with existing, significant innovation activities and which have a high potential for internationalisation. We estimated that 62 (35 by Berlin Partner and 27 by ZAB) service packages would be delivered over the entire period of the project for this group of SMEs.

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

For Work Package 1: Key Account Management (KAM) for the beneficiaries of the SME Instrument, Berlin Partner and ZAB allocated their experts who had already undergone formal training for the tools proposed in the work programme.

Upon provision by EASME 31 SME Instrument beneficiaries were assigned to our consortium, 25 to Berlin and 6 to Brandenburg. 17 cases are related to SME Instrument Phase 1 and 14 cases to SME Instrument Phase 2. Key Account Manager in both organisation emailed each individual company to introduce the KAM service. The SMEs were introduced to the service and the experts highlighted the benefits of coaching, scheduling an initial meeting with management team of each beneficiary. The experts visited the mentioned companies and explained the process in more detail to the management team as well as providing an introduction how the SME needs analysis will be carried out and that this will be a departure point to facilitate the identification of the best coach. Once the needs analysis were carried out, the expert discussed its output with the client and used it to search the Coaching Database and then selected potential best match coaches.

Regarding to some of our clients that went through this process in early 2015, both the expert and the management team agreed that due to each respective company’s specific needs, none of the coaches present in the database were suitable. For these cases, the KAM actively searched for potential coaches outside the Coaching Database and presented options to the company. A coach was then selected by each company and the KAM proceed by supporting the coach with registration on the database, contract with EASME and liaison with the company. The process of the coach selection was improved in 2016 after full implementation of CaseTracker. During the whole process the KAM worked alongside the beneficiary to monitor and measure progress, maintain a good level of the beneficiary-coach relationship, capture the dresults and report them and when suitable promote them through a dissemination phase in internal and external communication channels.

Worked package 2 has been used by the project partners to help particularly promising SME to enhance their innovation management capacities. During the reporting period this service was offered to 26 companies in Berlin and to 13 companies in Brandenburg. The beneficiaries of these services were SMEs with existing, significant innovation activities and which have a high potential for internationalisation.

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)

In the proposed work programme, we have committed to summarised activities and yielded results from each beneficiary, alongside a statement of progress, once the KAM service has been completed. Since the beginning of the reporting period 14 cases have completed the entire KAM service, 20 cases are still open. The overall feedback provided by our clients about their coaching activities was very positive. 86% of our clients agree that coaching had significant impacts on their business strategy. It improved their approach to company challenges and speeding up the progress of their business innovation project.
The direct impact on services designed to enhance the innovation management capacity of SMEs we have achieved during the reporting period can be summarised as follows: 73% of our clients indicate that the support have led to cost savings, 38% improved their positioning on the market and 77% improved their innovation strategy.
Retrospectively, it can be said that KAM-Services developed and delivered in our region during the reporting period are now integral part of the services of the Enterprise Europe Network Berlin Brandenburg. The results achieved during the reporting period is a logical development of a close relationship between the project’s personnel and the Core EEN team within the agencies. Furthermore, in order to ensure integrated services for SMEs we established strategic co-operation to the National Contact Point SMEs and Access to Finance, to the existing clusters in the capital region and to all relevant stakeholders.
Due to the broad awareness raising and the fact of possible funding for individual applicants on the European level, SME Instrument has attracted grate interest among SMEs in Berlin and Brandenburg.

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