The overall objective of the project is to use the experience, the tools, the capacity and the partners’ knowledge in order to address a common innovation support challenge, namely to increase the satisfaction and the participation of SMEs to existing and future innovation Programmes through the creation of tailor-made toolbox regarding SMEs Experiences from Innovation Support Programmes. The consortium is composed by 3 partners coming from 3 EU countries, KEPA who is the consortium coordinator, PDR- Cardiff Metropolitan University, UK and Polish Agency for Enterprise Development-PARP. The activities will be locally implemented on 3 territories over 12 months (Starting date: 1st of May 2019).
The overall objective of the project is to use the experience, the tools, the capacity and the partners’ knowledge in order to address a common innovation support challenge, namely to increase the satisfaction and the participation of SMEs to existing and future innovation Programmes through the creation of tailor-made toolbox regarding SMEs Experiences from Innovation Support Programmes.
The toolbox/guide, entitled “Design Option Paper”, will help innovation agencies to:
- Understand what are the needs of their target groups ( SMEs) by using “Persona tool”
- Map SMEs journey when participating in an innovation programme by using the “Business Journey Tool”
- Identify the level of SMEs satisfaction per stage
- Find the gaps/ issues and improve the process/ structure of the Innovation Programmes
- Create user friendly innovation support programmes by using the tool “Innovation Programme Blueprint”
- Learn to test the new Innovation Programmes before the full launch in the market by using “Prototyping Methods”
The intermediary organizations offering support services on Innovation to SMEs are relevant actors in this process from two main points of view:
1) they can help policy makers in the development and application of Programmes
2) they can support SMEs to become more innovative
Specific objectives of the project are the following:
- Creation of the peer learning group (≥8 persons, from the 3 regions involved) in order to strengthen the competences in designing and implementing User Friendly programmes that support SMEs Innovation, through the application of Twinning + methodology.
- Evaluation of good practices related to: user friendy programme design and evaluation. Each partner will collect and evaluate 3 case studies of Innovation Support Programmes.
- Create a handbook and a toolbox on how to design user friendly innovation programmes for SMEs and improve the existing ones. The Handbook (DOP) will be based on Service Design and will include: the methodology, the tools, how to do it tips and guidelines, practical examples and insights.
- Establishment of a sustainable partnership among the partners to engage in more frequent peer learning activities. A Memorandum of Understanding will be undersigned by the partners in the final phase of the project; it should be a first step of an EU based network of partners aiming to foster, enforce and develop more efficient and user-friendly programmes to SMEs.
To achieve the overall and specific objectives, the project will facilitate the knowledge exchange among the participants on the following matters:
- Piloting the Handbook and the toolbox in each participating region for 1 regional innovation programme for SMEs. Each partner will use the methodology and the tools that will be developed, in 1 Innovation Programme from their regional or national Operational Programme for Jobs and Growth.
- Improvement of administrative and ‘back-office’ aspects in the management of Innovation support programmes to SMEs.
- Enhancement of qualitative procedures in identifying the needs of SMEs and the most suitable support schemes. The tools will support the innovation agencies to discover the unseen needs and habits of SMEs in order to use them to improve their innovation programmes.
- Identification of “good practices” among innovation agencies and intermediary organizations that design and implement Innovation support programmes.