Innovations Platform and Tools for increasing the innovation capacity of SMEs in the Balkan Mediterenean Area
|Priority axis||Enterpreneurship and Innovation|
|Specific Objective||Innovative territories|
|Call||1st Call for Project Proposals|
|Lead Partner||Center for Knowledge Management|
Association of Information Technology Companies of Northern Greece
Burgas Free University
Computer Technology Institute and Press "Diophantus"
Limassol Chamber of Commerce and Industry
University of Bedfordshire Business School
“Innovation Union” flagship initiative pursues a broad concept of innovation that encompasses not only new or improved products and processes, but also services, new business models, and new forms of organisation and collaborative arrangements. The initiative particularly favours SMEs innovation, recognised as the new driving force of growth and jobs in the Union.
According to SME Performance Review (EC DG E&I), the Balkan MED region lags behind EU average when it comes to innovations in SMEs. The reasons are many, mainly related to the lack of knowledge and limited SME’s access to tailored support, tools and better use of information and communication technology (ITC).
Developed by 6 partners from 5 countries, and 2 observers, InnoPlatform aims to address these challenges by facilitating innovation and supporting the commercialisation of innovation in SMEs. Its specific objectives are:
- to assess the current national and regional environment and its challenges to innovation, growth and internationalization of business;
- to advance existing knowledge and develop common understanding on business model innovation with a focus on internationalization;
- to develop expertise, tools, and guidelines to strengthen SMEs capacity to introduce product and process innovations;
- to establish a supporting network of Centres of Excellence in Innovations, foster transnational cooperation and provide support to SMEs in introducing innovations; and
- to raise awareness on the importance of innovations for the survival, growth and internationalisation of SMEs.
The project aims at improving the competitiveness of the region by advancing existing knowledge on business model innovations and developing a set of tools (InnoTools) and services (InnoScorecard and InnoRegion) for improving SMEs opportunities, capacities, and knowledge in introducing product and process innovations
The main beneficiaries of the project are SMEs, BSOs, Research centres, Institutes and Universities, and Policy makers from the BM area. Project implementation is transnational as its main goal is to enable transfer of knowledge and experience between the actors of 5 nations, secure economies of scale and critical mass, and enhance mobilisation capacity and innovation potential. The state of the art is threefold:
- Developing common knowledge and understanding on business model innovation with a focus on internationalization in the region;
- Developing a series of innovations tools, services and guidelines to strengthen the capacity of SMEs to introduce process and product innovations;
- Establishment of an infrastructure of Centres of Excellence, located in 5 countries, for providing knowledge and expertise in innovations to SMEs.