SME Innovation Capacity Boost

Acronym

SMEInnoBoost
Priority axis Enterpreneurship and Innovation
Specific Objective Innovative territories
Call 1st Call for Project Proposals
Lead Partner National Association of Small and Medium Business
Partners Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, Institute of Information and Communication Technologies
Foundation for Development of Small and Medium Enterprises – Skopje
Foundation for Research and Technology - Hellas (FORTH), Science & Technology Park of Crete
Institute of Statistics
National Statistical Institute
Regional Development Agency (S.M.E.) of Korce
State Statistical Office
Observer Partners Fund for Innovations and Technology Development
University of Cyprus, Software Engineering and Internet Technologies Lab
Budget 879.504,18
Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in the BM Region experience hardships in realizing their innovative potential - markets are fragmented, transfer of know-how is under optimal levels and understanding within SMEs regarding innovations needs to be raised.

The overall objective of the project is to boost transnational innovation capacity of SMEs from selected priority sectors and support them to make sustainable network formations with other SMEs from the BM region in order to share know how and develop innovations, through bringing together triple helix partners from all 5 BM countries, and equipping SMEs with relevant data, tools and systems. The project supports the first two phases in the innovation cycle - proof-of-concept and innovation development.

The project will lead to:
- Increased competitiveness of SMEs, specifically targeting micro companies which represent 92% of all SMEs in BG, 71% in MK and 95% in AL;
- Decreased innovations gap between EU and IPA countries by supporting know-how transfer and innovation clusters in the BM region;
- Improved decision making and strategic planning on transnational level by policy makers at supranational, national, regional and local policy makers.

The main outputs of the project and the benefiting parties are:
- Developed new innovations statistical survey for SMEs (1) and sample of 13,500 SMEs from BG, AL, FYROM – policy makers;
- Developed Self-Assessment Tool (SAT) (1) for innovation capacity; Pilot tested SMEs with the SAT (200); Benchmarking SME reports (150), Innovation Action Plans for a sample of the pilot tested SMEs (40); Report and Guide of the Successful Innovator (2) – SMEs;
- Recommender system and proposed transnational innovation clusters of pilot tested SMEs (7-10) – SMEs, policy makers, research institutions;
- Innovations Summits (4) in BG, AL, MK and GR and Resource platform (1) – entrepreneurial ecosystem stakeholders in the BM region.

The approach is to include EU and IPA countries to collaborate and produce results to reduce the gap of innovation capacity of SMEs in the BM Region. Transnational approach is needed to devise the most effective innovation clusters across the region.

The novelty includes:
- Involving micro companies in a new statistical survey targeted at innovations in SMEs to be developed and implemented by the statistical institutes;
- Free, customized Self-assessment tool which not only evaluates innovation capacity of SMEs, but also provides benchmarking against statistical industry average data;
- Recommender cluster system for transnational innovation clusters.

The added value is increased knowledge and understanding within SMEs of innovations capacity, facilitation in attracting external innovations and funding and boosted innovations capacity through clusters.

The project partners will ensure funding and commitment for the sustainability, transferability and durability to the main outputs. 
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