Creating a higher societal impact from innovation support requires increasing its efficiency. In the recent past innovation support agencies recognised that successful innovation is not originating only from scientific research and technological development, but from new business models, the uptake of technologies, design and organisational changes. Furthermore 'internationalisation’ of business activities is seen as a case of business innovation in some countries.
A better understanding of business innovation opportunities led to an even broader array of innovation support measures put in place for SMEs. But the question arose how to better identify and target those SMEs that can create highest impact from the specific support measures; and how to offer viable alternatives to those enterprises not yet ready to implement the most ambitious projects. Representatives from innovation agencies were describing this process of matching design and delivery of support schemes to the needs, potentials and ambition of their client SMEs as ‘segmentation of the client base’.
Processes of value creation from innovation differ between industrial sectors. For example between capital intensive - but low-speed – innovation in the mining industry; the high speed innovation software development for example for gaming which is realised in networks; pharmaceutical industry with a dominant role of patents and industries with long and complex supply chains like automotive or aerospace.
Many regions try to identify potential high-growth SMEs and orient their support towards realising their full growth potential, yet the methodologies to identify high potentials vary substantially and innovation support programmes put in place are hardly designed taking account of the economic fabric or of the smart specialisation priorities of the region. Instead often a standard portfolio of innovation support measures is put in place.Scope:
The above describes three interwoven aspects of a challenge to segment the (SME-) clients of public innovation support in order to achieve a higher societal return from the investments into innovation support. The action shall contribute to documenting and analysing existing and potential new approaches to provide innovation support in a more effective and efficient way. Successfully segmenting 'innovating SMEs' – the clients of innovation agencies – is a key in that respect.
To address the described gaps proposals should address one or more of the following aspects:
Projects to be supported are encouraged to conduct specific communication activities targeting the relevant associations of regional development agencies and innovation support agencies.
The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of between EUR 0.30 and 1.00 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.Expected Impact:
The result of the research action shall strengthen the capacity of national and regional ministries, innovation agencies and providers of innovation support, such as cluster organisations, science and technology parks or development agencies, to: