Enhancing Innovation Management Capacities and Key Account Management (KAM) services for Greek SMEs
The need for supporting innovation-driven entrepreneurship in Europe as a vehicle for boosting its competitiveness and growth has been evidenced and adopted as one of the key targets and priorities of EU policy and initiatives for the coming years (The Global Competitiveness Report 2013-2014, 2014, WEF). Statistics show that only 50% of EU SMEs innovate and that only a fraction of those export, whereas one of the reasons identified in this respect is constraints relating to innovation management capacity (Regional policy for smart growth of SMEs, 2013, EC). Innovative SMEs have been already identified as one of the groups which EU funding tools should support, however the majority of EU SMEs still lag behind in innovation capacity and innovation management capacity skills. As expected, the above are applicable at a superlative degree to Greek SMEs, for which the 2013 SBA Fact Sheet clearly shows relevant bottlenecks such as e.g. deterioration in their capacity to convert new-to-market and new-to-firm innovations into sales. Under this frame, the Enterprise Europe Network-Hellas (FPA 671771), a well-placed and experienced network of experts and organisations, working in close proximity to Greek SMEs, will advance its support to the innovative companies by providing complementary services for the enhancement of their innovation management capacity. The proposed action aims to: •Identify SMEs with the capacity to innovate and internationalise, provide them with the tailored services to improve their capacity to manage innovation processes •Support SMEs to utilize the opportunities offered under the SME Instrument programme •Support business innovators with international ambitions to translate their ideas into market success •Foster the innovation potential of SMEs that, compared to large companies, have limited capacity for risky/costly R&D activities and consulting services •Offer targeted assistance on innovation management that is not available to Greek SMEs.