Co-operation of SEE science parks for the promotio.. (SEETechnology)
Co-operation of SEE science parks for the promotion of transnational market uptake of R&D results and technologies by SMEs
Start date: Sep 30, 2012,
End date: Sep 29, 2014
The SEETechnology project responds to 3 main identified challenges: (1) SMEs in the SEE region are especially weak in terms of innovation and access to innovation, (2) there is a mismatch between the supply and demand of research products at local/regional/transnational level, (3) university connected science park lack resources and knowledge and do not work closely with SMEs. Therefore the main objective is to improve and develop support services to innovative SMEs provided by university based SME-support centres and science parks in order to facilitate the take-up of research ideas and products through better access to knowledge, resources and markets locally and at transnational level. The project ultimately targets innovative SMEs, which are able to embrace research products or may be the carriers of such ideas but currently face difficulties in access to management-type knowledge, facilities and support services. The project aims at the establishment of new and durable joint transnational services, tools and frameworks and will put into practice developed and improved methods and explored good practices. The specific objectives are: (a) Improve the market potential and entry of research-intensive and high-added value products of innovative SMEs by the development of the quality and portfolio of SME-support services at university-based SME-support centres. b) Improve access of innovative SMEs to human and physical resources through university-based SME-support centres by pooling and registering such resources at a transnational level and mobilising new and unused resources, (c) Improve access of SMEs to research ideas and products and to services offered by universities by developing effective means of communication and publicity. Permanent co-operation and partnership schemes operated by SME support centres will be set up and web outreach and stakeholder platforms in the form of Innovation Labs will enhance the reach of SMEs by the centres. The 24 month-long project aims at creating a sustainable framework after the project ends. Further, project partners prepare policy recommendations regarding R&D transfer and business support activities based on the project experience and the involvement of innovation labs in order to influence the regulatory framework in the favour of the market uptake of research results. The project?s most important outputs are tested joint new services, interconnections of these services, targeted policy recommendations, an operational multi-purpose ICT tool with rich and structured database. The results will mostly appear at the professional staff of the PPs and the targeted SMEs. Led by the University of Maribor a strong and balanced partnership from 6 members states and 1 IPA country has been composed of leading universities and research institutes with already operational technology transfer offices and SME-support activities and regional/national level policy makers (some of them as ASPs) ensuring that project results will be sustained in the science parks around universities and leveraged with the help of the policy makers. The partnership structure will serve the project objective of transferring good practices and existing knowledge from partners with significant experience (experienced partners) to partners that are still in the phase of developing R&D transfer and SME development activities (learning partners). Partners represent high-added value and research-intensive sectors that will ensure that developed services are actually used, are marketable and contribute to growth. The work packages have been structured to secure the best delivery of outputs. Activities are balanced among partners with experienced work package leaders. The project management will be set up based on previous transnational project experiences with clear responsibilities and strong governance. An effective dissemination of the project outputs will be delivered by professionally executed communication activities. Achievements: All elements of WP3 (Mapping of needs and capabilities and development, monitoring and evaluation of a joint service development strategy and elaboration of a joint business plan) have been thoroughly collected, studied and analysed. Activities included continuation of data collection on relevant resources and services aimed at offering innovation support to SMEs, which were summed up in the innovation service map. The findings of these activities were used in the shap-ing of the three strategic documents, which are important for reaching the sustainability of the project results. These are: Joint service development strategy; Monitoring and evaluation methodology and the Joint business plan. All partners contributed their input and the recent transnational workshop held in Zagreb (15 October 2014) offered a place for fruitful discussion on all important strategic elements that will help to sustain the project results.In WP4 (Capacity building and policy recommendations), development of com-mon methodologies, tools, service descriptions and standards continued. Each partner took part in the development of the new joint R&D transfer mechanisms and SME support services, focusing on the provision of professional expertise, research knowledge and technical support to feasibility and market analyses and to prototype services at a transnational level in their own surrounding. R&D transfer and SME support services description was upgraded and tested.In order to secure coherence in the transnational level a joint policy protocol has been developed, which defines standards and procedures in functioning of the developed support services and determines the roles and responsibilities (horizontal and vertical) of the staff involved in their implementation. Special section of this WP is devoted to training activities of the staff that will work on the implementation of the SEETechnology services in the future. A joint transnational training event was held in November 2013 already, later partners organised their own local trainings, and some of them will have their training events in the last project phase, which still lies ahead.Work also continued on the development of the transnational and local organisa-tional foundation for the sustainable operation of the developed services for the support of SMEs. The final organisational documents, that will enable the functioning of the services after the project end, will be adopted in the final meeting in Budapest in December 2014. In WP5 (Testing of the developed new services (pilots)), three pilots are in pro-gress:• Sharing structured and searchable information on patents, research prod-ucts and research projects: review of the most used and free access patent databases in Europe, identification and analysis of existing tools and methods to support technology transfer and identification of support for SMEs, identification of possibilities for implementing pilot actions.• Sharing business support facilities and resources, i.e. provision of technical infrastructure: testing "beta version" of User Interface of the IT Platform.Pilot No. 1 titled A possible distribution path of SME products to its consumers (B2B) conducted by the University of Graz focused on the supply side of the innovation process – how to bring the product to the market. Specifically, 8 SMEs were selected as a testing sample. They were asked to provide info about their products, and the Chamber of Commerce then acted as the intermediary between those SMEs and product consumers. The feedback showed interest of the SMEs to receive a support service on the marketing of their products and would appreciate support in this area. The testing pilot showed also some insufficiencies; the two intermediaries (University and the chamber of commerce) in the process of linking SMEs to the consumers were estimated by SMEs as too complicated. • Pooling and making accessible expertise i.e. provision of professional expertise, research knowledge and technical support to feasibility and market analysis and to prototype development at transnational level. Demola platform represents a meeting point of companies, university in students; where all three factors work in interaction on solving of real-life innovation cases. Demola is a form of open innovation, which adopts the view that R&D is an open system; valuable ideas can come from inside or outside the organisation, and they may enter the market from inside or outside the organisation. Demola-Maribor operation became the pilot under this action through the co-operation with Demola-Budapest from BME. Over 30 innovation projects have been completed already or are still in progress. The pilot has proven to be a success at the university level, in Slovenia it has in autumn 2014 even expanded to become a national Demola innovation platform. Activities within WP6 (Elaboration of a knowledge sharing IT platform)are in progress. The SEEtechnology IT platform is being created as a one-entry point service for all SMEs seeking innovation support in the national or transnational frame. It is designed as an ICT tool which helps connecting SMEs with R&D organizations and SMEs among themselves. On one hand it enables an online collaboration, knowledge and resources sharing of the participating entities and personnel and supports their contact building and collaboration in an intelligent way, and on the other hand supports the visibility, accessibility and active promotion of project results, services and information to the public in the region.SEETechnology IT platform is not Yet Another Project/Patent/Service Catalogue system that replicated the already existing databases and internet sites. It is designed as an one-entry point to reach the links to the existing information, data-bases and websites and at the same time by the membership registration option it builds a transnational network of factors involved in the innovation work in any phase of its creation or exploitation.
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