Call specific challenges and how 200SMEchallenge will address them
Innovation support agencies rarely engage in policy experimentation also due to lack of funds, time pressure to deliver new support, and the fear of a backlash against 'money wasting'.
The project will consist in a safe space for involved innovation agencies to experiment a new SMEs innovation support scheme. Risks of failures or unwanted effects will be minimized as: i) the proposed scheme was successfully piloted by HIT in late 2017; ii) a detailed design of the proposed scheme along with practical implementation guidelines is bound to be delivered by a dedicated H2020 project; iii) a considerable part of the project budget will be utilized to build capacity within the involved innovation agencies with regards of the execution of the initiative.
Evidence on the effectiveness of both existing and proposed new support mechanisms is limited and inconclusive.
The execution of the proposed scheme will be framed within a scientific study utilizing a RCT setting. A sample of two hundred beneficiaries SMEs will be selected and allocated to two groups (control and treatment) according to a research plan, allowing for rigorous measurement of impact, as well as satisfaction on targeted SMEs.
The proposed scheme is designed to deliver sound added value to targeted companies. It will allow SMEs to gather strategic innovation insight for their NPD processes, on a local basis and in the short time frame. By delivering actionable outputs such as product prototypes, the proposed Innovation Challenge intends to tackle the innovation support need of many European SMEs “for tools and support mechanisms for design-driven, user-centred
innovation” in line with the working hypothesis of the European Commission’s Staff Working Document, “Design as a driver of user-centred innovation.