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First results of the In-Business Growth European Project

In the framework of the adoption of the European project IN-BUSINESS GROWTH from the Horizon 2020 programme (INNOSUP-5-2014), several agents of innovation are currently cooperating to review practices related to the design and implementation of innovation support programmes for SMEs.

The University of Algarve, through its Division of Entrepreneurship and Technology Transfer (CRIA) (Portugal), the Regional Development Company of Kainuu (Finland), the Bulgarian Development Agency (Bulgaria) and the Technology Park of Andalucía (Spain) are actually working together in the project to explore an innovative challenge focused on the redesign of existing services and the creation of new instruments to provide more efficient tools of supporting innovation in SMEs.


The first phase of the project has focused on the analysis of the current situation in the participating countries in the field of support programmes for SMEs and the first results already are available. Seventeen good practices have been selected and analyzed, focusing on nine issues defined previously, (1) Adaptation to the real needs of SMEs, (2) Demand-led approaches (e.g. KET applications to SMEs), (3) Easy access to the existing supports, (4) Promotion and Dissemination of the information, (5) Technology transfer; (6) Commercialization of innovation, (7) Follow-up of the progress of the SMEs, (8) Establishment of constant means of improvement, (9) Access to resources through networked development. The Good Practices stressed are described below:


Programa Yuzz (Spain): National Program of training and launch of entrepreneurial projects which offers training, support and advice, accompanying the entrepreneur throughout the development of the business plan and beyond

Promalaga (Spain): Public network of technological, creative and cultural incubators for the development of ideas and projects of innovation and urban technologies.

CADEs (Spain): Support Centres for Entrepreneurship Development in all the Andalusian Territory

Business Developement Model of the PTA (Spain):  Programme of creation and consolidation of new companies in the Technology Park of Andalucia002E.

ARDAN Program (France): Regional system regional that allows the integration of new skills and competences in SMEs through the recruitment of professional responsible of piloting new activities within the company.

Growth for Kainuu project (Finland): Project to encourage and help micro and medium sized businesses in the Region of Kainuu to grow (growth and internationalization, business transfers & generation shift, education and training of the companies).

Project Edufinet (Spain): Financial education portal to promote financial education.for businessmen and entrepreneurs, as well as students and citizens.

Green Ray and Link by UMA-Atech (Spain): Largest space for business, university and innovation coexistence in Andalusia for the development of global entrepreneurial projects.

Alimenta2Talent (Italy): Anual program of Business Acceleration Programa anual de Aceleración Empresarial en los sectores de agroalimentación y bioeconomía

Regional Agency for entrepreneurship and innovation / High technology business incubator (Bulgaria): Business Incubator, Center of Technology Transfer and Technology Park

National Science to Business platform (Bulgaría): National Transfer Platform of the academic developement and cientific research results to the business field.

Large research infrastructure services for SMEs (Finland): This initiative focuses on the knowledge management to create products more competitive, secure and sustainable.

Eco-Point Service (Italy, Slovenia, Austria, Hungary, Czech Republic and soon in Greece): the system promotes the use of environmentaly friendly technologies for business growth, by showing the economic advantages of greener production and consumption patterns.

Regional Business Idea - CI Caixa (Portugal): This program is carried out every three years, through the realization of a contest of ideas and workshops "Create your business" performed in 16 municipalities, in order to promote innovative entrepreneurial initiatives and the young entrepreneurship.

Focus Groups and Innovation Communities (Portugal): six communities of innovation in tourism, maritime economy, energy and environment, ICT and creative industries, agro-food, health and well being, formed byf researchers, businessmen, entrepreneurs, policymakers and technology transfer offices, collaborate to implement innovative strategies in the medium and long term, towards a more competitive region.

Science to business (Portugal): a permanent mapping of the opportunities for innovation based on the RIS3 strategy is indertaken according to the needs of the identified companies and the solutions that can bring research centres or research groups from the University to the problem detected.

Innovation Vouchers (Hungria): Transnational voucher system for SMEs with the aim of introducing innovations (new products, processes or services) in their business operations with the support of universities and institutes of I & D at transnational level.


At this moment, the benchmarking of these good practices is running to analyze the possibilities of transfer and exchange in each participating region (action 2 of the project).