Key Strategic Recommendations as outcomes of the CSA “Smart4Europe2”
European Digital Innovation Hubs and Pan European Networks
- Transnational Cooperation requires organisation of “awareness workshops” to identify common research needs and potential collaboration partners.
- Existing services should be linked, e.g. Marketplaces and innovation coaching to EDIHs. Although this could be aligned in terms of sectors or technologies, in the new EDIH world ideally, an internal Marketplace tool is needed just for DIHs to connect together the offers of Digital Innovation Hubs who just provide the local interface to companies.
- Organise events to highlight green applications to SMEs/mid-caps (Technology Radar workshops).
- Highlight potential green opportunities to SMEs and mid-caps (maintenance of Technology Radar).
- Promote sandpit events for companies to get together and brainstorm Green Technology Solutions for specific challenge areas, e.g. Building Energy Management, Energy Harvesting, Circular Manufacturing (Electronic Waste, Plastic Recycling).
- Promote Success Stories in SAE catalogue within Marketplace.
- Organise innovation-boosting problem solving workshops for SMEs and mid-caps to develop creative ideas and take ideas to products (via IAs and Technology Radar).
- Set up Transnational Special Interest Groups focusing on strengths and hot topic areas with the key aim to initiate and drive project consortia.
- Training is the most accessible service and key to reskilling SMEs and mid-caps (and key for retaining staff) – there are many poor free offerings on-line and money should be invested (from EC and National Level) to provide “trusted” free services.
- Providing a “One Stop Shop” for skills is not possible, but it is possible to provide a conduit to different providers with expertise, i.e. a “One Stop Shopping Centre”.
- Sustainability, it is clear that small companies will never pay for sustainability of SAE, thus there is a need for linkage to larger public/private investors/enterprises as well as to generate income from community events.
- Continue Annual Contest Award linked with VC Funder events to promote SMEs/mid-caps and encourage investment, e.g. PACT App.
Collect Continuous Feedback
- Follow up SMEs and mid-caps to gather impact information. Providing feedback up to 2 years following project end should be a mandatory condition of funding.
- Collect feedback from SMEs and mid-caps on the customer experience, e.g. are the portals, information, training, etc., provided useful?