The workshop took place in Brussels on February 19, 2109. It brought together a wide range of stakeholders, including supported SMEs and their Innovation Associates, Programme Committee members, representatives of Commission Services, representatives of policy initiatives on national and regional level, representatives of National Contact Points, EEN partners and EU-level associations related to SME and innovation.

A workshop summary report with the main findings from the group discussions is available under “Download Documents” in the top menu of this page.

The presentations from the workshop are displayed below and a zip-file with all of them is also available under “Download Documents”.

Innovation Associate Programme

Idaira Robayna Alfonso

Interim findings and preliminary recommendations of the accompanying study

Thorsten Lübbers

Impact of the Innovation Associate Project (DACAPO)

Eva Diedrichs

Intraview Project

Elio Brunetti

PROZE Project

Anne Ammerdorffer

CaseXtreme Project

Sandro Calmanti and Sara Dal Gesso

Supporting Innovation Projects

Philipp Aiginger-Evangelisti

Growth Strategy support for SME’s in Flanders

Dieter Goossens

Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions in Horizon 2020

Martin Mühleck

Introduction to the group sessions

Pär Weström

The lack of access to skills and to latest knowledge, as well as the incapacity to manage the innovation processes effectively, have been identified as major barriers for innovation in SMEs. Individual SMEs are at a disadvantage to recruit specialised knowledge as they often lack Europe-wide networks and in contrast to larger enterprises, do not have established brands. The Horizon 2020 pilot action “European SME Innovation Associate” is an innovation capacity building initiative which aims to address these issues. The pilot action supports visionary SMEs and start-ups to recruit post-doctoral research associates from other countries to jointly develop creative business ideas into concrete innovations.

The main objectives of the workshop are to:

  • Display the results of the EU pilot initiative – examples of successful projects
  • Exhibit comparable policy initiatives on regional/national and EU level
  • Present preliminary findings and recommendations from the evaluation of the pilot action
  • Discuss the best means to implement the action in the future with key stakeholders, bearing in mind other related policy initiatives

The Workshop is organised in the context of a study aiming to provide the European Union with an assessment of the experimental H2020 pilot action. The study is conducted by a consortium consisting of CARSA, Ramboll, LE Europe, DIW Econ and Ecorys. Further details are available in the support letter provided by the Executive Agency for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (EASME).


19th of February, 2019

09:00 – 16:30 CET

Simple Responsive Timeline
  • 09:00 - 09:30

    Registration and welcome coffee



  • 09:30 - 09:35


    Ieva Savickaite

  • 09:35 - 10:00


    Giacomo Mattino,
    Head of Unit, Enterprise Europe Network and Internationalisation of SMEs
    European Commission, DG GROW

    Natalia Martínez Páramo
    Head of Unit, COSME
    European Commission, EASME

  • 10:00 - 10:15

    Innovation Associate Programme

    Idaira Robayna Alfonso
    EASME project adviser and call coordinator INNOSUP-2-2019
    European Commission, EASME

  • 10:15 - 10:30

    Interim findings and preliminary recommendations of the accompanying study

    Thorsten Lübbers

  • 10:30 - 10:45

    Developing innovation management skills
    for and in SMEs: Practical experience in 
    implementing the Innovation Associate
    training program

    Eva Diedrichs
    IMP3rove - European Innovation Management Academy

  • 10:45 - 11:00


  • 11:00 - 12:00

    Successful projects from the first call of the SME Innovation Associate pilot action

    Three examples of successful projects will be presented.
    Elio Brunetti - Intraview project
    Intrapore GmbH, Germany
    Sander Ouburg and Anne Ammerdorffer - Proze project
    TubaScan Ltd, The Netherlands
    Sandro Calmanti and Sara Dal Gesso - CaseXtreme project
    Amigo Srl, Italy

  • 12:00 - 13:00

    Presentations of comparable schemes

    National level schemes:

    Philipp Aiginger
    Program manager of Impact Innovation Program, FFG (Die Österreichische Forschungsförderungsgesellschaft).

    Dieter Goossens | Benedicte de Buck
    Head of the team | Project advisor of SME-growth Subsidy, VLAIO (Flanders Innovation & Entrepreneurship)

    EU level scheme: 
    Martin Mühleck
    Policy Officer, Unit C2, Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions,
    European Commission, DG EAC

  • 13:00 - 14:00


  • 14:00 - 14:15

    Introduction to the group sessions

    Pär Weström


  • 14:15 - 15:15

    Group discussions

    Group 1 - Moderator: Pär Weström, CARSA

    Group 2 - Moderator: Thorsten Lübbers, Ramboll

    Group 3 - Moderator: Patrice Muller, LE Europe

    Group 4 - Moderator: Anselm Mattes, DIW Econ

    Group 5 - Moderator: Ricardas Juskevicius, Ecorys

  • 15:15 - 15:40



  • 15:40 - 16:10

    Reporting of the group sessions

    Group representative or Group moderator

  • 16:10 - 16:30

    Closing remarks

    Daniel Gassman
    Head of sector A1.2 Business services, European Commission, EASME

    Janos Schmied
    COSME, Unit 2, Programme Officer, European Commission, DG GROW



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