The AUTODIAGNOSTIC TOOL FOR AGRO-SMEs evaluates THE innovation potential & technology adoption readiness OF SMEs, optimizing investments' decision making
The tool to assess the technology and innovation readiness of agro food enterprises, came as an answer to the need for incorporating innovative schemes to the agricultural production in Europe. The area is characterised by agricultural enterprises that have the potential but not the motivation and R&D capacity to be more innovative and competitive.
To address that problem specific steps need to be taken:
• Download of the application (.exe file to be installed) and manual for installation and operation, as well as ready examples
• Feed the tool with detailed and accurate data/ info
• Extract the diagnosis results report in PDF form and consult with company's partners / staff
• Create a roadmap for the corrections/additions/improvements
Step 3: (in case of regions, supporting entities)
• Development of an overall report for all enterprises using the tool and drawing conclusions
• Elaboration of an overall profile for the SMEs in each region per sector/ subsector and creation of linkages to industrial modernization policies or other relevant initiatives
The main beneficiaries are European SMEs, active in the agrofood sector, business support organisations that provide assistance to those SMEs, as well as regional authorities.
In the case of SMEs to use the tool the cost is estimated around 3.000 euros depending on the man effort devoted to feed the tool with info/ data. In case of SMEs' supporting entity the cost can rise up to 9.000 to cover updates / extension of the tool depending on sub sector target groups.
Evidence of success
The implementation of the autodiagnostic tool to more than 60 businesses and their monitor after taking decisions based on the diagnosis report, showed that the tool helps optimizing decision making towards minimization of costs and development of new products that can be innovative and gain / retain competitiveness. In all cases, detailed data/ info had been provided, and effort was devoted to link tool usage with SME(s) strategy, objectives and decision making procedures.
Many SMEs could not realize that some effort was needed to get the maximum out of the tool. Or that diagnosis report should be linked with strategy, objectives and priorities of the company and the existing / future operational environment. However, successful examples led to wide adoption and use.
Potential for learning or transfer
The autodiagnostic tool for SMEs is easy to adopt, at low cost and already tested, and therefore can be transferred in a reliable way. Moreover the tool can be updated (open source code software) and any businesses support organization can further develop / update it to cover changing needs of SMEs in their territory and can be applied easily to big numbers of SMEs creating an innovation profile of specific sectors. In that way, it can support efforts of industrial modernization and jobs creation, however it requires strong institutional commitment by regions and SME's supporting entities. Through connection of the tool with strategy, objectives and priorities of the SME(s) it provides many feedback loops that allow learning by SMEs and their supporting entities.
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