The Catalogue contains the list of Advanced and Qualified Services that Tuscan companies can activate and for which they can request financial support.
Tuscan Regional Authority developed and published a “Catalogue” where all the possible services for SMEs recognised as “advance and qualified to support the innovation processes and competitiveness in SMEs” were listed and codified together with the corresponding requirements of the service provider.
The catalogue describes all services for which a company could submit applications for regional co-financing. About 40 services are split into three thematic areas:
• Initial support to innovation
• Specialised consulting services
• Services to support internationalisation
This three area solution allows companies to have support, through specific services, in various phases of their life-cycle.
The company can choose the most appropriate and qualified service provider to implement the project. In order to ensure the quality of the service, the supplier has to certify his/her experience with a series of references.
The publication of the Catalogue was coupled with a call for proposals (measure 1.3b of ERDF ROP 2007-2013), providing co-financing to SMES for “Support for the purchase of qualified services by SMEs”). The call remained open for the whole programming period, with periodic cut-offs for submission, assessment and funding of grant applications.
The Tuscany economic fabric is composed largely of SMEs, the Catalogue supports them, by bringing a whole range of proposals together in one, single document with relative explanations.
The total 2014 - 2020 ERDF ROP allocation for this service is € 152468247.34.
In 2015 alone, 121 companies were funded, for a total of 330 applications and €2.6 million of public co-funding.
Evidence of success
The fact that the Catalogue was confirmed for the 2014-20 programming period is considered as a tangible result. The Catalogue is now considered as a relevant source of information and guidance for all actors of the regional ecosystem: companies wishing to invest in innovation and service providers.
It is periodically updated, in order to ensure that new needs and challenges are represented.
This GP feeds the Ecosystem stimulating collaboration between experienced professionals and companies and providing a funding instrument to support this.The division of the Service Catalogue structure into three areas is consistent with the Business Support Ecosystem phases.
Potential for learning or transfer
The GP could be easy replicated in other regions, as it only needs schematisation and identification of thematic areas and the correspondent service specifications for company demands.
In Tuscany, the Catalogue was initially linked to a call for proposals with relative budget. This is not necessary, as the Catalogue can refer to existing calls and be used as a support tool.
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