A “Catalogue” where all services for SMEs to support the innovation processes are codified together with the requirements of the service provider.
In the period 2007-2013, the Tuscany Regional Authority developed a “Catalogue” where all services for SMEs recognised as “advanced and qualified to support the innovation processes and competitiveness” were codified together with the requirements of the service provider.
Through the Catalogue the Authority aimed to :
Rationalise the regional system of technology transfer;
support the demand for qualified services for SMEs, as a key element of a long-term process of organisational change and increased competitiveness;
select, qualify and open up the services market for businesses.
In 2016 the Catalogue was revised to make it a more flexible tool for different calls (not only one). It now refers to all the regional R&I calls and related programming instruments.
The Catalogue now represents a source of information for companies wishing to set up a process of innovation and it is periodically updated.
The Catalogue describes all “qualified services to for SMEs” for which there is the possibility of a regional co-financing. It includes more than 40 services divided into:
A. First level Qualified services (basic services) – E.g.: audit and assessment of the SME’s potential;
B. Second level qualified services (advanced services) – E.g.: services to support technological innovation in products and processes;
C. Services for internationalisation – E.g.: participation in international fairs and exhibitions
In the programming period 2007-2013, the Catalogue was used almost exclusively to support interventions to support SMEs in purchasing qualified services. According to the type of service, the cost can vary between 10.000- 75.000€ with an average co-financing rate of 50%.
Evidence of success
From 2008 to 2013 a growing number of SMEs used this instrument: 2.667 requests were approved for funding; 45K€ was the average cost of the required service; 50% was the average approved co-financing; 79.3 M€ was the whole amount allocated for co-funding.
In the 2014-2020 period, its use has been extended to measures for the competitiveness of the regional production system and in particular those intended to increase business investment in research and innovation.
No specific barriers were met when designing and implementing the GP.
The catalogue can be adapted and updated according to the different needs and levels of development of each regions.
A periodic update of the Catalogue is needed, so that it remains in line with all regional policies.
Potential for learning or transfer
The Catalogue represents a guide both for SMEs, which can benefit from a complete picture of the potential opportunities and expertise, and for possible services suppliers, who can improve and adapt their own expertise to be compliant with the listed and fundable services.
The Good Practice also involves all potential "suppliers" of the service, which benefit from the funding by providing own qualified consultants. In this way, it promotes and supports a market of qualified services (technical, research, certification, etc.) which also includes:
Public and private research centers and laboratories
Other SMEs in the role of supplier.
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