Strengthening regional entrepreneurship, the performance of start-ups and the innovation capacities of SMEs with a focus on the development of (internationally) competitive products
In general, all actions supported within the specific objective SO11 of priority axis 1 shall contribute to embed universities and research institutions in an increasingly well established cross-border innovation system with strong links between the actors. Moreover, intensified cross-border linkages among the research and innovation-supporting institutions and the regional SMEs shall result in stronger SME networks and clusters. With a joint strategic framework established for the border region and based on the existing Smart Specialisation Strategies, the available innovation competence can be better utilised. Thereby the ground shall be prepared for a more intense cooperation in the future. Additionally, the SMEs’ individual capabilities to cooperate shall be enhanced by developing the necessary skills and competences.
On the other hand, all actions supported within specific objective SO11 shall contribute to an increased quality and effectiveness of services provided by intermediary organisations (e.g. economic development agencies, chambers). A more continuous cross-border cooperation of intermediate organisations will allow for joint measures that provide better and more harmonised services to the SMEs, especially with regard to support for start-ups and for enhancing regional entrepreneurship. A higher, integrated service level and more effective operation of the intermediate enterprise development organisations shall in turn lead to an enhanced innovation capacity and competitiveness and in the long-term lead to economic and social development of the border region as a whole.
The results of the bundle of actions achieved through EU support shall contribute to an increased survival rate of SMEs in the Austrian-Hungarian border region.
Possible are such projects that encourage and help SMEs to cooperate with existing R&D and innovation support facilities and with each other (in the scope of SME networks and clusters). In practice this can include research activities and product developments (e.g. surveys, data processing, tests), which will be carried out and documented by SMEs themselves or by SMEs together with research institutions. Thus, SMEs shall better absorb new processes, technologies and know-how, both as a result of system- and process development and organisational learning as well as better individual and group competences and skills. In some cases, new products or services will be developed and introduced to the market, in other cases joint marketing activities or producing and sale systems will be implemented.
Moreover, such projects are possible that enhance advisory skills and capacities of intermediary institutions, mainly through supporting their professional counselling, process improvements, market research etc. Furthermore an overall strategic framework for cross-border business innovation with the involvement of all important stakeholders shall be developed.
Examples of actions eligible under specific objective SO11 are:
1. Encouragement and support of technology and know-how transfer between research or technology institutions and businesses or clusters for the development and adaptation of new technologies, products or services
2. Support of the creation, linkage or further development of the cross-border clusters, innovation centres, and/or SME networks in order to
- develop new or improved products, services or supply chains through joint research and innovation activities as well as through jointly established laboratories or innovation/technological centres for start-up companies,
- set up “knowledge platforms” aiming at finding appropriate solutions through involving business partners or launching projects
- promote the creation of joint local products, logistic and quality management solutions and sale systems in the border region
- develop common marketing activities (developing common brands, webshops, etc.)
- establish and develop commercial centres and markets to be used by the producers and distributor enterprises in order to promote marketing and positioning local products
3. Support of collaboration of organisations dealing with economic development to improve their effectiveness in enhancing the internationalisation of the local business sector , e.g. by
- Supporting the exchange of experiences in the field of business and innovation development, such as the identification of common fields of interest and the implementation of joint approaches to innovation (e.g. cross-border innovation voucher scheme)
- Reducing administrative barriers in the field of innovation and improving framework conditions for research
- Developing and testing strategies/services that facilitate the access to financing innovation or new products and for (innovative) start-ups
- Improving the coordination of cluster policies and cluster cooperation
- Developing joint tools and services to improve skills and competences for innovative entrepreneurship, improving the innovation culture, management skills and capacity building for start ups.