Despite vast investments and development of innovation technologies, many industries in Central Europe still focus on product manufacturing. Low cost competition from non-EU counties, together with gradual commoditisation further challenge their competitiveness. Thus, it is essential especially for SME companies to adapt their skills and successfully overcome rapid changes, following innovation and technological progress. Servitisation of products through adequate human capital investment could be one of the solutions for a greater prosperity on an ever-changing market.
THINGS+ project aims to enrich portfolio of companies with additional services that can increase value delivered to customers and improve their position on the market, by strengthening entrepreneurs skills in service innovation management.
THINGS+ project is focused in transformation of traditional companies into regional innovation motors, with no excessive investments. Key output will be a new approach to improve entrepreneurs’ skills that help them introduce service innovation into manufacturing companies and increase prosperity on changing markets.
Project Partner Slovak Business Agency hosted the second Working group Session and partners meeting from 14th to 15th of December 2017 where business, market and customer assessment tools were discussed. Partners also worked with experts in small groups focused on the challenges of service commercialisation and internationalisation.
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On October 25th and 26th THINGS+ project partner STEP RI - Science and Technology Park of the University of Rijeka hosted first Interactive Working Group Session. The consortium discussed relevant documents and analysis developed so far. The revision of relevant documents and discussion led to a creation of a new Service Innovation Methodology, specifically: Factsheet of existing service innovation methods and impact measures implemented in THINGS+ regions and Catalogue of service innovation and new service creation tools.
Kick off meeting was successful
The main objective is to create a methodology for the improvement of entrepreneurs’ skills on the development of product-based services. The methodology will be based on existing partial methods and good practices that PPs are using in their business support programs. Main tools for this methodology in O.T1.1 - Key tools portfolio for servitization of CE product-based manufacturing companies, and the O.T1.2 - SIM guidelines to create a new offer based on Product-Service System for CE manufacturing SMEs, will serve as overarching instruction for SIM implementation.
Specialization in Central Europe Knowledge-Intensive Business Services (KIBS) is the title of the second thematic work package. Here preconditions for testing the new Service Innovation Methodology on the field will be set-up. First a train-the-trainers activity will introduce the SIM to ≥ 20 innovation experts offering KIBS to CE companies. Second the trained experts will implement local users workshops with ≥ 100 CE SMEs. Finally THINGS+ partners will also jointly design the business model for implementation and transfer of the SIM outside the project consortium.
Take-up of innovative services in the CE manufacturing industry: 100 manufacturing SMEs in project partner regions from industrial sectors will test the newly acquired competencies to introduce new product-based services in their portfolio. It is expected that 40 % of the new services introduced by the pilot SMEs are accepted on the market. 10 % of pilot projects will be able to internationalize their new offering during the project timeframe. THINGS+ partners will closely support this group of companies with tailored business services.
During the activites within WP4 the project team will analyze current legislative situation and develop a Policy Recommendations Paper based on outcomes and results of other thematic WPs as well as on results of policy local pilot actions performed in regions: Veneto and Lodzkie. The developed recommendations will contain new service innovation support schemes, which will support emerging sectors and new cross-sectorial themes and proposals for policy impact evaluations.
TOTAL BUDGET: 1.889.299,50 EURO
ERDF CO-FINANCING: 1.562.517,31 EURO
THINGS+ PROJECT NEWSLETTER SUPPORTING AWARENESS RAISING ABOUT PROJECT RESULTS
THINGS+ is a project focused on the development of the methodology needed for the introduction of service innovations into product manufacturing companies whose business was so far based on selling a final product.
Newsletter #1 in PDF version, you could find at the following link >>