Small and medium sized businesses account for 66 per cent of total employment in the EU and contribute 57 per cent of the value – but how much support do they have to be innovative?
A study by Clare Farrukh, Nicky Athanassopoulou and Imoh Ilevbare of IfM is looking at how knowledge transfer can be made more effective in business innovation and to what extent coaching can offer inbound open innovation.
The team is looking at 10 SME companies although the long term data is still being collected, the initial results “How Inbound Open Innovation Helps SMEs Learn And Improve: Knowledge Transfer From University To Industry Through Direct Coaching” was presented at the R&D Management Conference.
The current key take-aways are:
- Innovation management is an integral part of strategic thinking in firms, but there is a lack of practice-based knowledge about innovation management in smaller firms.
- The pilot confirms the importance of the transfer process, use of SME-friendly tools and facilitator experience in sharing knowledge between SMEs and academia.
- The pilot highlights that one-to-one engagements are overall preferred by SMEs in knowledge transfer, but these are not easily scalable.
- Open courses maybe a reasonable (and more scalable) alternative in knowledge transfer.
If you would like to read the paper “How Inbound Open Innovation Helps SMEs Learn And Improve: Knowledge Transfer From University To Industry Through Direct Coaching” please contact Clare Farrukh [email protected]