Building up Innovation through Networking and External Funding for Small Companies
George TsekourasDr, DPhil, Director of CENTRIM
George is the Director of CENTRIM. He has led the research in the area of innovation and entrepreneurship in areas like peer-to-peer learning networks, innovation coaching, planning and implementing new product development strategies, fostering linkages with external research, open innovation for SMEs, public-private innovation partnerships and innovation in social enterprises.
He is the founder of a number of peer-to-peer learning networks in UK, Ireland, South Africa and Greece, which have supported more than 2,000 SMEs around the world. He was the coordinator of the RAPPORT consortium (www.rapport-project.eu), which looked at best practices to connect SMEs to the public or private research organisations. Currently, he works for a consortium that helps the European Commission to design the SME Instrument scheme, a new scheme to support innovation by European SMEs.
George has also worked in other innovation areas like innovation benchmarking, industry forecasting and business process re-engineering. He has a first degree in mechanical engineering and a DPhil in innovation management from SPRU at the University of Sussex. He is the author of a number of papers in academic journals, books and international conferences while he has designed and delivered many executives training and consultancy programmes on innovation-enabled entrepreneurship.
The programme includes:
- Two full-days seminar at a luxurious venue.
- Half a day consulting session for each participating company.
- An extensive report for each participating company formulated to their needs. The report will include recommendations and suggestions for further consideration by the management.
- Full access to a seminar blog containing all presentations and further additional support materials and resources for each seminar participant.
- Full lunch and three coffee breaks for the two-days seminar for each seminar participant.
- No VAT is imposed to Digipro Executive Management Seminars. Please contact us for clarifications.
This valuable seminar will offer insights on how to develop new strategies, new systems and new policy instruments that Small Enterprises need to discover fresh ideas, access external funds and other resources and find new partners.
Small Enterprises need to innovate if they want to grow – some say if they want to survive in the long-term. Innovation takes a different shape depending on the stage of the company’s lifetime. Younger Small Enterprises enjoy abundant reservoirs of creativity; their leader(s) have several ideas of how to approach a market in a ‘fresh’ way and how to offer a radical new solution to existing customers or even approach a new set of customers. However, innovation requires much more than creativity. Innovation is about using the creative ideas to ‘complete the journey’, for instance finding the funds and other required resources, identifying suitable partners, form a relationship with them and most importantly making sure that the Small Enterprises captures the value out of the developing innovation. In several cases young Small Enterprises fail to do this; typical example the young company overwhelmed from the power of (their) fresh ideas while underestimating the significance of market alliances.
On the other hand, more established Small Enterprises need to evolve by infusing a substantial amount of change and by rediscovering themselves, their products and their services. In practice this means that these businesses must be prepared to ‘kill’ their habits and routines, move away from existing markets and customers and identify new fresh approaches towards growth and profits. However, this transition involves a lot of risks that may be detrimental for the company. For instance, following the track of a wrong new idea may lead the company in financial trouble. Moreover, the new strategy may require to write-off existing partnerships, identifying new partners, acquiring special systems and specific areas of expertise while for sure it requires extra resources. Most critically the new strategy has to be implemented in the absence of previous experience or considerable knowhow.
At the same time, policy makers like the European Commission have recognized the pressing need of the situation and have developed new programs (e.g. The SME Instrument) to allow Small and Medium Enterprises to receive funds for innovation together with guidance and support such as innovation coaching.
This seminar aims to support Small Enterprises to define and fund innovation projects in line with the stage of their lifetime and actively support these projects through new strategies, new tools and platforms and new policy instruments that can enable:
- The discovery of fresh and new ideas from across the world
- The identification of new business partners
- Access to global pools of (micro, small or large) investors
- The awareness and potential exploitation of (especially European) policies and funds that support innovation projects.
SUBSIDY, ATTENDANCE, AND CANCELLATION POLICY
HRDA Subsidy and Seminar Attendance
- A company’s participant is eligible for a subsidy when their Social Insurance and Industrial Training contributions have been settled in full by the time of registration/seminar. In case of ineligibility/disqualification, the company will be invoiced the full amount per participant.
- A company’s participant is eligible for a subsidy if he/she completes an obligatory attendance of 75% or more (both during seminar and company visit). In case of failure to complete the attendance, the company will be invoiced the full amount, per participant.
Cancellation and Substitution Policy
- Cancellations can be accepted up to 5 working days prior to the seminar without penalties. For any cancellations received after the deadline (or no-shows), the company will be invoiced the full amount per participant.
- Substitutions can be accepted any time prior to the seminar without penalties.