Designs Options Papers developed under H2020-INNOSUP

699641- TOURISM ID

The project aims to promote the interest and investment of small-and-medium-sized enterprises of Tourism Sector (SMEs) in relation to utilizing design and transforming design activity into tradable deliverables that manifest exploitation. TOURISM ID project adopts a co-creation focused on breaking down the above barriers by evolving all the relevant stakeholders to the process for the creation of the dedicated Support Instrument for Innovation In tourism industry and gathering insights from the SMEs in order to reframe the barriers. Read more on the project and its deliverables.

713803- StartInnShop

StartInnShop aims to (re)design, integrate and make more effective services dedicated to support innovative start-ups in their processes to access customers, especially in international markets. During StartInnShop, partners have organised several experience and knowledge exchanges during peer-to-peer sessions and study visits with their local communities with the objective to deepen the knowledge on their tools and routines to support start-ups developing new markets and improve the services offered to local start-up communities in this field. Read more on the project and its deliverables


Better structure and drive innovation ecosystems, based on knowledge and technology, that would lead to all types of innovation into SMEs is one of the major challenges of Innovation Agencies. This Option Paper presents SPARK, a workshop format for researchers and enterprises who wish to

  1. test (technological) opportunities to develop their activity and
  2. identify resources (competencies, suppliers, partners) to implement them,

in a transdisciplinary group lining-up entrepreneurs, researchers and innovation support actors.

671524-SME Value Chains

As a result of globalization the production of goods and services is getting increasingly spread over companies and countries. Goods are nowadays processed in many sequential stages at the most suited location for the activity. Multinationals lead the process. Small and medium‐sized enterprises (SMEs) try to participate as partners, but they face serious challenges to get access to the markets and to add value in these global value chains (GVCs). On the other hand governments and non‐governmental institutions and organisations, inspired by research on the importance of the participation of SMEs in GVCs, are seeking to implement policies and programs intended to support entrepreneurs in this field.

671525- SME Growth

Why a European region should have a regional policy to accelerate startups? SME acceleration has become a very popular process for High Growth Companies (HGC) or high potential SME support. “Acceleration of SME” is a way to support startups and high potential SME’s. The basic of the acceleration concept is to exchange services like mentoring, entrepreneurship education and coaching (services provided to the startup and the entrepreneur) with a small amount of share in the company.

The INNOWEST project has used peer learning under “Twinning Advanced” to exchange common challenges and experiences from new and existing innovation services. This has resulted in this Design Option Paper (DOP) which presents options, guidelines and implementation alternatives that three EEN - Enterprise Europe Network partners in three regions would recommend to other innovation support service agencies. In particular, the DOP address EEN partners in Europe, primarily in Sweden, Germany and the UK (Scotland).

680942- EISS
The aim of the EISS project is to collaboratively address the challenge of improving eco-innovation support services in smaller manufacturing companies from traditional sectors in the peripheral regions, where innovation services are often weak.

680936- Peer-BIT
In the course of the last few years, a substantial shift from subsidy-driven schemes towards individualized demand-led programmes for SMEs can be observed. In this context, more and more regions recognize the value of coaching programmes, which nowadays become one of the most promising types of innovation support. In this context, the main goal of the present Design Option Paper (DOP) is to increase the quality of coaching services provided to SMEs by exploring possibilities of an effective implementation of the smE-MPOWER methodology throughout a number of European regions.

680943- MEVINO
MEVINO aims at increasing innovative young business activities through delivering proper support for potential entrepreneurs and start-ups. This project realizes it by focusing on peer learning of project partners, implementing successful practises on innovation and entrepreneurship and cooperating in related topics.

692521- In-Business Growth  

The overall objective of In-Business Growth is for the four partner-innovation agencies to exchange experience around nine essential innovation management themes, and improve innovation services towards SMEs. The four partners explore ‘an innovation support challenge’ focused on the redesign of the existing services, the creation of new instruments to deliver more efficient tools and the creation of synergies between European, national, regional and local support.

692590- TETRAGON

TETRAGON aims at enhancing SME’s innovation capacity by providing them with better innovation support in Technology Transfer from public research to the market.

This paper aims to find an effective mechanism for monitoring policies for innovation and design a tool for collecting systematically information without excessive costs and through procedures easy to implement.

It is targeted at organisations such as innovation agencies, regional and national authorities and similar organisations, involved in monitoring and evaluation of public policies for innovation.

The POWER2INNO project encourages peer learning between three regional innovation agencies with the goal of raising their competences for the empowerment of small and micro companies for innovative entrepreneurship.

“New practices of Grassroots Innovation for Demand Driven Businesses” (short GIDDB) was a 9-months peer-learning project aimed at discussing and identifying possible policy support mechanisms for improving innovativeness in SMEs primarily founded and managed by young entrepreneurs (18-35 years of age) by applying a grassroots approach.

The present document is the final deliverable of the project.

The overall objective of the TransUP -“Supporting Transnational Start-up Ecosystems” action, is to peer-review transnational support programmes for enhancing international driven attitude among new entrepreneurs from cross border territories.

713768- Peer 4 Inno Manage
The objective of the peer-learning action Peer 4 Inno Manage is to look for renewed insights on how to better deliver Innovation Management services to SMEs. A key element of the project was the evaluation use of different diagnostic tools for assessing SME innovation management capacities, such as IMP3rove Assessment Tool, Innov'scan tool, GROWTHmapper Tool and the GrowthWheel Tool.

The FUNDCELERATOR project aims at developing a stepped methodology and best practices to facilitate faster time-to-market and investment for innovative new ventures operating specifically in long-time-to-market technologies.

713805- TWINN-LC-SMEs
The TWINN-LC-SME´s project develops presents the Engaging cross Sector Market Exchanges (EngagingSMEs) initiative, a workshop designed to extend the range of cleantech innovation across multiple market sectors, though providing start-up SMEs cross sector innovation collaboration opportunities to address major business challenges. This shall enhance the regional innovation pipeline and in turn support the wider goal of national carbon reduction.

The Design Options Paper has been prepared in the context of the Young and Innovative: how to help young entrepreneurs be more innovative project. The overall purpose of the Y&I project was to develop recommendations for improvement of the innovative systems in general and of the pro-innovative services delivered by innovation agencies and other specialized business supporting institutions.

730826 - SME Sealing
The Seal of Excellence is a European initiative aimed at mainly at regional and national level. It offers a gateway to companies and organizations across Europe who apply for the Horizon 2020 Programme and despite of meeting all the stringent thresholds of the calls, are not funded due to the lack of available budget. This paper aims at using peer learning advanced methodology together with the current tools from the lean start-up methodologies to develop and test different approaches to the valorisation of the Seal of Excellence for the SME instrument phase 2 within a small consortium of national innovation.

730828 - Peer for Excellence
Peer for Excellence suggests options to implement new financing mechanisms (public and/or private), that will help all European, national and regional funding agencies to harness the potential of the distinction provided by the SME instrument “Seal of Excellence” to successfully fund high impact innovation projects.


The goal of the INPRO action is to peer-review Intellectual Property (IP) support programmes for SMEs in order to improve SMEs knowledge and attitude towards IP matters as well as to transfer good practices into regional/national programmes for intellectual property management.

730806 - Eurosyn

The project collaboratively addressed a common innovation support challenge: to improve the use of public funds for R&D&I enabling synergies between ESIF, H2020 and other funds. Intermediary organizations offering support services on funding opportunities to SMEs are relevant actors in this process from two main points of view: 1) they can help policy makers in the development and application of the synergies, 2) they can support SMEs in the correct use of public funds for R&D. The project produced a small “guide” to other agencies and business support centres to provide similar and/or more focused services on funding opportunities support.

730834 - PLIS

The project PLIS stands for “Peer Learning Innovation Services” contributes to enabling innovation support institutions in regions across Europe to quickly and effectively develop initiatives that will engage, encourage and aid SMEs to use Service Innovation as a mean to maintaining or increasing competitiveness, profitability and jobs. The project developed new approaches to foster Service Innovation among SMEs and improve the current innovation support programmes; enhance the quality, efficiency and customer satisfaction of services provided; increase the number of Service Innovation projects developed by SMEs; accelerate the learning process among the participants; foster the relationship between PLIS partners in innovation services; and, inspire and guide other agencies (and similar organisations) that become interested in how to foster Service Innovation among SMEs.

730848 - Spin off growth

The objective of the project was to improve and enhance the innovation support actions, activities and services addressed to Universities and Research Centres (U&RC) Spin-off in order to the support the creation and support of innovative companies. During the 12 months project and through the use of a Twinning Methodology, the partners sought to identify and share best practices based on their experience in entrepreneurship and business development within the knowledge and technology transfer framework. The result is documented in the present Design Option Paper (DOP), which identifies and documents implementation options, guidelines and implementation alternatives that they have experienced and recommend to other innovation support service agencies.

759220 - AccessSME

Innovative SMEs are most likely to create new markets, achieve rapid growth, and help the economy recover. External finance may be particularly important for innovative SMEs, as they usually lack the internal resources to successfully commercialise innovations. However, innovative SMEs often find it the hard to obtain finance because they tend to have riskier business models, which are important to create new markets but are also difficult for banks to value. Innovative SMEs are often more reliant on intangible assets, rather than tangible property, but intangibles are difficult to value as they are context specific, and thus hard to use as collateral for lending. The AccesSME project was dedicated to contribute tackling this issue.

757400 - InnoMedia

Regional public authorities plan their territorial innovation policies, regional innovation support agencies design and/or implement innovation support programmes for SMEs in accordance with the innovation policies, monitor and evaluate the programmes outcomes, promote and manage regional innovation ecosystems, i.e. innovation-friendly environments. The “Innomedia” project  is a peer learning action for three innovation support agencies of three different European countries about policies, programmes, tools and services for SME innovation. It aims at enhancing the effectiveness of regional development policies and contributing to the transformation of knowledge into new products and services, innovative and attractive for the market.

759596 - innoPROCUR

The aim of the project is to collaboratively address a common innovation support challenge, namely to facilitate and foster the participation of innovative SMEs in PCP - Public Commercial Procurement and PPI - Public Procurement of Innovation. Intermediary organizations and innovation agencies, offering support services to innovative SMEs, are relevant actors in this process because they can support SMEs in participating in European PCP and PPI, with numerous positive effects for them: improving the exploitation of IPRs and R&D results, increasing economic growth and employment, speeding up time-to-market of innovative solutions and gaining leadership in new global markets. The Peer learning activity will serve to learn from the best and to share good and bad practices in such support services to SMEs, which are still rare/not consolidated throughout the EU. The realized Design Options Paper will serve as a “guide” or a “handbook” to other agencies and business support centers to provide similar and/or more focused support services on PCP/PPI.