12 04|07|11 The European BIC Network Quality eMag Q-light: “Spending Quality Time on Quality Issues”In this issue: IQ: some news on the new services developed by EBN’s quality team. A description of the benchmarking tools,possible thanks to the yearly inputs of the EBN full members. Two possibilities to use the pool of EC-BIC experts at the best:activating the peer-review services and a more direct “Ask the EC-BIC expert of the month!”. The BIC Quality Mark Criteria asstandard for the European innovation-based incubation industry: some tailored technical assistance can get you there throughthe development of a dedicated road-map. QI: the observatories are finally ready! Get a taste of the information you can findin them. Why don’t you send us some comments on the data? What do they mean to you?As usual we hope you enjoy the reading! Giordano and Chiara IQ| Innovation & Quality Growing with quality Products and services for supporting the strengthening of Innovation-Based Incubators We have passed the last months immersed in numbers. We have passed time building the 2011 BIC Observato- ries and some considerations come in just natural. Not considerations about the increase in the key performance indicators (which actually have improved sensibly) or about the higher value for money the BICs have been able to achieve in 2011 (actually it is the first time in 5 years that the “cost per job created” indicator goes down), but thoughts about the best mechanisms to sustain this positive trend in the next years. 2011 represents the 7th “anniversary” of EBN’s quality system. The more I look into it the more I am impressed by the quantity of information that our community stores and shares and by the quality of the information that we can assemble, aggregate, utilize and return to the members in the form of useful tools and services which intend to support a healthier growth of the European Business and Innovation Centers and of their European Network. But the quality system is not only based on data. It is based also on other fundamental elements which use the overall expertise acquired and bred within the network, such as the capacity of deploying serious and effective peer reviews, the capacity of analyzing myriads realities, territories, contexts, providing inputs, testing opportu- nities and coming up with models and solutions tailored to the local differences but with one main common char- acteristic, the compliance with the EC-BIC Quality Mark Criteria. The quality system is mainly based on human capital. What would the quality system be without the constant interaction with the practitioners, the enablers, the experts? Probably it would be just a mere cold tool used for quality assurance and not much more. I believe the increase of the usefulness of such a system is heavily corre- lated with its “humanization” and, of course, to the extent the same system is used by those who are entitled directly to use it, the EBN members. Increasing the use of the system has been one of the objectives of the quality team in the last 2 years. Of course, to increase its use, added value needs to be brought, added value that can be built starting from the basic elements of the quality system: Data, human capital and expertise. These are the fundamental ingredients of the new services presented in the next pages of this eMag: Bench- marking, Peer reviews, technical assistance all go along this path together with improved observatories and transparent expert accreditation, experts that are there to respond to your questions on the BIC world.
12 04|07|11IQ| Innovation & Quality: Growing with qualityBenchmark your innovation-based incubator What is it all about? Collecting data to return data through a sophisticated analysis of the profile, the performance and the value for money of an incubator compared to those of BICs selected through the ap- plication of previously defined criteria. In short, an incubator gives us the criteria (e.g. turn- over, staff, sectors etc.) and the quality team will run the filters and select the appropriate benchmarks. A thorough report will be prepared and handed over to the interested incubator.What information can be found in a benchmarking report?A PowerPoint presentation (raw data are made available upon request in excel format) containing informationon the main characteristics of the benchmarks (country, catchment areas, income and expenditures ecc.) thekey expertise, the utilization of human resources, process indicators (enquiries, feasibility studies), perform-ance indicators (business plans, start-ups, existing SMEs supported, types of support, IP, access to funding)and value for money (cost per job created, start-ups created per 100K of BIC expenditures or of BIC staff). TheEBN observatories can be checked to have an idea of the type of data provided (click here).How much will it cost to have one?Nothing if you are an EBN member. If you still are not an EBN member the cost will be of € 950,00 but EBN willdeduct this cost from an eventual membership fee if the organization decides to join EBN at a later stage.Get a peer-review report What is it all about? Up until now the only organizations having the benefit of receiving a peer-review report were those EBN full members falling under the evaluation program or those organizations who were about to become new EC-BICs and that therefore went through the accreditation process. But a peer-review can be useful to many more… For example to those who may need it to present an independent view to shareholders and stakeholders, to those who need to understand whereprocesses and tools can be improved, or for those who simply need a chance to meet and share opinions withother innovation and incubation specialists. Why not provide this valuable opportunity to all?In short the Quality Team will select one of the accredited EC-BIC expert to come to the incubator for a full dayvisit. The expert will therefore deliver an assessment report analyzing the mission, the organization, the ser-vices, the performances through the magnifying lens of the EC-BIC quality mark criteria.Who are the experts involved?Follow this link to view photos and read the profiles of the EBN accredited experts (click here).How much will it cost to have peer-review report?The price for EBN members is of € 1.500,00 (just enough to cover the fee and the travel expenses). Non mem-bers can have a peer review too at the cost of € 3.000,00.
12 04|07|11IQ| Innovation & Quality: Growing with qualityEBN Technical Assistance: the roadmap to get the EC-BIC Label What is it all about? It is about increasing quality, recognition and accreditation. This service is directed either to organizations who are willing to be recognized as EC-BICs and that need to undertake some steps further ahead in some specific segments of their activities, or to entities which want to set up a Business and Innovation Center from scratch. If technical guidance is needed to create a BIC or to better comply with the EC-BIC quality mark criteria, EBN will draw for and with theinterested organizations a customized roadmap to the EC-BIC trademark.How does it work?Customized technical assistance will be proposed initially on the basis of the famous self-assessment question-naire, the tool used to capture the information needed for quality assurance, and possibly via a first on-sitevisits of the EBN team. The most suitable experts will then be selected to match the specificities of the organi-zation and to deploy the needed technical assistance. The expertise will be selected from the roster of EBN ac-credited experts whose pictures and profiles can be viewed online on the EBN website (click here).How much will it cost to receive technical assistance?Being the technical assistance tailored and not standardized it is impossible to state ex-ante how much it willcost. Of course EBN members will have privileged conditions.Are you new to all this? Is it the first time you hear about the EC-BIC quality mark crite-ria and the EC-BIC trademark?Any doubts to be cleared? Questions to be answered about the BIC criteria, the processto become a BIC, the usefulness of the label? Well, you have two options… either call EBN’s Quality Team or… Ask The EC-BIC Expert of the Month! The EC-BIC expert for the month of July is Mr. Geoff Riley, CEO of the Staffordshire and Black Country BIC in the UK and member of the EBN board representing the UK BICs. Click here to read his profile! Click here to ask him a question!
12 04|07|11 QI| Quality Info: What has happened in 2010? Observatories on-line! As stated in the first page we have passed the last months immersed in numbers. Here is a taste of what you can find online with a little of the “Did you know…” that can trigger some discussions. Did you know... that around 3.000 clients were supported by the BIC network on fundraising issues? Did you know...that the estimated capital raised for entrepreneurs and SMEs by the BICs is of € 316 MLN? 50% of this amount is represents early-stage capital (seed capital and business angels), while 27% is venture capital.Did you know... That 11.000 were the existingSMEs supported by the network? Over 96% of the BICssupport SMEs in developing innovation and the actions un-dertaken with the existing SMEs have produced more than6.000 new jobs. Over 50% of the services delivered toSMEs are focused on the introduction of innovation.SMEs are resorting to the BICs for other key services suchas commercialization, access to finance and internationali-zation. By the way, have you heard of the new soft-landinginitiative? Did you know... That 75% of the network’s full members are providing support to entrepreneurs and existing SMEs on IP is- sues and that 83% of the BICs provide sign- posting services on IP? Indeed 2.600 client companies of the BICs (new entrepreneurs and existing SMEs) have benefit- ted from IP-related services in 2010. 495 new patents have been requested while 227 have been granted in the year. 35% of the network members provide training on this particular topic. Click here to download the 2011 BIC Observatory. Observatories available also for France, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Germany, Belgium and UK.