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Michele Coletti & Myriam Camarero: Issues & challenges regarding the use of voucher systems irt promotion of cross-sectoral innovation


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Presentation by Michele Coletti and Myriam Camarero during the Parallel Session on Cross-sectoral innovation & the use of innovation vouchers @ ECIA Closing Conference on November 27 2014 in Amsterdam (The Netherlands).

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Michele Coletti & Myriam Camarero: Issues & challenges regarding the use of voucher systems irt promotion of cross-sectoral innovation

  1. 1. ECIAP Closing Conference Amsterdam 27 November 2014 Session 1: Cross-sectoral innovation and the use of innovation vouchers Michele Coletti & Myriam Camarero Provincia di Milano
  2. 2. Innovation Vouchers rationale • Small and Medium Enterprises’ capacity to innovate is limited by lack of resources and knowledge (market and systemic failures) • Innovation vouchers schemes are public programmes to foster SMEs use of knowledge and professional services • They also contribute to the growth of knowledge suppliers (R&D centres, innovation consultancies, creative firms)
  3. 3. Vouchers and other Policies for CCIs Demand-driven Innovation Innovation Vouchers Spill-overs Internatio-nalisation Improve competitiveness of recipients and suppliers Clusters Explore new innovation trajectories Enlarge the range of market and technological options Promote new business relationships
  4. 4. Innovation Vouchers: common features • Recipients: SMEs • Suppliers: universities, research centres, creative professionals and firms previously accredited and included in a vendor directory • Wide range of eligible services • Voucher size from 1.000€ up to 10.000€ (beneficiary’s contribution between 0 and 50%) • Projects selected on the basis of innovativeness
  5. 5. Concrete Actions on Innovation Vouchers
  6. 6. Concrete Actions on Innovation Vouchers 1. VINCI bridges between outside CCI services and "traditional" SMEs’ needs of Salzburg - scaled up to Austrian national level 2. Fad-Ins: strengthens links among CCIs (Fashion-Audiovisual- Design) from Catalonia – innovative use of ERDF funds to foster local creative sector 3. +Innova Creativity: improves non-technological innovation of traditional Basque SMEs – involvement of international CCI suppliers helped local suppliers and beneficiaries 4. 4CNW: facilitates new partnerships and collaborations between CCIs and wider industries in North-West Ireland – collaboration between Celtic Tigers, scaled up at the national level
  7. 7. What doesn’t work 1. A one-size-fits-all voucher  Size and matchmaking mechanisms should be adapted to the industry and types of project 2. Project selection too easy or too challenging  Quality should be rewarded without being too picky 3. Give everything for free  Some co-financing is useful to foster commitment and accountability
  8. 8. Policy recommendations for vouchers 1. Search for best knowledge wherever located 2. Strengthen and foster relationships between suppliers and recipients but also between suppliers 3. Keep vouchers schemes simple and fast to lure firms and improve efficiency 4. Invest in promotion and communication to make CCIs well known even beyond the scheme 5. Vouchers cannot be an isolated solution, an integrated set of policies is necessary
  9. 9. Search for the best knowledge • Policy: Search for the knowledge wherever it is located and make sure that foreign creative providers collaborate not only with beneficiaries but also with local creative business to maximize spillover and cross-innovation • Case: +Innova Creativity is a scheme that has been able to leverage on local and foreign creative skills building capabilities not only of beneficiaries but also of local creative suppliers
  10. 10. Strengthen relationships • Policy: Use vouchers to strengthen both beneficiaries and creative suppliers (included professionals and start-ups) and foster relationships between them in order to support the economy • Case: Fad-Ins has obtained very high levels of satisfaction both from voucher beneficiaries and suppliers with the establishment of several fruitful relationships in the region of Catalonia.
  11. 11. Integrated policy • Policy: Rather than being a one-off or isolated exercise, innovation voucher schemes should be part of integrated sets of policies to improve competitiveness of SMEs • Case: 4CNW which is part of the Irish Creative State North West Initiative to promote cross-sectoral integration
  12. 12. Keep vouchers simple • Policy: Keep voucher processes simple and fast to attract a large number of potential recipients and knowledge providers while lowering managing costs • Case: The Austrian Vinci scheme was successful at regional level for its simplicity. This has allowed it to be enlarged at the national level with an even bigger success
  13. 13. Invest in communication • Policy: Make communication and promotion investments to raise awareness of economic and political stakeholders on the transformative potential of CCIs that will stay beyond the voucher programme duration • Case: the local authority in charge of managing the Irish 4CNW programme invested significantly on this aspect
  14. 14. Impact dimensions of Creative Vouchers Innovation Vouchers Type B Voucher Schemes Demand -driven Innovati on Spill-overs Internati o-nalisatio n Voucher Schemes where foreign suppliers are eligible Voucher Schemes between creative and traditional sectors Creative Vouchers
  15. 15. Thank you fo your attention! Questions? More info can be found in the Thematic Report available on the ECIA Platform website or email us at and