Innovative Sector Exchange
Priority AxisTechnological and Social Innovation
Framework Conditions for Innovation
Kent County Council
Project budget2 855 597 €
ERDF amount1 713 358 €
The majority of businesses in the 2 Seas area are SMEs. They employ a large proportion of the population and their growth is vital to develop the economy and boost employment. SMEs grow as they innovate and internationalise and they often request coaching and support. Innovation (process, product & service enhancement) and internationalisation (collaborations/tech-transfer) are closely linked but many SMEs lack awareness of how this can apply to their sector, regional context or in new markets. ISE's support packages are a value for money solution to help more than 500 SMEs address these challenges.
ISE aims to identify SMEs in need of creating extra value and to accelerate innovation through facilitating cross-border connections, collaborations & tech-transfer with other SMEs, knowledge institutes and experts. The project aims to deliver two main support trajectories: ‘introducing innovation’ (WP1) to a number of priority sectors and 'incubating & clustering innovation’ (WP2&3) among SMEs with growth potential from sectors highlighted in regional S3 strategies. Many partner regions are ‘innovation followers’. ISE will increase the number of SMEs innovating and taking innovations to new markets.
- Taster sessions and workshops to introduce innovation principles to a range of SMEs from priority sectors linked to RIS/S3 strategies
- Updated diagnostic tools to help SMEs develop concrete plans to innovate
- Intensive support through an innovation pathway events programme for SMEs with growth potential primarily (to no limit innovation possibilities) from the following sectors: mechatronics, new materials, agri-food, digital/creative
- Creation of cross-border clusters and a supporting web platform and connecting members to global innovation expertise and the international business community
Cross border approach
SMEs recognise the need to innovate and successfully compete globally but a triple-helix effort is required to help them and this needs to go beyond national business support services in order to maximise the impact on SMEs. ISE’s cross-border collaboration will combine and link the individual knowledge, experience and opportunities of each partner region to harness this capability and realise innovation potential among SMEs. The project’s framework of new techniques & activities will provide a unique opportunity for 2 Seas area companies to jointly adopt innovation techniques and grow their business.
VOKA Kamer van Koophandel West-Vlaanderen
VOKA Kamer van Koophandel Oost-Vlaanderen
Provinciale Ontwikkelingsmaatschappij (POM) West-Vlaanderen
Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce
ADITEC Pas-de-Calais (Association pour le Développement de l’Innovation et de la Technologie )