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 mediumsized 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 nongovernmental 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.

680934 - INNOWEST

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.

699631- NETIM

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.

699638 - POWER2INNO

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.

699640 - GIDDB

“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.

699644 - TransUP

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.

713810 - YoungInnovative

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.


713804 - INPRO​

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.


759629 - Designshots    

Design is a key driver in creating new products and services that are attractive to customers and can make a business stand out among the competition. However, the lack of design management skills is a significant barrier to the wider adoption and integration of design into Europe’s businesses. As stated in the Innovation Union Flagship Initiative, although some European countries are world leaders in design, others lack a robust design infrastructure and design capability. This systemic gap has largely gone unnoticed but must now be tackled. Innovation agencies should tackle this gap by supporting and promoting design driven innovation programmes and services. The overall aim of Design Shots project is to use the experience, the tools, the capacity and the partners’ knowledge in order to address a common innovation support challenge namely to promote the integration of design driven innovation to SMEs through the creation of tailor made “design driven innovation support programmes” for private sector.
The project contributes to learning from the best and to sharing good and bad practices in design driven innovation support services for SMEs.
The realised Design Options Paper will serve as a “guide” or a “handbook” to other agencies and business support centres to provide similar and/or more focused services/support/programmes on design driven innovation.


776978 - Scalescrapers  

The main objective of this project is to develop through the lifetime of the project (9 months) based on the scaleups analysis and the evaluation of current system tools and instruments, recommendations for improvement of the scaleups development support system for entrepreneurship policy makers and specialized business environment institutions operating as scale-ups supporters followed by dissemination of gained knowledge and experiences.
The goals of the project will be achieved with the use of the Twinning Advanced method. It assumes the cooperation of equal partners. Therefore it is possible not only to exchange and disseminate existing solutions but also to develop recommendations for new ones, which will eventually become good practices in supporting first of all scale-up and secondly the innovation processes in general.
Thus the main and specific objectives the work-flow of SCALESCRAPERS will comprise a one phase process, which is the development and dissemination of a Design Options Paper.


776799 - Inno green      

The objective of the INNO GREEN is to boost joint collaboration between the innovation support agencies through peer learning, raise their competences in offering practical and innovative tools as a support to SMEs in innovative “green” entrepreneurship.
The “Twinning advanced” methodology will be used as a basis for development of a joint learning process between the project partners and the increase of their competences in provision of efficient support to SMEs in “green” entrepreneurship.
This project will focus to upgrade existing competences and practices of innovation support agencies and develop innovative coaching/mentoring or other kinds of suitable programs in support of SMEs on their path to generation and development of green jobs. The special attention of the project will be focused to implementation of the pilot actions on green entrepreneurship in order to test the programs prepared: assessment of green jobs potential, interviews of SMEs, bottom-up work with “green” entrepreneurs, workshops, knowledge exchange, adaptation to local context and transfer of practical knowledge from one region to another, coaching/mentoring for specific skills related to “green” employment. The final result of the project will be the Design Option Paper (DOP) to serve as a practical guide for design and implementing of coaching/mentoring for SMEs on green entrepreneurship. The DOP will address the development of an innovative program to support SMEs on their path to generation of “green” jobs.


776962 - Go Siv      

Go SIV project aims at improving the support provided to SMEs innovation processes by testing and developing a model of innovation ecosystem named “Smart Industrial Villages” (SIV).
In specific, the “Smart Industrial Villages” approach refers to a process of renovation of small and medium sized industrial areas located in the suburbs or within urban that were planned according to old models and included both small industrial enterprises and craft activities.
Go SIV has the aims to respond to specific needs (renovate the industrial areas; qualify the SMEs located in the area, respond to new criteria of urban quality). It also has the aims to develop and test an innovative model for refurbishment of industrial and craft areas promoting inclusive and participatory processes, the best synergies with public transport, accessibility, commercial and recreational use, activating new «smart» services, proposing forms of circular economy and sustainability. Through this, promoting the functionality of the local areas as innovation ecosystem, new forms of innovation and entrepreneurship in a proactive way as suggested by the call “for a better innovation of SMEs” of the work programme 2016-2017.
The project will use the peer learning methodology promoted by the INNOSUP-05-2016-2017 topic, involving different regional development and innovation agencies with complementary expertise about the topics relevant for the “Smart Industrial Villages”. The partners will exchange knowledge and experience, and will develop proper local case studies (obtaining a process of “learning by doing”). The joint work of project partners together with the peer learning will produce a Design Options Paper for the implementation of local initiatives intended to develop a “Smart Industrial Village” and related innovation support services, and will promote an enhancement of the role and the effectiveness of development and innovation agencies as innovation intermediaries as expected by the topic.


776893 - ESSI

The four Regional Development Agencies, ERVET, ADA, KAINUUN ETU, IVACE operating in the North and in the South European Regions (Italy, Turkey, Finland, Spain), dealing with innovation support programmes, implementation of Structural Funds Regional Operative Programmes (ROP ESF, ERDF 2020) and experienced in social innovation policies and programs want to deepen their knowledge and find joint solutions to challenges hindering the development of social economy. Thus, they want to promote new approaches able to overcome a fragmented approach to policies supporting social economy and the innovation and competitiveness of social enterprises. A new policy mix, taking into consideration social, economic and environmental aspects (Agenda 2030), would be able to overcome “silos policies” and to create a favourable ecosystem for social enterprises. They will work together with regional public and private social economy stakeholders to analyse beneficiaries’ needs and promote new policies and actions. Already existing approaches and best practices will be shared in a mutual learning process among Regional Development Agencies, and related regions, that will be enlarged through EURADA and ERRIN networks for more effective and targeted regional and European innovation programs for social enterprises. Moreover, partners, accordingly with the INNOSUP general scope, choose to focus on social innovation as it is “required at the interface between public services and private enterprises” with a view to jointly learn and discuss about public and private partnership and co-design approach.


776896 - AIM 

Industry foresights for the next ten years are highlighting how the global economy will be fully globalised and competition for markets will become fiercer. New industrial players from emerging and newly emerged industrial economies will fight for market share with multi-nationals and companies from traditionally industrialized countries, including the EU. This will drive companies seeking for innovation to develop a competitive edge for new products and services and to adopt operations that are more efficient. Europe is a global leader in supplying advanced manufacturing technologies, however notwithstanding the relevant investment in R&D to develop such technologies, the effective uptake is still weak and European companies are lagging behind in comparison to global competitors regarding demand and use of them. Despite the benefits AMTs offer, the majority of manufacturing SMEs in the EU are not yet using these technologies. One of the key obstacles to AMT adoption is represented by the general weakness of the support system supplying with adequate capacities in all areas of advanced manufacturing sector. The overall project objective of the project is to improve the Advanced Manufacturing Ecosystem for European SMEs by reinforcing the innovation infrastructures that should provide support to manufacturing SME. The aim is thus to collaboratively address a common innovation support challenge consisting in providing adequate support to SMEs in the adoption of AMT. The Peer Learning activity is expected to collect and identify a wide range of services that Innovation intermediary agencies may provide to SMEs to stimulate their transformation through the AMT uptake. The expected Design Options Paper will serve as a “guide” or a “handbook” to other agencies and business support centres to provide more focused support services and to set up “Regional Innovation Hubs” to improve a suitable ecosystem fostering AMT uptake.


805841 - Innovators2B

The main aim of Innovators2B is to enhance the innovation agencies’ management efficiency in the field of first time innovators’ service. Three innovation agencies involved in the project worked together using the twinning+ methodology in order to create a Design Options Paper. The objective was to help first time innovators in the process of implementing innovation. The solutions developed in the paper will be implemented in the agencies as new or improved programmes based on these given approaches.
The result of peer learning activities within the project will be an effective approach to identify and convince “potentially innovative companies” to engage in the innovation process with the use of external support. It involves designing the whole support process: identification of the target group and marketing channels, designing an attractive offer, diagnostics of individual needs, consequent support delivery and a follow up of the process till obtaining successful results.
The results of the project will be communicated to regional and national authorities as the topic of monitoring SMEs needs is very common with regards to efficiency of policies aiming to enhance SMEs competitiveness, especially their growth on national and international markets as well as their engagement in the innovation processes.


805668 - InnTense

This Design Option Paper is the main result of the InnTense Project – “Development of a new approach for supporting the application of Open innovation in SMEs through Peer-to-Peer learning”. The central objective of the project was to develop recommendations for organisations responsible for designing and applying the innovation support programmes and policies especially directed at Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs). Furthermore, the business environment institutions that provide services dedicated to SMEs (Innovation, National/Regional development agencies) have also been considered. The provided recommendations are aimed facilitating the improvement of the innovation support system for SMEs in general and to make the services offered more effective and accessible.     



The INNOCHALLENGE Project aimed at building capacity in European innovation agencies to adopt challenge-driven initiatives supporting innovation within SMEs. In particular, the project sought to allow innovation agencies to (i) become capable to acknowledge the operating principles of existing Innovation Challenge within different policy and regulatory frameworks; (ii) learn how to design new and tailored formats of Innovation Challenges that are more capable to respond to contextual and territorial specificities; iii) get ready to activate such initiatives to better support innovation in SMEs. 


806616 - CODIS

CODIS seeks solutions in the service delivery system of Design support programmes. During the implementation of the project, the Danish, Estonian and Greek partners will peer review the procedures of setting up a design service that satisfies its target group, raising awareness of design support opportunities, the provision of the services themselves, the post-evaluation of the provision and the improvement of the service.
In the end, the partners will have peer-reviewed existing services, come up with a backbone of how to set up a “design support service”, while at the end of the peer-review process, the partners will set up a pilot in Greece, where a newly-established service will be set up, using, testing and publishing the Design Option Paper.


805004 - P2P Digital

The P2P Digital consortium consists of four innovation support organisations from Belgium, Denmark, Germany and Sweden, who recognise the need for mutual learning on methods and systems to support digitalisation of SMEs. The four organisations will utilise the twinning+ method, running a series of workshops to learn from each other’s experiences of providing innovation and digitalisation support to companies, including direct support to companies in the ICT sectors, as well as manufacturing companies which need to adopt digital technologies in order to remain competitive. The four organisations are from leading, innovative regions of Europe and understand the need to provide relevant support to high-growth potential SME.

The work results in a Design Options Paper (DOP), which will be used as the template for learning within the consortium, as well as a conduit for further communication to other business and innovation support organisations. The P2P Digital team has in place, well-established communication platforms and can ensure a far wider dissemination that the consortium alone.


823163 - Scale-ups ready

The objective of Scale-ups Ready is to enable the participating innovation agencies to exchange knowledge, know-how, and good practices on advanced methodologies and tools for scale-ups assessment (including SMEs with high-growth potential) and customised support services, in order to develop better approaches for client intake and support of scale-ups.
Based on the Twinning+ methodology, the project aims to cover peer-learning and peer-review activities for three kinds of services through specific assessment instruments that when combined offer in-depth analysis of the needs of scale-ups, in order to provide them with tailored support:
1) An advanced IP valuation scheme, IPscore® 2.2 (FORTH),
2) An advanced business innovation roadmap tool, smE-MPOWER ‘Business innovation roadmap tool’ (LIC),
3) An advanced Innovation Health Check assessment tool (FUNDECYT-PCTEX).
This peer-learning and peer-review scheme has been developed based on each partner's identified competences and gaps in advanced services for scale-ups. The result will bring in new added-value service offerings to participating organisations, will lead to better approaches and the adaptation of tools to the specific national/regional contexts.


806037 - SOC EN

The objective of the project is to improve and enhance the innovation support actions, activities and services addressed to entrepreneurs and SMEs. During the 12-months project and through the use of the Twinning Advance Methodology, the partners seek to identify and share best practices based on their experience in entrepreneurship and business development within the social impact framework. The result will be documented in a Design Option Paper (DOP), which will identify and document implementation options, guidelines and implementation alternatives that the project partners have experienced and would recommend to other innovation support service agencies.


822559 - GreenIn

GreenIn was a 12-months long project (October 2018-October 2019) delivered by a cross-border consortium of three innovation agencies:
o      FUNDECYT, Extremadura (Spain)
o      Laboratorio Nacional de Energia e Geologia (Portugal)
o      IFKA (Hungary)

The project objective was to set up an innovation services methodology in green public procurement for innovation (GPPI) aligned with smart specialisation strategies through peer learning activities. The idea was to increase knowledge exchange with policy makers and interested stakeholders, favouring SMEs participation using pilot actions. The newly learnt practices are to be applied in the three respective agencies.

The particularity of the methodology is the combined usage of green public procurement (GPP), Sustainable Public Procurement (SPP)  and Public Procurement for Innovation (PPI)  as defined by the European Commission. The developed concept of GPPI places a strong emphasis on the direction of the innovation: not only focusing on economic potential but also addressing the environmental footprint.

The main policy recommendations of the project for the deployment of GPPI: 
o      The need for public authorities to act as facilitators.
o      The need to focus on public funding mechanisms such as the European Structural and Investment Funds.
o      The importance of raising awareness of GPPI solutions amongst buyers, businesses and the civil society. 



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