Due to the increasing global competition, the companies have to expand their innovative products and services offer in order to stay competitive. Service innovation processes are in the focus of Upper Austrian and South Bohemian politics, science, and businesses as a mean to increase the competitiveness potential of SMEs. In both regions, innovation impulses have been identified, but the problem is that their potential remains unused due to the lack of experience and resources of SMEs. Both regions have sufficient capacities and opportunities, but the structures of the R&D centres often do not fit perfectly with those of the regional economic structures.
The project partners, the University of Applied Sciences Upper Austria (FH OÖ), the South Bohemian University of České Budějovice (EF JCU), Business Upper Austria (Biz-Up), and the South Bohemian Science & Technology Park (JVTP), conduct interviews with experts to develop an online tool enabling a continuous service innovation process for SMEs in both regions. With this project, the problems of both border regions could be solved as the tool promotes the utilization of existing innovation impulses through cross-border cooperation. Thus, the long-term potential for innovation is exploited and, above all, the performance of SMEs is strengthened. SMEs from both regions are selected and observed and based on the best-case compendium results, a final tool is developed. Through the tool, all innovation-oriented SMEs in the two regions obtain more methodological support for innovation management. This tool will be converted into a software tool and will be freely accessible online.
The aim of the project is to develop an online tool that enables companies to analyze their innovation processes. By measuring organization, management, resources, processes, KPIs, market situation and customer experience, companies get an overview of their current innovation status as well as recommendations for improving their innovation processes and innovation management.
The primary target groups are small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), research institutions and regional public institutions.
In order to develop the finalized SIP tool, a first prototype is designed based on the previous literature research and interviews with innovation experts. The instrument is then used in 10 selected SMEs in each of the two border regions and is improved according to the feedback. The dissemination partners give access to their regional networks. The instrument is tested every 6 months, data is collected, and results are evaluated, which leads to the development of the finalized tool. The instrument gives SMEs a deeper insight into their service innovation process management and its application. In addition, SMEs are supported to use the existing innovation impulses, as well as in finding local or cross-border cooperation partners. All results of the project are freely accessible online.
The project is funded by the European Regional Development Fund of the European Union as part of the INTERREG V-A Austria-Czech Republic program.