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Methodology of experience exchange among SMART+ Partners’ regions

Kraków, 07. 2011

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Contents 1. 2. 3. 4.

Introduction- description of the project ................................................................. 3 Main objective of the methodology ....................................................................... 4 Methodology – main assumptions: ....................................................................... 4 Expected results................................................................................................... 5 4.1. SMART + Charter .......................................................................................... 5 4.2. Regional Implementation Plans ..................................................................... 6 5. Evaluation of SMART + subprojects and good practices: .................................... 6 6. Interregional experts meetings ........................................................................... 12 7. Interregional conferences................................................................................... 13 8. Dissemination and promotion ............................................................................. 14 Annex 1. Description of good practice ...................................................................... 15 Annex 2. Capitalisation workshop questionnaire ...................................................... 16 Annex 3. Assessment form of subproject realization ................................................ 18 Annex 4. Good practice assessment ........................................................................ 19 Annex 5. Report/ minutes on international experts meetings.................................... 20 Annex 6. Report on interregional conference ........................................................... 21

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1. Introduction- description of the project

The SMART+ programme originates from the INTERREG IIIC RFO "SMART" that initiated a network of regions striving for identification and transfer of innovative approaches of regional development in the context of economic restructuring processes and globalisation. SMART+ builds upon a joint strategy of the participating regions attaching the utmost relevance to SMEs as the key force for the transition of economy based on traditional industries towards the knowledge-based economy. SMART+ strives to boost regional enterprise through the transfer of knowledge. The involved Partners have merged their efforts to analyse, transfer and disseminate their good practices for the improvement of the capabilities of the SMEs to absorb innovation and increase their competitiveness on the global market. SMART+ involves six partner regions: Aragón (ES), Małopolska (PL), Western Macedonia (GR), Saxony (DE), Cluj County (RO) and Southeast Bulgaria (represented by the National Association of Municipalities in Republic of Bulgaria, NAMRB).

There were six topics for the Call for Proposals in the SMART+ Program: Consulting Services for SMEs Cooperation between SME & Research Institutes Financial Services for SMEs Company-based Innovation Management SME Network & Cooperation Management Start-up and Spin-off Support

As a result of the Call, there have been 7 Beneficiaries chosen, who applied in 3 topics areas: Cooperation between SME & Research Institutes Financial Services for SMEs SME Network & Cooperation Management

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2. Main objective of the methodology

The main objective of the methodology is following: Creation of a sustainable structure of partners regions’ co-operation in the field of experience exchange focusing on improvement of the capacity of the SMEs for innovation and regional and local policy support.

Modern tools and methods of enhancing SME innovativeness, which will be identified in the process of SMART+ sub-projects implementation, will be later disseminated in many European regions. The experience exchange is supposed to support Project Partners in consolidation of sub-projects results in order to ensure significant impact not only on policies of participating regions but also on other regions in Europe (European added value).

3. Methodology – main assumptions:

Preparation of an adequate methodology is a task assigned to the SMART + Polish Partner – Malopolska Region. Initial assumptions of the methodology was presented to all Partners during the project meeting in Kozani, Greece, 17.05.2011. Afterwards, the draft versions, including SMART + Partners comments and remarks were consulted with all Partners via e-mails. It was agreed by all the Project Partners that the methodology should have following features: •

As pragmatic and structured approach as possible

Providing necessary information/data

Common guidelines and forms for all regions

Generally applicable, concrete and relevant

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4. Expected results

SMART + methodology of experience exchange should result in: Preparation of recommendations for regional policies in the projects selected fields of improvement of the capacity of the SMEs for innovation, which will be presented in interregional SMART+ Charter. Basing on the charter each region participating in the project’s activities will prepare a regional implementation plan.

4.1.

SMART + Charter

As defined in the application form, SMART + Charter shall include: •

10 good practices/instruments to improve the capacity of the SMEs for innovation

lessons of the project and policy recommendations

Therefore, the contents of the SMART + Charter should be following: •

introduction (Project description, main objectives, short description of sub-projects)

detailed description of chosen good practices (basing on the template of description of good practice (Annex 1), but also on the questionnaires distributed during workshops (Annex 2) and the activity report)

policy recommendations

The Charter should provide an interregional and therefore transferrable strategy for improvement the capacities of the local SMEs to innovate in the respective policy fields.

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4.2.

Regional Implementation Plans

6 Regional Implementation Plans - defining for each participating region policy instruments for improvement of RTD and innovation capacities of SMEs. Regional Implementation Plans should specify how each participating region will integrate the lessons learnt from the cooperation within the project into its local or regional policies. They should describe the future actions planned to ensure that the benefits of the exchange of experiences are not lost after the project ends and therefore ensure better durability of the project results.

The proposed structure of the Regional Implementation Plan is following •

introduction (Project description, main objectives, short description of sub-projects)

description of socio-economic situation of the given region with the special emphasis on SME sector (could be based on SMART + ex-ante report)

reference to regional policy (strategic documents) with special emphasis on measures applied to SME sector

detailed description of 3-4 chosen SMART + best practices (important to the given region)

assessment of benchmarking gap

future action plan (resources, timelines)

Timeline and schedule of activities

Key milestones

Stakeholder involvement

5. Evaluation of SMART + subprojects and good practices: The main goal of the subprojects on-going evaluation is to ensure that they run according to time and to budget and that the quality of subproject and their outcomes and outputs are to the highest possible quality. 6


In order to fulfill this obligation, it is necessary to meet the evaluation sub objectives listed below and -above all – to ensure that sub-projects’ objectives are achieved.

Evaluation sub objectives: 1) To ensure that subprojects timescales and deliverables are realistic and are closely monitored and if necessary adjusted throughout the lifetime of the project 2) To monitor that subprojects run to the proposed budget throughout the lifetime of the project 3) To monitor that the engagement with all subproject target groups is conducted to a high standard ensuring the necessary outcomes are achieved

The evaluation objectives will be reached with the use of following tools: •

Common criteria of qualitative assessment of subprojects realisation (Annex 3). The assessment of subprojects realization can be based on a twofold procedure:

1) activity reports prepared every half a year by subprojects, 2) questionnaires (evaluation from a more content – related perspective) filled in during workshops (Annex 2) •

Preventive activities – in case of irregularities

Capitalisation workshops:

1) Organizational issues: 

participants: subprojects’ beneficiaries and regional experts



in each Partner region



every 6 months



a very important role of a workshop moderator (to have questionnaires filled according to our needs, to identify good practices, to run a proper on-going sub-projects evaluation)

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subprojects Partners will be asked to fill in the DESCRIPTION OF GOOD PRACTICE (Annex 1) in advance

2) Main objective: Main objective of capitalisation workshops is collection, analysis, dissemination and transfer of good practices in a certain policy area with the objective of optimizing the results achieved in this specific domain of regional policy 

to gain the common understanding on innovations in this specific domain of regional policy



exchange of experience/improvement of capacities and knowledge of local & regional stakeholder/matching less experienced with more experienced regions

Workshops are supposed to result in integration of collected good practices into one coherent strategy of innovation and entrepreneurship support and recommendations for regional authorities in this field (SMART+ Charter and 6 Regional Implementation Plans ).

3) Key elements of capitalisation workshop’s structure: 

presentation of proposed good practices by subprojects’ Partners



good practices mapping run by the moderator (described in section 5.2)



assessment of benchmarking gap (described in section 5.2.) – a discussion run by the moderator



filling in Capitalisation workshop questionnaire (Annex 2) by subproject’s Partners

4) Main tools: 

common criteria of qualitative assessment of subprojects realization (the same assessment form in each region – Annex 3). The assessment will be run by the regional experts or/and SMART + Partners, after workshops

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questionnaire to be used during the workshops (to be able to compare and assess realisation of SMART + subprojects and identify good practices) – (Annex 2)



a very important role of a workshop moderator – as mentioned above (to have questionnaires filled according to SMART + needs, to identify good practices, to run a proper on-going sub-projects evaluation)

Assessment of good practices

As agreed with the SMART+ Project Partners, this activity will be focused only on good practices within SMART + subprojects 

Identification and assessment of good practices – common guidelines and forms (Annex 4)



Selection Criteria: o SMART + topic compliance, o effectiveness, o innovativeness, o sustainability(funding), o transferability



Creation of good practices classification map - selecting areas o (i.e. marketing, ICT, HR, management, finance, logistics, manufacture) innovation,

and

types

tools,

of

improvement

process

(training,

improvement,

internationalisation)

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Source: PP Presentation – GP_Exchange_Aragon (prepared by Aragón Region (ES) Figure 1. Good practices classification map

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Good practice description and assessment of benchmarking gap including: o Initial situation, o Steps taken, o Information and knowledge needed, o Resources needed, o Leadership, decision making, o Time of implementation, o Lessons learned, o External needs



Delivery strategy

• Smart+ subprojects

• •

Subprojects co-ordinators

Regional co-ordinators

Regional experts

• • •

Initial regional list of potential good practices (prepared during capitalization workshops)

• • • •

Evaluation of potential good practices by regional SMART+ co-ordinators and experts

• •

Final list of good practices (at least 10) included in SMART+ Charter and publicised on SMART + webpage

Source: Based on the scheme prepared by Łukasz Pytliński (SMART + expert in Malopolska), Good practices in enhancing innovativeness in the SME sector) Figure 2.Good practices - delivery strategy

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Proper dissemination of good practices – to maximise the results achieved at subproject’s level so that results and lessons learnt are not lost

Examplary tools used in various phases of GP implementation 

Phase 1: GP Identification: o

Tool:  Questionnaire ( including information on Selection criteria, Map, GP Description) – Annex 2



Phase 2: GP Validation: o Tool:  e-mails sent to SMART+ Partners  on line collaborative web tools (like google apps) in order to share information, create collaborative calendars, and so on. (it is possible to integrate them in the project website)



Phase 3: GP Dissemination: o Tools:  Video YouTube channel (Not neccesary a profesional video- 4-5 min)  Social Networks (creating a group in Linkedin or facebook  using SN in a professional way.  Private SN workgroups at the beginning.  Public SN workgroups at the end, invite all the actors to take part in the group (SMEs, enterpreneurs, regional authorities, participants  Take advantage of SN (vitality, easy to share information…)  Brochures, leaflets (also in electronic format)

6. Interregional experts meetings

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It was decided that it will be up to a Partner to decide whether and to which extent they want to involve regional experts in consultation and implementation of the methodology. There should be a report (minutes) after each international experts meetings prepared by the meeting host on its results (including potential good practices discussed and/or learned)

The report structure shall be following: •

Venue, date

Title of the event

Objectives of the event

Participants (name and surname, institution, country)

Tools (i.e. workshops, site visits, presentations etc)

Good practices identified – if applicable

Remarks/ comments

The report will be sent to all the SMART + project/ subprojects Partners (Annex 5).

7. Interregional conferences

There are two interregional conferences planned within the SMART + project – in Krakow and in Leipzig. One of the objectives of the conferences is presentation of results of experience exchange. Planned participants are: subprojects beneficiaries, experts, regional authorities, institutions of business support.

There should be a report (minutes) after each conference (Krakow, Leipzig) prepared by the conference host on its results (including potential good practices discussed and/or learned)

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The report structure shall be following: •

Venue, date

Title of the event

Objectives of the event

Participants (name and surname, institution, country)

Tools (i.e. workshops, site visits, presentations etc)

Good practices identified – if applicable

Remarks/ comments

The report will be sent to all the SMART + project/ subprojects Partners (Annex 6).

8. Dissemination and promotion

There are several dissemination and promotion tools listed in the application form: Internal tools: •

Website

Promotion tools (posters, gadgets, …)

Subproject brochures

Subproject’s websites (where applicable)

External tools: •

Participation to conferences and other events

Newsletters

Other publications

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Annex 1. Description of good practice To be prepared by subproject Partners before capitalization workshop or – if applicable - by the hosts of international experts meetings/ conferences together with the minutes/ report.

DESCRIPTION OF GOOD PRACTICE Since this information will be used within the project, we would be grateful if you could ensure the good quality of the information provided. In particular, this information should be well written and easily understandable for external readers. One case study can be described per form. Please, take into consideration that the good practice will be assessed against following criteria: SMART + topic compliance, effectiveness, innovativeness, sustainability(funding), transferability. The whole description should not be longer than 2 pages.

Project title (if applicable) Project acronym (if applicable) SMART + topic area (if applicable) Title of the good practice Topic of the good practice (short description, key words) Location of good practice

Realization period Detailed description of the good practice

Country NUTS 1 NUTS 2 City Start

end

The description should include information on the nature of the good practice, its objective, innovativeness, transferability, the main stakeholders involved (including the beneficiaries) and the financial resources required for its implementation. Please, indicate the area of the good practice ((i.e. marketing, ICT, HR, management, finance, logistics, manufacture) and types of improvement (training, innovation, tools, process improvement, internationalisation)

Evidence of success Please, describe, why this practice could be considered as a good practice and is worth analysing. Objective result and/or impact indicators are welcome in this section to demonstrate the success of the case.

Contact details to obtain further information on the practice Name Organisation E-mail Web site

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Annex 2. Capitalisation workshop questionnaire To be filled in by subproject Partners during capitalisation workshops.

I. Subproject’s title

II. Sub-project on-going evaluation 1

What are the milestones of the project?

2

What are the main challenges / bottlenecks to be tackled?

3

Is the project being realised in line with the project’s agenda? Are there any irregularities in project’s realisation? What are results of activities already undertaken within the subprojects (trainings, conferences, seminars, events etc)? How you assess methodologies planned in the sub-project concerning - communication - management - tools to achieve objectives Should there be any improvements implemented in these fields? What are the subproject’s transnational cooperation experiences?

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5.

6 7

8

Is the sub-project consistent with European policies (i.e. equal rights, sustainable development, environmental protection) What are the skills gained by people involved in the subproject up till this workshop?

III. Good practices 9

What are the main potentialities to build on?

10

Transferability What are the universal elements of the

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project? How these ideas/elements could be implement/used in other regions/countries? Innovativeness What are the innovative elements of the project? Value-added Please, describe value added of the good practice Effectiveness Is the proposed good practice effective? Sustainability Is the good practice sustainable (especially in terms of funding)? Is the subproject consistent with local entrepreneurship development strategies and other local planning documents?

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Annex 3. Assessment form of subproject realization To be used by SMART + Partners or experts after workshops to evaluate subproject’s realisation

Evaluator name and surname

I. Subproject’s title

II. Sub-project on-going evaluation No

Evaluation question

1

Is the project being realised in line with the project’s agenda?

2

Is the project realised in line with the planned budget?

3

Are there any irregularities in project’s realisation?

4

Are methodologies planned in the sub-project effective, concerning - communication - management - tools to achieve objectives Should there be any improvements implemented in these fields? What are the main challenges / bottlenecks to be tackled?

5 6

Y/N

Comments

Overall evaluation of project’s realisation

Date and signature

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Annex 4. Good practice assessment To be used by SMART + Partners or experts after workshops to evaluate good practices proposed by subprojects.

Each criterion should be evaluated using scores, where 1 is the lowest possible and 5 is the highest. In any case, please, include a detailed justification of your assessment.

Evaluator name and surname

I. Subproject’s title

II. Good practice title

III. Good practice assessment No

Assessment criterion

scores

Comments

1-5 1

SMART + topic compliance

2

Effectiveness

3

Innovativeness

4

Sustainability (funding),

5

Transferability

∑

Overall assessment of a good practice

Date and signature

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Annex 5. Report/ minutes on international experts meetings To be used by international experts meeting’s host to sum up the meeting

1. Event title

2. Date

3.Venue

4. Objectives of the event

5. Participants (name and surname, institution, country)

6. Description of tools used(i.e. workshops, site visits, presentations etc)

7.Good practices identified – if applicable they should be described in the DESCRIPTION OF GOOD PRACTICE form

8.Remarks/ comments

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Annex 6. Report on interregional conference To be used by international experts meeting’s host to sum up the meeting

1. Event title

2. Date

3.Venue

4. Objectives of the event

5. Participants (name and surname, institution, country)

6. Description of tools used(i.e. workshops, site visits, presentations etc)

7.Good practices identified – if applicable they should be described in the DESCRIPTION OF GOOD PRACTICE form

8.Remarks/ comments

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SMART+ Methodology for Strategic exchange  
SMART+ Methodology for Strategic exchange  

SMART+ Methodology for Strategic exchange

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