Nowadays, SMEs benefit greatly from the possibility to experiment in safe collaborative spaces, to learn by doing and optimising their products and services with the final aim of adopting swiftly and efficiently new technologies. Indeed, a recent analysis shows that young and small firms are often much more affected by poorly designed regulatory frameworks than large and incumbent ones. Projects with high innovation potential report the highest share of end-user engagement. Hence, while new innovative value sources are created, it is also necessary to attain new capabilities. SMEs often lack the resources or capacities to deal with these dynamic and increasingly complex market conditions, needing to go outside to create value in ecosystems.
The ACSELL project is funded under Interreg Europe Programme through the European Regional Development Fund. It aims at sensitising the public sector, innovation intermediaries and SMEs towards the user integration in the early stage of the innovation process and towards expanding SME competencies by following the interregional living lab approach. Access to smart, integrated interregional policy instruments, a vibrant ecosystem and relevant competencies will pave the way towards demand-driven and thus effective and efficient innovation. This will be achieved through study visits based on comprehensive self-assessments, knowledge exchange and mutual learning by identifying transferable good practices and hacking regional policy challenges and last but not least accelerating innovative capacities through improved innovation policy and access to SME policy instruments.
The CEI-ES will participate in sharing practices and experiences in the mutual learning activities, support the multidisciplinary advisory panel and participate in the twinning initiatives. The lessons learned and experience gained will be transferred to the CEI member countries. The project is for a total of 48 months (until 31st July 2023).