Current Results available for SMEs

We have prepared for you a initial set of documents which provides an overview of Apollon objectives and activities and a description of the benefits that SMEs can gain by engaging with Apollon. In particular you can learn, by exploring the documents on the right side, what benefits Apollon can offer you and the process for collaborating with the Living Labs as well as on the APOLLON Methodology .

Currently the pilots are in the stage of complete set up and start experimentation, you can click on your domain of interest if the left side too see the relevant documents and presentations.

SMEs - barriers and opportunities

Expanding your business beyond the realm of your home market is usually taking a plunge into the near-unknown. Without thorough knowledge of the market you're entering, high learning curves (and costs) can be expected. Living Labs can solve part of this problem.

Living Labs are business-citizens-government partnerships. Among the business stakeholders, SMEs play a crucial role as they can be assumed to benefit most from support by a networked and open innovation environment. The main challenges for SMEs that need to be overcome are the following: 

Ecosystem and market access

While SMEs are often highly innovative and flexible organisations, they commonly struggle to access new markets as well as new ecosystems. This is mainly because of a lack of knowledge and experience related to these new markets, and because of a (perceived or real) lack of budget and time to overcome the costs associated with entering into new partnerships and markets. 

Contextual diversity

With regard to the specific domains, regional and national variance is large throughout the European Union. Market circumstances, including regulatory frameworks, differ to a significant extent. The challenge is to have a clear overview of these aspects in order to

  • assess how they influence the successful set-up and implementation of cross-border activities 
  • identify necessary stakeholders to be included and 
  • find ways (tools and methods) that will enable cross-border collaboration

Risk-assessment

For SMEs the choice whether to take part in RDI activities is a matter of assessing the risks and benefits. In a cross-border context this is not straightforward as the SME does not know the different institutions, actors, and their environment. 

Scalability and integration

Cross-border experiments should enable SMEs not only to investigate local and contextual factors that impact their service or technology but at the same time to scale up to new markets. The preparation of new market entry however should not be done by sequentially replicating local RDI activities in each country, because of potential prohibitive costs and delays.

Moreover, besides scaling up their local solutions, SMEs are struggling even harder to integrate and combine these with technologies, services and applications of cross-border complementary stakeholders. 

Now SMEs can take active part in the running phase of the Thematic Domain Networks having Services dedicated to them.

Services developed by APOLLON Partners and dedicated to cross-border projects in Living Lab are available on the APOLLON Market Place; SMEs are invited to join and take active part!

Services for SMEs in the APOLLON Market Place

SMEs are also invited to communicate and inform on what Services or kind of Services they would like to be dedicated from the APOLLON Experience and within the four domains in the Market Place
We remind you to address directly to the APOLLON SMEs Service window

SME involvement opportunities

APOLLON allows interested SMEs to

  • Access to new markets beyond the home market
  • Access to new ecosystem partners and business opportunities
  • Access to Pan-European user testing experiences, to ensure more user-oriented services and products and higher user acceptance at European level
  • improve thier competitiveness thanks to an enlarged scale and faster deployment of novel services and processes approach
  • have access to all local relevant stakeholders via a Single Point Of Access
  • have access to tools, applications, services and infrastructure of the different Living Labs and other Living Lab's partners
  • reduce the thresholds to engage in cross-border Research, Development and Innovation (RDI).
  • have access to the APOLLON Methodology: a strategy based on Living Labs and in support to SMEs

 

All the SMEs which are interested in participating in this process will have the opportunity to join and become supporting partners by signing a letter of support.

All the SMes have the possibilities also to adopt the Methodology, tools and guidelines and take active part in the pilot experiments. They can become Associate Members and have fully access to Business opportunities within APOLLON stakeholders.

APOLLON SMEs Experiences and success cases

... I hope that next event will be at the same level in term of interest and contacts... SME comment in participating to the Living Lab Track (ICE Conference 2011 - Aachen Germany
Navidis: an APOLLON SME experimentation success case of eParticipation through eMedia experiment

APOLLON Project Synergies for SMEs

The MAPEER SME project is supporting activities to create the background conditions in which Research, Development and Innovation (R&D&I) is welcomed, supported and nourished in European SMEs.

The PreCo project is supporting activities for the awareness of pre-commercial procurement (PCP as acquiring Research and Development Services) and the address of the barriers in public sector Participatory Research, Development and Innovation (RDI). It supports public authorities in undertaking pre-commercial procurement actions which stimulate innovation and citizen participations.

SMART CITIES portfolio projects

The European Commission is currently funding for seven new ‘Smart Cities’ projects under the 2010 Competitiveness and Innovation Programme (CIP) Objective: ’Open innovation for future Internet-enabled services in 'smart' cities’. Smart City projects are all designed to help cities deploy ICT in new and innovative ways that enable them to become ‘smarter’ by developing the smarter, digital, greener and more inclusive economies that need to emerge after the recession. In particular, the projects are structured to enhance the role that the 'networked Living Labs approach' – which involves citizens and business alike in service design and creation - can play in supporting innovation in ICT and Internet-based services - especially for SMEs.

The seven projects and their coordinators are:

APOLLON SMEs Service window

APOLLON is launching the SMEs Service Window: dedicated to all the SMEs within the APOLLON project interested in the services created and experimented within the Living Lab-SMEs cross-border pilots.
Contact: abraccini@esoce.net.