A concept of a more efficient usage of SME resources for innovation and facilitation of collaboration with local research institutions and universities

Small and medium sized Enterprises (SME) have no time, no money, no practice to be innovative in collaboration with local research institutions and universities? Showing ways to improve SME ability to be innovativ and collaborative!

Nils Daehne
HTW Dresden | University of Applied Science

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Rüdiger von der Weth
HTW Dresden | University of Applied Science

Background and Objectives
After the shocks of economy crisis in 2008, Germany has one of the strongest and most dynamic economies in the world. This is characterized by recent low unemployment rates, high economic growth and a large trade balance surplus (Statistischs Bundesamt, 2017). The share of small- and medium-sized enterprises (SME) in German economy is about 99.6% (IfM Bonn, 2015). The past development of SME’s are affects German economy significantly. Although German SME currently operates with full order books, they are facing other problems. Due to current well economic situation, many SME’s stuck in operational day-to-day business to fulfil their orders. Additionally, the shortage of skilled workers is becoming more and more a problem and it is getting more difficult to obtain funding’s caused by the development of bank regulation on European market. And last but not least, there are major tasks to be permanently up to date in terms of digitization. This results in a lack of time, lack of financial resources and limited access to professional staff, research results and technical equipment to invent new innovative products, processes or services for future business. And without any innovation, there will be serious problems of existence for SME’s ahead. To sum up, SME’s lack of resources is already a serious problem for further innovative economic development in Germany.
The objective in our project is a more efficient usage of existing resources (labour, land and capital) of SME. As a result, there might be more resources available for development of innovative products, processes and services. Beyond a more efficient usage of SME own resources, it should be enable an improvement of access and usage of local innovation infrastructure, research results, know-how and professional staff of research institutions and universities. Especially these aims should be reached through collaboration of suitable and willing partners from all sectors.