R&D Industry


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  • SMEs

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WP4 Strengthening university-SME cooperation


1. General lines

Individual mediation will be set to connect SMEs and public research institutes on various fields. 50 target SMEs will be chosen per partner a year from public information system and 20 of them will be a subject to scrutiny on their IPR assets, know-how, existing R&D activities/requirements, all this with the intention to seek possible compatibility with public research institutes. Mutual benefit of joint university-industry projects will, with the support of transnational platform, result in a wider impact on economy. With promotion of good practices, successful mediations and outcome benefits, market competition between SMEs as well as further R&D development of industry area will be enhanced. After the implementation of the first cycle these guidelines will be revised and updated for further use in the second cycle of selecting and analyzing SMEs.


2. Objectives

The objectives are (1) the identification of SMEs interested in connecting with knowledge institutions and (2) their collaboration with public research institutes through R&D Industry platform which is being developed by the project partners. Meeting these objectives is vital for establishing long-term R&D collaboration which is one of the main goals of the R&D Industry project.


3. Flow of the actions


4. Overview of the activities and outputs


Start - Finish



Contacting 50 SMEs per partner

January 2011 – March 2011

  • Selecting 50 SMEs out of public information system
  • Contacting 50 SMEs, gathering data
  • Selecting 20 SMEs

1 list (per partner) of 50 selected SMEs and gathered data on them; 1 list (per partner) of 20 SMEs for further analysis

Analysis of 20 selected SMEs

April 2011 – August 2011

  • Visiting 20 SMEs, gathering information
  • Elaborating analysis

20 reports (per partner) on analysis of selected 20 SMEs

Assistance and monitoring

May 2011 –

  • Reviewing the analysis with SME management
  • Defining implementation plan
  • Assistance and monitoring

(1 Report (per partner) will be produced after the 2nd cycle, including the results of both cycles)


5. Activities in detail

Contacting 50 SMEs per partner


Selecting 50 SMEs out of public information system

Each project partner will select 50 SMEs out of public information system according to the following principles:

  1. Clear non discriminative criteria throughout the selection process.
  2. Selection should be focused primarily on SMEs which operate in sectors such as alternative/renewable energy sources (solar, wind, geothermal and hydropower), recycling, water purification, sewage treatment and solid waste management.


Project partners may also invite SMEs which are interested in the R&D Industry project and collaboration with public research institutes by submitting a public announcement in local, regional or state newspapers.

Estimated deadline: February 2011

Contacting 50 SMEs, gathering data

Upon the selection of 50 SMEs out of public information system project partners will contact the selected SMEs and gather basic data about their core business, products and services, financial information, human resources, etc. which will help in selection of the final 20 SMEs for further analysis.

Aforementioned basic data shall be gathered from public information systems and through telephone or e-mail contact with SME management and should include at least (if relevant and/or available):

  1. Registered name,
  2. Size of business,
  3. Economic activity (including the information on products and services),
  4. Number of employees,
  5. Net sales in last 2 business years,
  6. Revenue per employee in last 2 business years,
  7. Net profit in last 2 business years,
  8. R&D percentage in profit,
  9. Own R&D capabilities,
  10. Number of patents and patent applications (according to information available on esp@cenet),
  11. Environmental impact,
  12. ISO standards.


Last but not least, SMEs should be contacted to verify their interest for participation in the next phase and their possibly already existing ambitions to set up a collaboration with public research institutes.

Estimated deadline: March 2011

Selecting 20 SMEs

Each project partner will select 20 SMEs out of 50 SMEs according to the following criteria:

  • The proportion of small enterprises and medium enterprises should be at least 25% each.
  • SMEs with economic activities in shortage and high competitive economic activities should be equally represented if possible.
  • The proportion of successful SMEs and less successful SMEs (according to gathered data) should be at least 25% each.
  • SMEs with a positive environmental impact should have a priority.
  • SMEs with concrete collaboration propositions should have a priority.
  • An equal amount of SMEs with and without extensive own R&D capabilities should be involved.


Estimated deadline: March 2011


Analysis of 20 selected SMEs


Visiting 20 SMEs, gathering information

Project partners will each visit selected 20 SMEs and gather information through the questionnaire provided in these guidelines (see appendix) as means of scrutiny on their IPR assets, know-how, existing R&D activities/requirements.

The process of gathering information about selected 20 SMEs will be carried out in a form of individual interviews with SME management and should be mainly focused on the topics listed in the questionnaire. The proposed questions should serve you as a guidance through the interview, however you can adapt the questionnaire to the SME’s profile.

Estimated deadline: August 2011

Elaborating analysis: After the completion of (and also during) information gathering project partners will analyse the gathered information in order to identify public research institutes-SMEs collaboration possibilities. The report on the analysis should be generated for each SME separately, based on the information collected before visiting the enterprises (when gathering information about 50 SMEs) and during the personal visit to the company. The structure of a report should include the analysis of current situation regarding R&D advantages and disadvantages (based on the questionnaire) and concrete proposals for improvement, relying on the services and technologies, provided by public research institutes. 

Estimated deadline: August 2011 (please note that these two phases partially overlap)


Assistance and monitoring


Reviewing the analysis with SME management

Project partners will present the analysis and their views on possible compatibility with public research institutes to each SME management.

Estimated deadline: September 2011

Defining implementation plan

After reviewing the analysis, project partners and SME management will jointly define a concrete implementation plan of public research institutes-SMEs collaboration.

Estimated deadline: September 2011

Assistance and monitoring

Project partners shall provide assistance and monitoring throughout the implementation of collaboration activities in accordance with the implementation plan.

These activities will take place throughout the R&D Industry project until its completion.

Prepared by:

TehnoCenter at the University of Maribor
Krekova ulica 2
Maribor Slovenia

R&D Industry Guidelines (.docx)

R&D Industry Guidelines (.pdf)

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