Hungary is one of the first EU member states that adopt IMP³rove within their national program for increasing the innovation management capacity of SMEs.
At the 3rd International IMP³rove Roundtable in Budapest, Mr. Ignaz Siba, Head of the Hungarian National Development Agency explained the approach to a national Hungarian program on innovation capacity building. This program will be part of the national activities to reach the goal of 1 million additional jobs until 2020. Creating new jobs requires that Hungarian companies – mainly the SMEs – grow. This can only be achieved when SMEs gain higher innovation capacity. With IMP³rove – the European Commission’s initiative for better support in innovation management – Hungarian SMEs have access to an effective benchmarking tool that provides them with most valuable benchmarks on innovation management. “We are convinced that IMP³rove will offer effective support to Hungarian SMEs” said Mr. Siba “therefore, additional points will be given to those applicants for funding that apply the IMP³rove methodology.”
Sven Schade, European Commission, DG Enterprise and Industry and responsible Project Officer for IMP³rove said that “IMP³rove provides a toolbox to Member States and regions to design support programmes for SME that raise their Innovation Management Capacity’”. Innovation Management capacity is the basis for very different types of innovation as Sabine Brunswicker, IMP³rove Global Coordination Team, showed in her presentation. “Manufacturing companies both from low- and high-tech sectors can yield significant additional profit from innovations that are not product innovations but innovations based on new services, new processes, organizational innovations or new business models.”
The example of Lemmaco, a 10 year old Hungarian enterprise and one of the leading hot stamping and thermo transfer ribbon suppliers in Europe, shows that it is not only product innovation that contributes to growth. Lemmaco with almost 40 employees and a turn-over of nearly € 3.5 mio. performed the IMP³rove Assessment with the support of a trained IMP³rove Consultant from MAPI Hungarian Development Agency Corp., Budapest. “This IMP³rove benchmarking exercise changed our thinking and approach to developing our company significantly” says Gabor Janko, “we learned the language of the large corporations which we wanted to approach. As supplier you need to speak their language and know what their demand is – and when this demand changes that you can anticipate it in due time. IMP³rove gave us the direction to our growth path.” The IMP³rove benchmarking results revealed that the company strongly needed marketing and sales capabilities that would open the doors to larger international companies. At the same time Lemmaco realized that the market is looking for more flexibility in delivery of their products. Therefore, based on the suggestions from the workers in manufacturing they switched from a 2-shift manufacturing to three shorter shifts reducing the response time. The competitiveness of Lemmaco increased – not because they had developed new products, but because they learned with IMP³rove to better understand the needs of large multinational companies as a basis to get in business with them and improve their services. Lemmaco is now a player on international markets with presence on international tradeshows such as the “LabelEXPO 2011” in Brussels.