FAQ

FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

You may have questions related to the IMP³rove Approach and the support services IMP³rove – European Innovation Management Academy offers. You will find some responses here for:

FAQ for Enterprises

Why should I use IMP³rove?

IMP³rove is an approach with an integrated online assessment to quickly and confidentially determine where a company stands in terms of its competitiveness, sustainable growth and Innovation Management. The IMP³rove Assessment provides the answers to the following questions:  Does the company’s innovation strategy, organisation, culture, life cycle management or enabling factors facilitate the innovation? Which areas should be reviewed? What are the company’s strengths and weaknesses?  The IMP³rove Assessment effectively analyses all these aspects.

Why should I use consulting support after the IMP³rove Assessment?

The IMP³rove Assessment provides transparency on the company’s competitiveness and Innovation Management performance. In most cases, companies will need guidance in implementing the required improvements. Consultants or Innovation Management support providers can help develop a customised roadmap to meet the company’s needs and support the appetite for change based on an objective interpretation of results from the IMP³rove Assessment.

The Innovation Management consultancy approach is a proven methodology. It is designed for adding value by concrete suggestions for continuous improvement and for tangible business results.

What makes this consulting method and online assessment better than the others? Why are they suitable for my needs?

The IMP³rove Innovation Management consulting approach and tools developed by IMP³rove

  • are holistic and integrated;
  • are truly European in scope and take the industry context into account;
  • are based on the experience with almost 5000 SMEs in innovation management. IMP³rove has the largest and most up-to-date database in Europe.

How can the online assessment claim to be applicable to all industries and to all company sizes?

Although the questions related to Innovation Management are the same, the benchmarking is executed by the industry sector.

How do you know which of the consultants or intermediaries listed will provide the best service?

The level of proficiency in Innovation Management and in the IMP³rove Approach are provided for each of the consultants and intermediaries. The level of proficiency goes from IMP³rove Guide, IMP³rove Expert Level I and IMP³rove Expert Level II up to IMP³rove Auditor. Each IMP³rove partner has completed at least one IMP³rove Assessment with an Enterprise. The number of completed IMP³rove Assessments is provided in the profile of the IMP³rove partner. As with choosing any other supplier, you should not hesitate in asking the consultant about their experience, their fees, references and success stories. Based on the reputation of the organisations listed, the pricing structure they apply to their services, and the guarantees that they provide, you can decide for yourself which intermediary or consultant is most suited to your requirements.

How can I benefit from this system without going through a time-consuming procedure?

The IMP³rove Assessment is a well-structured path to increased competitiveness and Innovation Management performance. Filling in the “IMP³rove Assessment” only takes two to three hours. However you can interrupt the assessment at any time and resume later. Once you have completed the IMP³rove Assessment, you can select the sample against which you would like to benchmark your company and request the IMP³rove Assessment report. Shortly after that (no more than 30 minutes) you can download the IMP³rove Assessment report with the benchmarking results. Within less than half a day you have analysed your company’s Innovation Management performance and benchmarked against the competitors. For the level of detail and the structured presentation of the results you normally would need several days to gain the same insight. If you wish personal assistance during the IMP³rove Assessment you can select and contact an IMP³rove Consultant. Complementing the insights from the IMP³rove Assessment you can complete the “Root/Cause Analysis”. It offers additional insights and benchmarks. This assessment will probably take about two hours. The IMP³rove Root/Cause Analysis report can be generated and downloaded the same way as the IMP³rove Assessment report.

How can I get a feedback on the questions?

In the IMP³rove Assessment report and the IMP³rove Root/Cause Analysis report the results of the benchmarking are graphical visualized including a brief text description of how the results should be interpreted. If the company has selected an Innovation Management expert (certified IMP³rove Consultant) for follow-up services, the consultant will contact the company. The consultant will be informed via the IMP³rove platform that the company has completed an assessment. However, the consultant will have no access to the IMP³rove benchmarking reports.

Does using the IMP³rove system cost anything?

Using the online assessment questionnaire is free of charge. The report is also issued free of charge. For the follow-up services provided by Innovation Management professionals, the charges have to be negotiated with the consultant individually.

If innovative products are not produced by a company, is the tool still worthwhile for them?

The IMP³rove Approach is best used by innovative companies. However, other companies benefit from the IMP³rove Approach by understanding of the gap with their innovative competitors and of their own competitive position. By filling in the questionnaires and discussing the applicable answers the enterprises will learn about improving their Innovation Management performance and competitiveness. For those who do not consider themselves innovative, filling out the questionnaire is likely to be a source and stimulation for new ideas. Often companies which do not consider themselves innovative are innovative indeed in terms of innovative new processes or organisational structures. The online assessment also supports these companies.

If a company is very small, is a similar exercise useful for them?

The IMP³rove Approach is designed for companies with more than 5 employees. The larger the company, the more important systematic Innovation Management is for sustainable growth and competitiveness.

How do Innovation Management services increase the development of my business and its reputation?

Enterprises will receive the following benefits from the Innovation Management consultancy service: an as-is analysis of the Innovation Management’s contribution of the company’s growth and competitiveness; recommendations and action plans; assistance with implementing the improvement measures, including checklists, tools and monitoring of the implementation success; a report on long-term impact of the changes implemented; and access to the network of the service provider, which may include enterprise clusters, co-operation networks, or sources of financing. These benefits can provide a positive contribution to a company’s Innovation Management performance, and therefore its bottom line.

How secure are my personal and company data? How will confidentiality be respected?

Customer protection is our utmost concern. All personal and company data will be treated highly confidential and kept inaccessible for any third party. The company may keep in private some critical parts of the report. When we process the personal data and company data that is collected during your visits to the www.improve-innovation.eu website, we always observe the rules laid down in the applicable data protection laws. All results are aggregated figures without mentioning the companies’ names. We use secure servers. Your data will not be disclosed publicly by us, nor transferred to any third parties without your prior consent.

FAQ for Consultants

What are the benefits of IMP³rove?

For consultants IMP³rove offers a wide variety of benefits:

  • Access to a proven Innovation Management assessment that has been used by several thousand companies across Europe and beyond with great success
  • Access to trainings and workshops to gain the latest thinking in Innovation Management
  • Certification as IMP³rove Guide, IMP³rove Expert or IMP³rove Auditor for differentiation in the market
  • Access to tools and benchmarks for better Innovation Management consulting
  • Access to an international network of IMP³rove partners with the possibility to join forces for international or national consortia
  • Networking with financial actors, policy makers, cluster managers and intermediaries
  • Additional marketing and promotion of the own consulting services via the IMP³rove partner services

If you have further questions please contact the IMP³rove European Coordination Team: info@improve-innovation.com

How can I best use IMP³rove?

  • Start with the qualification in applying the IMP³rove Approach and join the courses of the IMP³rove – European Innovation Management Academy.
  • Integrate the IMP³rove Approach into your consulting services and enjoy the benefit of increased efficiency in analysing the current situation of your clients and the effectiveness in addressing the right areas for improvement in your client’s Innovation Management.
  • Gain a strong reputation of value-driven consulting by applying the IMP³rove consulting process that is geared to tangible results at any stage.
  • Differentiate yourself in the market as IMP³rove certified consultant. Publicly funded programs already require IMP³rove as part of the services.
  • Increase the probability of succeeding in tenders by building international consortia with other members of the international IMP³rove partner network.
  • Join IMP³rove networking activities and learn from good practice of other IMP³rove network partners
  • Benefit from the case studies and research results provided by IMP³rove.

If you have further questions please contact the IMP³rove European Coordination Team: info@improve-innovation.com

How can I join the IMP³rove Network?

To become member of the IMP³rove Network please send an email to the IMP³rove European Coordination Team: info@improve-innovation.com

Which trainings are provided for consultants?

The trainings offered by the IMP³rove – European Innovation Management Academy cover the IMP³rove Approach as well as general Innovation Management and consulting related issues.

The fee for individual training courses is indicated in the respective factsheets which can be found in the Training Programme section.

How can I become regional or national coordinator for IMP³rove?

If you are interested in becoming the IMP³rove coordinator for a defined region or a country you need to demonstrate your expertise in Innovation Management, in developing the network and infrastructure for IMP³rove in your area and the strategic fit with your other activities. The license fee will be negotiated on an individual basis reflecting the potential for the parties involved. An agreement between the European Coordination Team and the interested party will be signed.

For further information send an email to the IMP³rove European Coordination Team: info@improve-innovation.com

FAQ for Financial Actors

Why does IMP³rove support my investment decisions?

IMP³rove offers a detailed report on the target or portfolio company’s Innovation Management performance and future competitiveness. This IMP³rove report complements the classical due diligence. It provides benchmarks and insights into the innovation success of the company showing more detail on future competitiveness than the traditional due diligence.

IMP³rove also offers a network of trained IMP³rove consultants for support of your portfolio companies to prepare them for the exit or to systematically increase their competitiveness.

How can IMP³rove help in the certification of my company client? How can the report be used in dealing with banks?

The IMP³rove Assessment report provides the benchmarks of your SME client comparing their Innovation Management performance and competitiveness with that of their competitors on a national or international basis. If the enterprise has completed the IMP³rove Assessments with the support of a certified IMP³rove Consultant the validation of the results is stated on the reports increasing their credibility for banks.

In addition, Certification Workshops can be scheduled in order to audit the Innovation Management performance of the enterprise and prepare thorough reports.

Both the IMP³rove benchmarking reports and audit reports can be presented to business angels, banks and venture capital investors as additional valuable information on the company’s future competitiveness.

Does IMP³rove for financial actors cost anything?

The fee structure for IMP³rove financial actors will be based on a mutual agreement between the financial actor and the IMP³rove Global Coordination Team.

Technical support

If you need support concerning the online assessment or other technical issues, please have a look at the respective FAQ.

FAQ for Policy Makers

What are the benefits of IMP³rove for Policy Makers?

For policy makers IMP³rove offers a wide variety of benefits:

  • Support in designing the most effective publicly funded Innovation Management support programs for SMEs
  • Support in developing a national or regional IMP³rove Award for SMEs
  • Support in developing an effective infrastructure for better Innovation Management support services
  • Increased effectiveness of innovation policies when using the IMP³rove Assessment as basis for selecting the most suitable small and medium sized enterprises for specific publicly funded programs
  • Increased effectiveness of public funding for SMEs
  • Possibility to compare the Innovation Management performance across industry sectors, regions, age or size classes of SMEs.
  • Studies on the strengths and weaknesses of SMEs in Innovation Management
  • Access to an international network of trained Innovation Management consultants providing transparency on their level of expertise in Innovation Management support services
  • Access to workshops and events related to IMP³rove and the latest thinking in Innovation Management

If you have further questions please contact the IMP³rove Global Coordination Team: info@improve-innovation.com

What can IMP³rove offer to me as policy maker?        

The following IMP³rove services are available for policy makers:

  • International benchmarking of SMEs in Innovation Management
  • Studies on the competitiveness and Innovation Management performance of SMEs in the region/country of responsibility
  • Network of trained IMP³rove service providers to support SMEs in improving their Innovation Management and competitiveness
  • Consulting on effective Innovation Management support programs for SMEs
  • Workshops and trainings on Innovation Management related topics and latest thinking in this area

If you have further questions please contact the IMP³rove Global Coordination Team: info@improve-innovation.com

How can I best integrate the IMP³rove services in my policies?

To best meet the specific needs of policy making we offer individual support on the most effective integration of IMP³rove. Please contact the IMP³rove Global Coordination Team: info@improve-innovation.com

FAQ for Intermediary

Intermediaries such as cluster managers, managers of technology parks, regional development agencies, innovation agencies, chambers of commerce have the possibility to enhance their services to enterprises with IMP³rove.

What services does IMP³rove offer to intermediary?

Intermediaries come from very different background. Accordingly the IMP³rove services will be customized to the specific needs of the intermediary. These services include:

  • Training in Innovation Management and Innovation Management consulting
  • Broadening the service portfolio by Innovation Management benchmarking and support of enterprises in improving their Innovation Management performance
  • Possibility to manage a portfolio of enterprises via the IMP³rove platform for continuous improvement of Innovation Management at the enterprises.
  • Support in designing the most effective support services to stimulate Innovation Management improvements
  • Access to the IMP³rove network of professional service providers in the area of Innovation Management

What are the benefits for intermediary?

Experience shows that IMP³rove offers a number of clear benefits for intermediaries

  • More effective services for enterprises and broader service portfolio
  • Continuous development of the enterprise’s competitiveness
  • Innovative approaches to cluster or technology park management

Here you will find some testimonials from businesses that used IMP³rove >>

How to become member of the IMP³rove network as intermediary

We invite you to register on the IMP³rove platform as Intermediary for fully benefiting from the IMP³rove services. Your organization should be actively involved in the support of enterprises. Whether you are established as development agency, or as cluster management, or as chamber of commerce, with IMP³rove and the services that IMP³rove offer you can increase the impact of your services. Click here for registration.

If you have any further questions please contact the IMP³rove Global Coordination Team: info@improve-innovation.com

FAQ for Academy

How can I register for the courses of the IMP³rove – European Innovation Management Academy?

To register for one of the IMP³rove training courses please contact the IMP³rove Global Coordination Team: info@improve-innovation.com

Will I receive a certificate for the courses offered by IMP³rove – European Innovation Management Academy?

For each course a certificate is issued based on the successful participation in the course, the required practical work and the successful completion of the test.

FAQ for Online Assessment and Technical Issue

How can I create an account?

There are different types of accounts according to each kind of user within the IMP³rove platform.

  • SME user: Register yourself on the platform via the registration form when clicking on “Register here”. Select the role “SME” and enter your email address. Then follow the process.
  • Consultant user: Register yourself on the platform via the registration form when clicking on “Register here”. Select the role “Consultant” and enter your email address. Then follow the process. On activation of the consultant user an email will be sent to the IMP³rove provider, who will activate the consultant user account. The activation of this user account will occur, if the requirements to access the IMP³rove network are fulfilled by the consultant. For more information please contact info@improve-innovation.com
  • Intermediary user: Register yourself on the platform via the registration form when clicking on “Register here”. Select the role “Intermediary” and enter your email address. Then follow the process. The IMP³rove provider will receive an email about the registration (after confirmation). The intermediary is not active and not able to login into the platform until the IMP³rove provider approves the user. The approval will occur if the requirements to access the IMP³rove network are fulfilled by the intermediary. For more information please contact info@improve-innovation.com
  • Financial actor: Register yourself on the platform via the registration form when clicking on “Register here”. Select the role “Financial actor” and enter your email address. Then follow the process. The provider will receive an email about the registration (after confirmation). The financial actor is not active and not able to login into the platform until the provider approves the user. The approval will occur if the requirements to access the IMP³rove network are fulfilled by the financial actor. For more information please contact info@improve-innovation.com

How can SMEs be assigned to IMP³rove Consultants or financial actors?

SMEs have the possibility to search and select an IMP³rove Consultant or financial actor via the directory of IMP³rove platform. The full access to the directory is possible through the logged in modus. IMP³rove Consultants or financial actors can be reached by phone or email to provide their consulting services to the SME. Then, the contacted professional will send an invitation that should be accepted. After following the process the SME will be assigned to the IMP³rove professional via the platform.

How many accounts can I create?

For SMEs, please use only one account for each subsidiary or business unit that you are analysing. The data you are using for answering the questions can of course be discussed with your colleagues before it is entered in the online assessment. There is also one account for users with the role: consultant, intermediary, financial actor (portfolio). Their accounts can be created via the registration form and will be activated by the IMP³rove provider, if special requirements are fulfilled. The requirements concern the qualification, fee, aim for using IMP³rove. For more information please contact info@improve-innovation.com.

Can I assess multiple business units with my account?

Yes. As an SME, multiple subsidiaries or business units can be assessed via a portfolio account (that is used by financial actors or intermediaries within the IMP³rove platform). However, this requires the creation of such an account. This has to be approved and activated by the IMP³rove provider, if several requirements to enter the IMP³rove network as financial actor or intermediary are fulfilled (info@improve-innovation.com). Then, it is possible to invite the several users (that are responsible for the subsidiary or business unit) to create an own account and assess the subsidiary or business unit. The initiator (who owns the portfolio account) will have an overview of the subsidiaries or business unit that have completed the IMP³rove Assessment. In addition, the portfolio user may also assign a certified IMP³rove Consultant to the SME.

How precise do I have to be in filling in the questions?

Please rely on your experience and your judgement when filling in the questionnaires as precisely as possible.

Is there any online help?

Yes. Special terms are explained and a help system is available.

Does the SAT require a fixed order in answering the questions?

No. You may answer the questions and dimensions in the order of your preference.

Is my data lost when I close the browser window?

No. You can re-login and continue filling in the questionnaire within the time span of four weeks.

How can I create a login?

You can create a login by clicking on “Register here” on the platform. Please keep in mind that user name and password are case sensitive.

How secure are my personal and company data?

The IMP³rove consortium takes the protection of your data very seriously. When we process the personal data and company data that is collected during your visits to the www.improve-innovation.eu website, we always observe the rules laid down in the applicable data protection laws. All results are aggregated figures without mentioning the companies’ names. We use secure servers. Your data will not be disclosed publicly by us, nor transferred to any third parties without your prior consent

Problem: The user is not registered

Please check if you have completed your registration as consultant by filling out your user profile as well as your organisation profile, and accept the terms of use. Also check your spam folder/junk emails. Additional for consultants who have completed their registration but are not listed in the consultant directory: If the IMP³rove Core Team has activated your account, please verify that the “public directory” settings in your user profile are activated. Otherwise your profile won’t be visible in the “Consultant directory”. Please don’t hesitate to contact us for any further information you might need. The IMP³rove Core Team is at your service: info@improve-innovation.com

Problem: Invitation of client and confirmation of the assisted mode

As IMP³rove Guide, you are able to invite new SME clients via the IMP³rove platform to sign up for an IMP³rove Assessment, and to support them in completing the IMP³rove Assessment in the “assisted mode”.

In order to invite an SME client, please log in to your consultant account, click the “Invitations” button, select “SME”, insert the email of your SME client you want to invite, and click the “Invite” button. For bringing your SME client to the assisted mode, please note that after each invitation that you will initiate, the SME as well as you have to accept the cooperation via an automatically generated email that you will receive from the system (note: an email will be sent to you as soon as your client has accepted your invitation).

So, once your client has confirmed the invitation you will receive an email to approve the collaboration. Please always check if the email address is correct and ask your client to ensure that the IMP³rove Mailagent email is not in the spam/junk email inbox. After the successful invitation you will be linked to the SME client via the IMP³rove platform. Identify the particular SME in your personal “My SME clients” list. By selecting the SME client and using the “user management” feature you will be able to change the status of the SME into the “Assisted Assessment” mode.

For any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us:  info@improve-innovation.com

Problem: Validation of report

To validate the IMP³rove Assessment Report, your SME client has to send you the report – in the non-validated version – so that you have the possibility to double-check it. After that, you have the possibility on the IMP³rove Platform to set the status of the generated IMP³rove Assessment report into “validated”. The client will then be able to download the report with the explicit notification on the front page that the report has been validated by you.

In detail, you will receive an email from the system to approve the quality of the data that were provided within the completed IMP³rove Assessment of your SME client. In case you have not received it, please check also your spam/junk emails.

You also have the possibility to set the report on “validated” via your account by logging in to your consultant account, go to “My SME clients”, select your SME client, go to “User management”, and validate the report.

The SME client will then be able to download the report with the explicit notification on the front page that the report has been validated by you.

If the report remains “non-validated”, check if your SME client has really submitted the IMP³rove Assessment in the assisted mode. If yes, you can

  • Check your emails including spam/junk emails (should have received the corresponding email notification)
  • Access the profile of your SME client and check there. It should read “Assisted Assessment completed”

In case your SME client has submitted the IMP³rove Assessment in the non-assisted mode, you cannot validate the IMP³rove Assessment report.

For any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us: info@improve-innovation.com.

Problem: Deletion of account for SME clients

If your SME clients wish to delete their IMP³rove online accounts, please ask them to log in to their SME account, go to “My user profile”, scroll down to “Account administration” and click the “delete” button. After confirmation the account will be removed from the IMP³rove platform.

If you would like to delete your consultant account please write an email to info@improve-innovation.com asking us to delete your account. For any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Problem: Possible that users did not receive notification emails

In case the notification email of the sender “IMP³rove Mailagent” cannot be found in your email inbox, please:

  • check if the email address is correct
  • ensure that the IMP³rove Mailagent email is not in any spam/junk email inbox

Please don’t hesitate to contact us for any further questions that you might have: info@improve-innovation.com

Problem: Change information of user profile

If you (or an SME account user) would like to change or update the data of your user account, please log in to your online account (ask your client to log in to her/his online account), go to “My User profile” (or “My Organisation profile), update the appropriate information e.g. email address, password, etc., and click on “Submit” to save the changes.

In case you have updated your email address, please note that you will receive an email to the new address to accept the change of the email address. Then, the new email address will be also defined as your new user name for the respective IMP³rove online account.

Problem: Lost password; Request new password

If you have forgotten your password, please go to the IMP³rove login page https://www.improve-innovation.eu/login/ and enter the email address that was used when registering to the IMP³rove platform.

After submission, you will receive an email with a link to the login. Please change your password immediately after your first login and click the “Submit” button.

Problem: Change data in questionnaire

In case you or your SME client would like to change the data in the questionnaire, check whether the SME has already submitted the questionnaire or not.

If the questionnaire has been submitted already the data cannot be changed anymore. After clicking “Yes, submit” the questionnaire cannot be changed anymore. Only in real emergency, you can ask your SME client to delete their account and start from scratch.

In order to delete the account, please log in to the SME account, go to “My user profile”, scroll down to “Account administration” and click the “delete” button. After confirmation the account will be removed from the IMP³rove platform and the old user email address can be used for creating a new user account.

If you have any additional questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us: info@improve-innovation.com

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