WATSON Conference on Innovation & SMEs

By September 27, 2019 No Comments

Last Wednesday 25th of September the OaSIS project team was honoured to take part of the Studying the impact of R&D tax incentives on SME-led innovation conference, organised by our fellow H2020 project WATSON. EURADA’s OaSIS Project Manager Antoni Pastor had the opportunity to present the updated results of our project to a selected audience which included representatives from EASME, the Executive Agency for SMEs of the European Commission and the members of the other two projects funded by the H2020’s call INNOSUP-07-2017 – Innovating SMEs: segmentation along lifecycle and sectors (analytical research activity).

The conference started with a pitch by Daniel Gassmann, Head of Sector of EASME, who set the context for the event and the research to be presented by the WATSON, OaSIS and SMEthod projects. Daniel introduced EASME, the aims of the Horizon 2020 INNOSUP call, and outlined the European Commission’s reasons for providing funding in this area.

Then the several project partners of WATSON presented their findings. This project has studied the impact of R&D tax credits and incentives on SME-led innovation within Europe, bringing together leading European research institutions and Innovative SMEs. R&D tax credit schemes have been widely implemented as a measure of innovation funding but the “one size fits all” nature of R&D tax incentive schemes do not account for the differences in the research and results of different industries, leaving certain sectors at a disadvantage in achieving funding and limiting the impact of R&D tax schemes. WATSON has looked at furthering knowledge of innovation funding through detailed study of SME funding and identifying gaps in European tax credit schemes. This will enable improved funding measures to expand innovation support for SMEs through the provision of instruments better targeted to the needs of specific SME segments.

The second part of the event allowed the presentation of fellow INNOSUP 2017 projects OaSIS and SMEthod, which also examines segmentation and support measures for innovating SMEs. Finally, the attendees took part of an interesting discussion panel about the search for a consistent definition for innovation. From the OaSIS project we pointed out the difficulty not only to define what innovation is, but also to harmonise the standards to consider innovation through Europe, as every region applies different criteria to support SMEs in their region.