Mutual Interest in Co-operation between Industry and SMEs

Process-SME project has three main goals: help SMEs to develop their business models, enhance co-operation between SMEs and industry, and prepare European projects to help industry and SMEs to develop and grow. For each of the goals were set rational, but demanding goals in the beginning. In the project, there should be 80 participating SMEs of which 15 SMEs participate in European project proposals, and 15 SMEs in business model development. The minimum number of European project proposals was set to three proposals. In the project, we also have targeted to 20 involving industrial companies. In addition, we focus to renew the European roadmap for industrial process automation – the previous one has led to about 200 M€ worth of RD projects on European level, of which more than 50 % directly to companies.

We have now been running the Process-SME project for 18 months. It is time to look what we have achieved so far. Number of participating SMEs is now over 70 companies. Industry contacts have risen over 15. Both are still rising.

There have been three types of workshops with the SMEs and industries, such as matchmaking between SMEs and industry, business model development, and preparing of European projects.

The matchmaking workshops were started with a simple model in Finland in the autumn 2017. At the events, we have firstly told the participants once more the topic what this is about. Then the large companies have told, what are their expectations and processes, which suppliers have to follow. In the third part, each participating SME have had a 10 min slot to express, what their offering is. The final and most important moment has been the organized short meeting between the SMEs and preventatives of the industries. In the events, we have not done the business, but we have enabled the future partners to meet each other. The next step is to arrange international workshops between the three countries. The goal is to start with mining industries.

Business modelling

Our Swedish partners are developing the methodologies to develop business models. This is mainly based on the idea that the trend is moving from selling products, projects or labour to selling services. Several workshops have been arranged in Sweden. When the model is good and simple enough, we will bring it over the borders. We do not blame that we know what SMEs should do, but we believe that with a well-structured model we can help people in the planning phase.

European projects have two goals: to find the right partners for business development, and open doors to European market. So far, we have – in cooperation with companies – left in more than ten proposals with which help region’s SMEs and industry to develop their products, processes, and services as well as develop their customer relations in Europe.

Seppo Saari, Project Manager of ProcessSME, +358 40 543 0249

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