Innovation Forum 1: Empowering SME Innovation - Building internal strengths and external partnerships

This forum provided an opportunity for SMEs to explore how their business can develop and extend their innovation capabilities. Discussion was led by leading researchers working on SME innovation and growth. The first session focused on building internal strengths for innovation such as skills, R&D and innovation management capabilities. The second session focused on open innovation and how to identify and develop effective external innovation partnerships.

Building internal strengths for innovation

What are the internal constraints on innovation in SME businesses? Finance? Skills? This session offered an opportunity to consider how SMEs can strengthen the internal innovation capabilities of their firm. Discussion was led by Professor Stephen Roper, Enterprise Research Centre and Warwick Business School. Stephen is Director of the Enterprise Centre and has consulted on innovation strategy and policy for a number of UK companies and international organisations.

Building innovation partnerships

Open innovation (working with external partners on innovation) has attracted much recent discussion. What type of partners deliver the most value for SMEs? How should any external relationships be organised? Discussion was led by Professor Nola Hewitt-Dundas, Queens University of Belfast. Nola is well known for her work on open innovation, barriers to innovation in SMEs and university-SME partnerships.

This session took place on 21 May 2013.

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