Title Collaborate to compete (C2C)
Project Number UK/08/LLPLdV/TOI163_103
Project Type Transfer of Innovation
Country UK-United Kingdom
Marketing Text The aim of C2C was clear and simple: to transfer existing information on business collaborations into accessible and attractive elearning materials aimed directly at SME owners, managers and staff.
Innovation is one of the principal means by which businesses can contribute to reaching the goals established by the Lisbon Council in 2000. Recent studies revealed that innovation is generated by exchanges of knowledge between businesses. Indeed, business collaboration is widely supported by academics, large companies and multilateral organisations and is at the heart of EU enterprise policy.
Yet, from an SME viewpoint, collaboration was directly opposed to competitiveness and existing works on collaboration were highly academic and/or focused on large industry groups. Hence, there was a need to “unlock” existing knowledge and transfer it to those who could most benefit from it – SMEs.
After carrying out a transnational survey to gain a deep understanding of current SME attitudes and obstacles to collaboration, existing materials will be modified and new “bitesized” learning materials developed for use on a dedicated C2C website. Notably, the project also contemplated a strong marketing strategy exploiting traditional publicity, European networks and web optimization strategies in order to maximise the project impact.
The project partners embodied a wide range of experience in both VET and specialist SME innovation support and have a direct interest in using the project outputs with their client base. Comprising a high profile marketing communications company, a specialized cluster development firm, a European network of business innovation centres, a national body for SME development and a consultancy specialising in multimedia training, the expertise was varied and all of the partners have collaborated previously with one or more partners, ensuring a foundation of sound working relationships on which to build the project.
In the short term, the project produced new elearning multimedia content based on existing written materials, of direct relevance to European SMEs and high uptake will be ensured by the charismatic marketing campaign and website visibility. The business advisory and support industry were a secondary beneficiary, having access to better tools with which to train SME clients. It will also reveal to traditional VET providers the need to actively prepare and market training opportunities if knowledge is to be converted into action and into positive impact.
SMEs had the tools and knowledge required to engage in productive business collaborations and thus the means to increase their innovation via interactive learning. The project thus contributed directly to the Copenhagen mandate of making learning more accessible and engaging SMEs in lifelong learning as a means of achieving competitiveness and a knowledge-based economy
Themes Enterprise, SME
an online accessible e-learning tool including:
At least 15 summaries of key documents on business collaboration
At least 12 modules on practical aspects of SME collaboration. Possible modules include:
a. assessment of market conditions
b. protecting intellectual property
c. identification of potential partners
At least 20 case studies, half of them multimedia
At least 300 initiatives in the collaboration database
All materials available in English, Romanian and French.