There is demonstrable evidence that focusing on Incremental Innovation will lead to increased turnover growth. Few SMEs seek grants for R&D and fail to engage with programmes that encourage export, as these are Radical Innovations more relevant to new enterprises. This project recognises that established Marine SMEs need to focus on this Incremental Innovation approach to improve their products, services and processes in response to customer needs to increase turnover.
The project will recruit and deploy expert Marine Innovation Mentors (MIM’s) who will work with SME owner managers using the Marine Excellence Model, benchmarking existing innovation scale deployed throughout the business, then advise and support the delivery of a plan for further Incremental Innovation improvements.
Priority actions for the SME will be agreed and summarised in a report. SMEs sharing similar characteristics will be encouraged to collaborate at Innovation Workshops where common needs, problems and solutions and best practices can be identified, with this learning taken back to the workplace to inform local improvements.
These mentors will pool knowledge of priority actions with the needs of other SMEs in order to plan the main phase of support. The mentor will also be able to signpost the SME to other available sources of support.
This project will also work closely with the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Growth Hub to ensure referral routes are used both ways. This will ensure SMEs are able to identify and access the most appropriate and tailored support for their specific growth needs. This includes facilitating SME access outside the Marine sector, such as Universities and manufacturing businesses in order to capitalise on other local value-added services.
The project aims for a 4% growth in turnover for the Marine SMEs which, it is forecast, will deliver one hundred new full time jobs.