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European Innovation Council and SMEs Executive Agency (EISMEA)
Report

Experimental innovation policy for SMEs: findings and recommendations

Within the Horizon 2020 Work Programme (INNOSUP-06-2018), the European Commission launched a call to directly incentivise innovation agencies to engage in policy experimentation and use Randomised Controlled Trials (RCTs) to evaluate their schemes.

Details

Publication date
13 October 2021
Author
European Innovation Council and SMEs Executive Agency

Description

Randomised Controlled Trials (RCTs) are a powerful way to determine whether an intervention causes the expected outcomes. As part of a broader experimental approach, RCTs can help innovation agencies to explore new ideas, optimise actions and find out what works. RCTs are, however, rarely used. 

Within the Horizon 2020 Work Programme (INNOSUP-06-2018), the European Commission launched a call to directly incentivise innovation agencies to engage in policy experimentation and use RCTs to evaluate their schemes. 

The selected projects include feasibility studies of new support, such as training to encourage SMEs to adopt new innovation methods and technologies. Others seek to optimise programme delivery, for instance how best to offer SMEs feedback on their grant applications.

Results from three completed projects are presented alongside lessons learnt by all agencies during experiment design and implementation. Recommendations and tools are also provided for innovation agencies wishing to follow the approaches of the experimental pioneers and undertake their own experiments.

Files

Final Finding Report: Experimental innovation policy for SMEs: findings and recommendations
English
(1.43 MB - PDF)
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