June 7, 2019

Social Lab 6: Access to Risk Finance and Innovation in SMEs

What is a Social Lab?


Horizon 2020 pillar: Industrial Leadership

Social Lab 6 “Acces to Risk Finance & Innovation in SMEs” brings together stakeholders from industry, finance, governments, research to think about, discuss and act on Responsible Research and Innovation in the fields of finance and innovation. Within the social lab, pilot activities are developed together with the Social lab participants to address the implementation of RRI in the field of funding innovation and financing SMEs.

Social Lab workshops

Workshop 1

Date: 18-19 June 2018

Place: Prague, Czech Republic

Description of the workshop

Workshop 2

Date: 10-11 June 2019

Place: Madrid, Spain

Description of the workshop

Workshop 3

Date: 28 & 29 November 2019

Venue: Prague, Czech Republic

Pilot Actions

Pilot Action 1: Talent Management in innovative SMEs

Within this PA we are working on preparing an extension of company talent management and finding possible collaborators from the field of R&D. The activity focuses on developing Talent Management on an example of an innovative SME that focuses on circular economy in the field of biodegradable polymers. Talent management has been identified as a key factor that enables SMEs to respond to major societal challenges and to link R&D with their actual business. The main tasks involved in this pilot action include comparing the status quo with examples of good practice and aligning existing talent management and talent acquisition activities with RRI principles.

Pilot Action 2: Designing An Experience-Based Training Module for Aspiring Entrepreneurs

The character of this Pilot Action requires that activities common in course design are carried out. Participants discussed the format and possible contents of a training module with educational SMEs.

Activity will design a learning experience with respect to Bloom’s taxonomy. It provides learners with relevant support, it is quite well-established and defines a solid framework for the task.

The challenge of this PA lies in the absence of training that would provide people from SMEs and namely the aspiring entrepreneurs with RRI awareness in a structured and consistent manner. The entrepreneurs have but few possibilities to learn how to think about their work with RRI principles in mind. As a result, opportunities to build responsible businesses are being missed.

Hence, the objectives of this PA are:

  • raising general awareness of RRI among entrepreneurs;
  • helping entrepreneurs identify new opportunities and strengths of their projects through implementation of RRI principles;
  • inspiring action towards practical use of responsible innovation principles in SMEs.

Pilot Action 3: RRI in TACR praxis

The aim of this Pilot Activity is to help a national funding agency to develop the role of RRI in its activities as a supporter of R&D and innovations in SMEs. TAČR is a national agency for providing support of R&D in the Czech Republic. It is not the only a provider, but with the number of projects it has and the volume of the means for it, it has become a main actor focused on SMEs in this field in the Czech Republic.

Managers and facilitators

Social Lab Manager: Zbyněk Machát, RRI expert, Technology Agency of Czech Republic

Social Lab Manager Assistant: Martina Kissová, Technology Agency of Czech Republic

Social Lab Facilitator: Lukáš Paleček, Technology Agency of Czech Republic