How can you reach SMEs if you develop a research program? Many of different project participants are faced with the fact that companies are not so willing to participate in the projects as in the previous years, mostly because they have a lack of the skilled and available employees within the companies to deal with the projects. The companies often consider the time spent on the workshop as a wasted and in general have some negative experience linked to the EU projects.
Within the mentoring sessions of FORESDA project, our Austrian partners (SUAS) supported the Hungarian partners (ZMVA) with the good practices they implement in Austra. The so-called "innovation agent" visits SMEs and organizes a short meeting in the company in order to learn about the needs and challenges of the enterprise. The focus of the agent is to uncover potential areas of further development and, together with decision makers in the company, to examine the company’s processes, products, market approach, and strategy in order to identify opportunities for technology-driven innovation. The result is that the company representatives tend to be more opened and cooperative and it seems that this is an approach that will provide good results also among Hungarian SMEs.