At present, more than fifty accredited experts, i.e. specialists with successful track records in business, cooperate with the South Moravian Innovation Centre (JIC) on the Platinn programme. This programme focuses on small and medium-sized enterprises dealing with new challenges or specific problems, for example, expansion into foreign markets, personnel changes, financing, efficiency and company management. JIC has supported companies in South Moravia in this way since 2014. As of this year, the regions of Liberec, Zlín and Ústí nad Labem have joined the programme and are now utilising the database of experts and the opportunities to share experience. In all probability, a range of other interested parties will join at the end of this year. Together, they want to build a network of experts throughout the Czech Republic.
The need and desire of small and medium-sized enterprises in the Ústí nad Labem Region to grow and expand into foreign markets brought with it new challenges that many found themselves unable to tackle. As a result, their representatives began to contact the Innovation Centre of the Usti Region (ICUK). ‘On the back of this growing interest, we began to consider how we could extend our services and also implement a comprehensive programme for such interested parties. In order to prevent reinventing the wheel, we are constantly looking around and adopting good practice. It is within this context that we monitored the activities of JIC for a long time, and when the opportunity emerged to adopt the know-how of the Platinn programme, we did not hesitate,’ says Tomáš Siviček, Director of the Innovation Centre of the Usti Region.
In January, the business incubator Lipo.inkfrom the Liberec Regionalso joined the Platinn programme. For its young team, the cooperation with JIC and its experts is proving to be very beneficial. ‘So far, we have established expert cooperation in four cases regarding the management of companies. These are enterprises engaged in engineering and ICT services. In one of the cases, an expert has met the owners several times and the noticeable progress that has been booked is very positive. With the support of the expert, the owners have put in place a more effective method for managing their employees. This has helped to free themselves from operative issues and to devote themselves to conceiving new ideas,’ says Philipp Roden, Director of Lipo.ink, when appraising the cooperation.
The more than fifty experts are now beginning to operate in new regions, even though many of them live outside the Region of South Moravia. ‘Regular cooperation has now been successfully established with and across the three regions. We have also managed to link up with even more very interesting experts via the new contacts we have established. The network is therefore growing across the republic, reaching more places and more potential clients,’ adds Jindřich Weiss, Team Head for Entrepreneur Support at JIC. It was he who was contacted by another two regions who would still like to join the Platinn programme this year.
JIC was inspired in 2014 by the Platinn programme in Switzerland. It subsequently introduced the model of support for small and medium-sized enterprises to the Czech Republic. In the Region of South Moravia alone, JIC has supported one hundred companies through the provision of nearly 150 coaching activities.
Media contact: Ivana Malá; Tel.: 737 549 742; email: firstname.lastname@example.org
JIC was established in 2003 as an interest association of legal entities. It was founded by the Region of South Moravia, the statutory city of Brno, Masaryk University, Brno University of Technology, Mendel University in Brno and the University of Veterinary and Pharmaceutical Sciences Brno. The innovation centre of European calibre provides a wide range of programmes through which it supports people with business ideas, start-ups or established small and medium-sized enterprises in South Moravia.
It is a programme for the owners of small and medium-sized enterprises. Through consultations with a selected expert, a company gains new business perspectives and develops a specific plan of activities for further growth. The first stage of the process starts with an analysis of innovation opportunities. This analysis helps to identify the company´s strengths and weaknesses. This results in the company, with the support of the expert, drawing up a plan of necessary changes. If the company needs help with the execution thereof, it can move onto the second stage. The innovation analysis and the first 40 hours of consultation with the expert are free of charge. In the implementation stage, companies may benefit from a further 80 hours of consultation, to which they must contribute 50% of the costs. Companies may enter the implementation stage repeatedly.
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