Effective approaches for innovation support for SMEs.
Malins, Julian Paul
Gulari, Melehat Nil
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MALINS, J. and GULARI, M. N., 2013. Effective approaches for innovation support for SMEs. Swedish Design Research Journal, 2.13, pp. 32-39.
Providing appropriate innovation support to small to medium sized enterprises (SMEs) is an on-going challenge. Governments offer a range of initiatives from advice, to research and development grants; however, the underlying methodological frameworks for these interventions are often unclear. Universities have an increasing role to play in providing an understanding of the learning frameworks that surround innovation support and by providing design-led interventions that follow a design thinking approach. This paper considers the ways in which innovation knowledge can be transferred to SMEs based on a constructivist model of knowledge development. The development of Communities of Practice that support innovation making use of IT systems is also explored. Observations are made on the most effective ways of providing support for SMEs applying an experiential learning model, based on the authors’ experience of directing and working within the Centre for Design & Innovation (c4di) at the Robert Gordon University Aberdeen.