Easytech is a Technology Transfer Program aimed at integrating high technology and innovation in traditional SMEs.
Easytech is a program supported by Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes Region and driven by cluster Minalogic It addreses 4 main challenges :
- Integrating technologies in traditional SMEs, which are not familiar with high technology and innovation.
- Commercializing a new product within a short period of time (18 months)
- Strengthening the existing network of organizations which detect innovation projects of SMEs
- Offering support to the SMEs during all the product launch process, from exploration to pre industrialization
Support provided during the SME project :
- Advice meetings - Twice a month - 1h15 per company with laboratories and partners
- Precertification meeting with 2 Easytech experts - One in marketing of innovation and one in the technical field of the project
- Certification – Our local partners (Chamber of commerce, public investment Bank etc.)
- After the certification - Coaching of the SME by an expert in marketing or in the technical field of the project (half day per month for the duration of the project).
- Follow up committee - Closure committee
Minalogic’s staff deliver interface. More than 20 partners are also involved (laboratories, engineering schools, local authorities...). 3 full-time equivalent are dedicated to this program at Minalogic but we use external experts to support SMEs on their marketing and technological needs.
Evidence of success
Since 2012, more than 290 contracts have been signed between SMEs and academics/research centers through the program.
Among them, more than 30% of the SMEs have already a product on the market. 30% are still working on the R&D or industrialization process.
Toal of 570 companies received help with their business model or with technical advice. Since the launch, more than 19 m€ of R&D expenses and 6 m€ subsidies (from different funders – State- Region – local authorities) have been spent.
Potential for learning or transfer
After 8 years, the method to connect SMEs to laboratories has proved successful (advice meetings ", process of certification and follow-up etc.).
In 2017, thanks to the support of the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes Region; the EasyTech program has been extended to more laboratories and more engineering schools. There are now close to 50 contracts per year between SMEs and academics partners.
The EasyTech program does not appear to exist elsewhere in Europe. Hopefully the model can be duplicated with other clusters to enhance collaborations between academics and industrials.