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Applied Innovation for Students and Business

The AISAB Project addresses the need within the EU to improve the level of innovation and its impact, particularly in SMEs. Building on the work of other innovation projects and materials, it will develop approaches to develop the skills that support SME innovation from an HEI context and through VET. These complementary streams of work will see implementation of initiatives to drive innovation, both during the project and also on a sustainable basis, by embedding the outcomes in the day-to-day activities of HEIs and organisations delivering VET to SMEs.

The project objectives are to develop learning materials aimed at enhancing student skills in assessing and implementing innovation, and build tools that students can use to facilitate their impact when consulting in SMEs. It will also develop a toolkit for SMEs to self-diagnose their innovation practice, as well as putting in place business intervention approaches that can be used to enhance innovation practices in SMEs.


  • Develop a series of tools and techniques that leverage the work of previous projects, and established good practice, into a HE context for use with students to enhance their knowledge of innovation;
  • Create a handbook/process guide enabling HE students to work within SMEs to assess and develop innovation practice to enhance their skills in assessing and implementing innovation;
  • Design and develop a toolkit for SMEs to self-diagnose innovation practice and identify weaknesses;
  • Develop business intervention approaches to enhance innovation practices in SMEs;
  • Create case studies for use in a VET and HE context to support dissemination and exploitation of project results;
  • Write and present a research paper exploring reasons for weaknesses in the underlying culture and support infrastructure relating to innovation in SMEs.

Project duration

September 2017 till April 2020


Project partners

Universität Gloucestershire (England) – Koordination
Hafelekar Unternehmensberatung (Österreich)
PROMPT-H Bildungs GmbH (Ungarn)
Universität Sopron, Wirtschaftsfakultät (Ungarn)
Universität Primorska, Fakultät für Management (Slowenien)
Korona plus d.o.o., Ljubljana (Slowenien)
Fondazione Instituto Tecnico Superiore, Bergamo (Italien)
Universidad de Granada (Spanien)

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This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This communication reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.


Do innovation now!

Innovation is frequently marketed as a driver of growth for the whole economy as well as the key issue for enterprises seeking to enhance their competitiveness. But why is it often so difficult for a business to successfully put innovation in to practice?

The principal reason is that it´s always a risk finding the right ideas, developing them into products and services before attempting a success launch into the market. If you run a small or medium sized business, you know that you must constantly renew but you do not always have the resources, the know-how or the willingness to take this risk. has been developed to address this problem. The programme has been designed for the owner/manager or management teams of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and enables even the smallest businesses to introduce and implement practical innovation processes. The 2inno methodology – outlined below – has been jointly developed by 6 project partner institutions across Europe:-

A business that participates in the 2Inno programme will be assigned their own dedicated 2Inno coach. The business will participate in two inital ‘Innovation Audit‘ workshops at which an in-depth review of its competitiveness will be completed to determine how well positioned it is to respond to marketplace challenges and to develop appropriate solutions.

Following these workhops, innovative transfer projects will be defined, implemented and monitored. Short training modules will be delivered to key management personnel throughout the process. This provides the basis for the creation of an innovation strategy that will help build a long-term competitive advantage for the business.


  • Multilingual innovation web-platform:
  • Toolbox ‘2inno innovation tools’
  • Training sessions in ‘Innovation Management‘

Project duration

October 2013 till September 2015



Project Partners

Hafelekar Unternehmensberatung – Innsbruck (Austria)
Instituto de Formación y Estudios Sociales – Madrid (Spain)
PROMPT-Ltd. – Gödöllő (Hungary)
Local Enterprise Office Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown (LEO DLR) – Dublin (Ireland)
Camporlecchio Educational Srl – Bergamo (Italy)
Institute for Innovation and Technology (Korona plus d.o.o.) – Ljubljana (Slovenia)

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This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This communication reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.


analysis of customer satisfaction

From 2009 till 2012 we assisted PRINOTH, the leading manufacturer of snow groomers. A major strength of the company is the constant work on the highest possible customer orientation in terms of product development, service and support. PRINOTH emphasizes the company’s vision to set new standards through continuous innovation and places great emphasis on excellent service networks.

Our role was to support PRINOTH in the measurement of customer satisfaction and, after evaluation of the results, to propose concrete recommendations for action.

Analysis of customer satisfaction, with the following topics:

  • Based on the PRINOTH vision and corporate objectives for the coming years, an initial analysis was performed by Hafelekar.
  • Together with PRINOTH then were also discussed possible targets to incorporate them into the set of questions of the customer satisfaction analysis.
  • PRINOTH has a very international customer base. Therefore, great emphasis was placed on a detailed workflow.
  • We also supported the project through our many years organizational know-how.
  • The evaluations in the field of customer satisfaction are by nature very complex, since there are many different topics to be included and make comparable.
  • A discussion on concrete areas of action concluded the survey.



Project duration

2009 and 2012


Return system for trays

SISTRO precision engineering GmbH is contract manufacturer in the field of high precision components for the medical technology, sealing technology and precision engineering. In the longer term SISTRO is keen to take the role of contract production back to thereby provide more resources for developing their own products, the expansion of the company’s internal project management, process know-how and developing their own innovative capability. The present project, the development of a tray return system, is an important step to prove the role as a single-source provider of complex solutions.

In the self-catering (eg huts), many people have to be employed to clean up food trays from the tables. The staff currently being used for that task, has not got a very attractive job and is often needed only at peak times. By a tray return system those resources shall be reduced – or utilized in a more meaningful way – which would lead in any case to a cost reducing for the restaurant business. From the perspective of the guest, the system should lead to a considerable increase of the comfort factor and to find – even in a self-service restaurant – tables always cleared down.

The challenge of this project was to implement this – actually – simple idea in an efficient and cost effective manner. The key issues that needed to be solved are, on one hand, the tray detection and on the other hand the handling of the deposit return.

The innovation was primarily to adapt and integrate technologies that were originally developed for other applications to a novel, not yet existing application. The specific technical and economic challenges of the project were, in addition to the Precision Mechanics and Mechatronics, a comprehensive knowledge:

  • Product innovation: the creation of “intelligent” food trays.
  • Process Innovation: The project staff and the external partners have been closely involved in the planning of the project. In the long term we shall succeed in such way to expand the own value chain by building up in-house expertise to be able to participate more actively in development projects and to initialize them by our own.
  • Innovation Management: This project can be seen as a kind of pilot project to initiate that process actively. In this context, innovation (for SISTRO): We go “one step back” in the value chain and are willing not only to “make products” but focus more on – in large parts already existing – research and development knowledge.

The project made it possible to find an innovative, yet sustainable structure for SISTRO.


Sistro precision engineering GmbH

Project duration

08.01.2011 – 29.02.2012


Electronic Design AS
Office Winter


Alternative surfaces for high frequency (HF) components

The implementation of a mobile filter by plastic technology and alternative coating (fulfilling the required electrical characteristics) means a technological leap for the entire mobile technology! The innovation of this project is therefore particularly important.

The intention of the project was to assess which alternative materials and material combinations can meet the requirements for electrical quality and passive intermodulation. Therefor, it was necessary to try and qualify a variety of coating materials and processes. The project aim was to develop a very special process to enable the production of a RF filter, hereby abstaining from galvanic plating.

In principle, this initiative project theoretically considered the possibility of alternative coating techniques over conventional copper and silver plating. Like in many research and development projects it is essential to exploit theoretical considerations in the run-up. Yet, in order to utilize the respective market opportunities, these theoretical insights have to be tested and qualified through practical functional models and test series. KATHREIN Austria is currently working on a successor project, which will also draw on the expertise of external partners to be able to test the project in practice.



Project duration

01.03.2011 to 06.30.2011

NRH e-Marketing

e-marketing concept for the Neue Regensburger Hütte

The Neue Regensburger Hut (NRH) is one of the most important bases of the Stubai High Trail which is an important economic factor in the Stubai Valley in summer and a central attraction of tourists hiking in the Stubai Valley. Yet, only a few hikers and local regulars visit the huts. This makes an economical survival difficult.

The challenge was accepted by Mr. Eder: A guest that is satisfied with a “dry place to sleep and a hot soup” is long gone and is nowadays rather looking for entertainment and activities before and after the tour, seeking increased comfort and activities. In this project, Mr. Eder, together with the supporting partners, met these trends and new challenges and was able to get through a strategic and very professional approach towards a long-term safety and attractiveness of the business.

The highlight of the project is a comprehensive marketing plan:

  • Website with online booking
  • Social media integration (especially Facebook, YouTube, Google Earth, etc.
  • Event and Event Calendar
  • seminar program
  • Newsletter Marketing
  • and much more

The successful repositioning of the NRH shows that even very small companies and businesses can profit by existing funding opportunities and by active support from the outside.


Thomas Eder (tenant)

Project duration



Advertising Agency – Ingmar Koehler


e-DMT – e-Direct-Marketing-Tool

The companies web-crossing and deepblue have succeeded in developping an innovative direct- and interactive marketing tool that meets all requirements of modern, electronic marketing. Defined objectives of the implementation phase were the programming, piloting and evaluation of the e-direct marketing tool (e-DMT) based on the contract specifications formulated in the concept phase.

This tool is an important process innovation in marketing because it was possible to combine existing technologies in a new product for effective e-marketing, a state-of-the-art communication and marketing tool. The overarching goal of being able to implement, by the use of new technologies, the tools of traditional marketing such as market segmentation and target group analysis in e-marketing, has been achieved.

The user is put by the e-DMT tool in a position to deal very effectively and precisely with target groups. Through feedback from the system via click behavior, e-mail open rates, etc. the profile of each person contacted becomes more sharply – the system is learning, so to say. Thus, the information that is sent to the target groups, becomes more accurate and more interesting and increases the acceptance. Major focus will be put not on mass or the most frequent contact as possible but on targeted and – for the respective target group – useful transmission of information. Through the creation of acceptance in the formed target group new functions and options will open up: dialogue marketing, customer loyalty programs, etc.

The following functions could be successfully integrated in the – to be developed – e-DMT tool:

  • SMS and MMS functionality
  • Dialog functionality
  • Segmentation and profile function
  • Template Generator
  • Synch function
  • import filters
  • Report Generator


Web-Crossing Ltd.

Deep Blue Europe Ltd.

Project duration

06.30.2010 to 30.11.2011


HAKOM Dienstleistungsges.m.b.H computer.