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SPIN Strategic Actions

The 14 SPIN Strategic Actions are focused on the following three activity areas which were found to be very relevant to improve the framework conditions for sustainable innovations in SMEs:
  • Increasing awareness and competences of SMEs
Increasing awareness and competences of SMEs is the first step to increase demand for sustainable innovations and to help SMEs in applying them. SMEs should be more aware of their potential for sustainability, what they can do, how they can be involved and supported and how to measure the success of sustainable innovations. SPIN therefore recommends actions to increase the internal and external know-how available for SMEs to support the application of sustainable innovations.
  1. Help SMEs to help themselves: Promotion of tools for integration of sustainability in SMEs’ operations
  2. Train the disseminators and train the SMEs: Multiply competence for implementation of sustainable innovations
  3. Information and innovation services for SMEs: Linking SMEs with external competences
  4. Demonstration and dissemination of best practice projects: Tell the success story of sustainable innovation
  5. Sustainability from the start: Integrate sustainability in secondary and higher education
  • Access to finance for sustainable innovations
Lack of finance is one major barrier to implementation of sustainable innovations in SMEs. Better access to finance is needed particularly in early innovation phases to create ideas and initiate innovation processes in SMEs. However, also for growing SMEs which are potential suppliers of sustainable innovations it is difficult to finance first reference projects for scaling-up their innovative ideas. SPIN recommends adjusting existing public support schemes to the needs of SMEs and a better coordination of public support to increase leverage of private capital.
  1. Financial support to initiate innovation processes in SMEs: Sustainable transnational innovation vouchers
  2. Improve SMEs’ access to private capital for sustainable innovations: Public support for private investments
  3. Improve SMEs’ access to public support schemes: Clear information, transparent structures, slim and quick procedures
  • Support market transformation and the uptake of sustainable innovations

Sustainable innovations which are available in the BSR have not yet fully exploited their market potential because of insufficient links between supply and demand side and other market barriers. The demand side should be supported to increase public and private demand for sustainable innovations. Information flows and networks between suppliers and users of sustainable innovations should be strengthened to support matchmaking between supply and demand. Involvement of consumers and society will further increase the pull for sustainable innovations.
  1. Legislation to push SMEs towards sustainable production: Implementing a targeted, stable and reliable legal framework
  2. Supply Chain Management: Increase transnational business cooperation for sustainable production
  3. Integration of retailers and end-users: Initiatives to support private sustainable consumption
  4. Standards, norms and labelling to support transnational cooperation: Promotion of harmonized market conditions for sustainable innovations
  5. Sustainable Public Innovation Procurement: Public sector taking the lead in implementing sustainable innovations
  6. Policy dialogue with industry and society: Develop a common roadmap towards sustainable production and consumption
The full report includes a detailed description of the 14 recommended Strategic Actions and working examples from the SPIN partner countries. Additionally, specific examples from four selected industry sectors are included on how to implement the SPIN Strategic Actions:
  • Biogas
  • Decentralized water treatment
  • Sustainable construction
  • Surface treatment and resource efficiency

The full report of the SPIN Strategic Actions for decision makers is available for download at:

SPIN partners support the dissemination of the recommendations and their national implementation in the SPIN partner countries.