INNOVATION CAPACITY BUILDING IN SMES (INNOCAP)

Last registered on July 28, 2022

Pre-Trial

Trial Information

General Information

Title
INNOVATION CAPACITY BUILDING IN SMES (INNOCAP)
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0005067
Initial registration date
February 25, 2020

Initial registration date is when the trial was registered.

It corresponds to when the registration was submitted to the Registry to be reviewed for publication.

First published
March 02, 2020, 3:46 PM EST

First published corresponds to when the trial was first made public on the Registry after being reviewed.

Last updated
July 28, 2022, 10:12 AM EDT

Last updated is the most recent time when changes to the trial's registration were published.

Locations

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Primary Investigator

Affiliation
Austrian Research Promotion Agency

Other Primary Investigator(s)

PI Affiliation
Austrian Research Promotion Agency
PI Affiliation
Austrian Research Promotion Agency
PI Affiliation
FFG
PI Affiliation
FFG

Additional Trial Information

Status
In development
Start date
2022-01-01
End date
2023-06-30
Secondary IDs
Prior work
This trial does not extend or rely on any prior RCTs.
Abstract
Many Start Ups and Small & Medium Enterprises (SME) an immature methodological approach to innovation and half of them present a clear deficit in innovation know-how, pointing towards a need for extra support.

The efficacy of two approaches to building knowledge and increasing awareness of non-technical innovation among Start Ups and Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) will be tested.

Background:
A wide range of barriers inhibits SMEs from optimizing external advice and information in adopting proven technologies and better business practices, however there is evidence that SMEs are more likely to develop new and innovative products and services due to their agility and lean decision-making processes, thus SMEs are a suitable candidates.

Numerous support schemes on national and European level have been implemented to facilitate innovation activities in SMEs, yet there is very limited evidence on whether public support has positive benefits and what forms of support are most effective. The RCT will thus provide insights into the potential our form of support (intervention) will have in fostering successful implementation of innovation methodologies in non-technical innovation projects of SMEs.

Experiment:
The sample for the RCT are firms who are either considering starting innovation activities or already in the preparation phase of innovation
projects, specifically for Impact Innovation. Two interventions will be tested. The first intervention is an expert led and peer-learning workshop in which experts from Impact Innovation provide input on essential aspects of the innovation process and experienced peers (previously funded Impact Innovation projects) share examples of how this might look in a project. The second intervention is a short guide highlighting important aspects of the innovation process and information on additional support resources, reflecting the content taught in the workshop. In addition, these firms will receive a voucher to an online expert platform, where they can link up with experts in a topic of their choice to assist them in development and implementation of a non-technical innovation project.
The primary outcomes of the RCT are Knowledge of Innovation Process, Perceived Ability, and Attitude towards Innovation, specifically whether there has been changes since the intervention. As a secondary outcome, we are interested in Innovation Activities, specifically whether there has been an increase in innovation activities since the intervention.

Registration Citation

Citation
Aiginger-Evangelisti, Philipp et al. 2022. "INNOVATION CAPACITY BUILDING IN SMES (INNOCAP)." AEA RCT Registry. July 28. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.5067
Sponsors & Partners

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Experimental Details

Interventions

Intervention(s)
Intervention Start Date
2022-02-23
Intervention End Date
2022-06-30

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
1) Improve Attitude and Perceived Ability towards and Knowledge of innovation projects
Measured by: KAP surveys – baseline and follow up
When: Baseline measured prior to randomisation/ intervention distribution, follow up measured closely after the intervention
Primary Outcomes (explanation)

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
2) Participants in Workshop have a higher likelihood to undertake innovation activities, i.e. implement an innovation project, apply to Impact innovation, etc.
Measured by: applications to Impact Innovation and survey to applicants
When: 6 months after Intervention

3) Do support measures for innovation capacity building do have a positive effect on the execution of innovation projects?
Measured by: Evaluation of implementation of innovation methods from project interim report and Impact Innovation applications from external organization
When: up to 1 year after interventions
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
We are conducting a randomized, two-arm trial. Our sample are firms who are either considering starting innovation activities or already in the preparation phase of innovation projects, specifically for Impact Innovation.

Two interventions will be tested. The first intervention is an expert led and peer-learning workshop in which experts from Impact Innovation provide input on essential aspects of the innovation process and experienced peers (previously funded Impact Innovation projects) share examples of how this might look in a project. The second intervention is a short guide highlighting important aspects of the innovation process and information on additional support resources, reflecting the content taught in the workshop. In addition, these firms will receive a voucher to an online expert platform, where they can link up with experts in a topic of their choice to assist them in development and implementation of a non-technical innovation project.

Random allocation takes place on the firm level. The allocation ratio will be 1:1 – half treatment 1, half treatment 2. The method of allocation is block randomisation with stratification on previous experience with Impact Innovation. In this context, previous experience with Impact Innovation is defined as having already received funding through Impact Innovation at least once. The rationale is that firms already funded by Impact Innovation have superior knowledge concerning innovation projects compared to firms with no prior experience with Impact Innovation. The program has been written and the actual allocation is done by external researchers to ensure no bias enters the randomisation.

The primary outcomes of the RCT are Knowledge of Innovation Process, Perceived Ability, and Attitude towards Innovation, specifically whether there has been changes since the intervention. As a secondary outcome, we are interested in Innovation Activities, specifically whether there has been an increase in innovation activities since the intervention.
Experimental Design Details
Not available
Randomization Method
Randomization will be done on a computer by external researchers
Randomization Unit
Project level
Was the treatment clustered?
No

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
300 projects/firms
Sample size: planned number of observations
300 projects/firms
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
150 projects treatment 1, 150 projects treatment 2
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
Supporting Documents and Materials

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IRB

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number