Mesap E-Collab Collaborative Platform For Enterprise Cluster (Trial)
Topic of the practice
Support to SMEs
Good Practice Information
This project was a trial of a collaborative web-based environment,called eCollab, involving a community of SMEs, gathered into a thematic cluster of about 60 enterprises, funded by Regione Piemonte. It comprised one co-ordinator body (Unione Industriale di Torino), several businesses drawn from the mechanical, electronic and automotive sectors and research institutions.
The goal was to improve regional competitiveness and innovation by clustering enterprises, particularly SMEs and by promoting models of collaboration, knowledge-transfer and knowledge-sharing.
eCollab is a web-based environment that combines web 2.0 tools to support knowledge sharing in the corporate context. It offers new ways of capitalising on the knowledge present within a company, thanks to an operative model based on a series of social networking tools that enable effective exchanges of information and experience, documenting of processes and enhancing the organisation’s awareness of the skills present in-house.
The platform was built from a basic prototype environment following a user requirement analysis. It was planned in consultation with the users, in particular the coordinator body of the cluster.
The environment has been used to: coordinate the cluster as a working group, share documents and information, facilitate collaborative writing of documents and shared projects and manage the common needs of cluster members.
Direct beneficiaries are SMEs from the mechanical, electronic and automotive sectors who were already gathered into a CLUSTER (Innovation Pole). Potential beneficiaries are other enterprise clusters: for example, in Piemonte other POLI DI INNOVAZIONE – Innovation Poles - are established and could benefit.
eCollab is an environment expressly planned to be easily transferable to different communities; for example students, enterprises, project partners, members of an organisation, working groups and communities of practice.
Total funding-€30,000 from regional public funds.
Evidence of success
The following success factors have been identified as critical to eCollab’s success:
2.Consistency between overall goal and tool approach (cooperation)
3.Web-based and cross-platform environment, without usage problems, even if changing operating system and web browser.
The results of the Good Practice has been:
1. A transferable model for cooperation among SMEs
2.Improvement of the original platform
3.Improvement of a collaborative planning and design approach
4.Sixty SMEs have experienced an online cooperative working approach and method
5.Since attitude to cooperation is considered strategically important: an online cooperative tool can contribute to changing the mindset of SMEs about cooperation
Contact details to obtain further information on the practice
CSP – Innovazione nelle ICT
Annex completed on: 03-29-2012