Module 1 "Strategy Development"
The Module 1 “Strategy Development” mainly consisted of a study which analysed the concrete prob-lems of SMEs and Start-Ups concerning the access to and the usage of IC-technologies as well as concrete measures of support. In order to get an overview of all the regions the interview data was collected in Norway and was the basis for a complete analysis. Results were presented during meetings and via the internet-platform. The information provided the possibility to compare regions and to find out what needs exist in total. The findings were enhanced by regional analysis, and the total and/or regional surveys were used as a basis for the development of strategies, training-measures and support-offers for the SMEs. The interviews also helped to raise awareness and identify the available ‘best-practice’-solutions for SMEs. During a Best Practice Conference approaches and findings were discussed. This study shall function as an example for the whole North Sea Region and was completed in June 2005.
Basis of the survey was the Information Model developed by Donald A. Marchand, William J. Kettinger, and John D. Rollins.
In May/June 2004 the interview-phase started after the questionnaires were available and has been translated into the different languages. Since the ways to contact the SMEs were left free for the regions to decide, the methods chosen to make appointments for the interviews were different: sending out the questionnaire, telephone contact, meetings etc. In some regions (Osterholz, Schleswig-Holstein, Sweden) it was found to be rather difficult to get enough participants for the interviews. Many companies were interested at first, but often appointments could not be made. Therefore the goal of 100 interviews in all regions was not reached, although more than 100 SMEs were contacted (for example: about 145 in Osterholz, 300 in Belgium, more than 1.000 in the Netherlands, 875 in Scotland). The interview phase was prolonged due to this problem until February 2005. During the interviews and/or by questionnaires the usage of ICT and the needs of the SMEs were questioned and captured for the purpose of further analysis. The interview phase ended between February and June 2005.
In total 553 data records (planned were 730) were given to Stavanger University for the analysis that was presented by the end of June 2005. Read more about the survey results here.