A NATURAL AND LIVING ENVIRONMENT LIKE NO OTHER
A PLATFORM THAT IS THE ENVY OF EUROPE
“Helping companies to escape their isolation” by providing them with the tools “to teach themselves” is how Christoph Meier, platinn’s Director, describes the simple yet effective concept underpinning their innovation platform. Based in Fribourg, platinn is primarily a coaching provider. Its staggering achievements in Western Switzerland have led other parts of Switzerland, and even Europe, to follow its lead! (see below) We home in on the stumbling blocks that stop companies exploiting their innovation potential to the full.” Thanks to a vast network of partners, platinn is extremely responsive to industry needs. Its partners include some 60 accredited coaches, who provide bespoke services in four areas of expertise: business, partnerships, organisation and fund-raising. Every year, some 200 firms in Western Switzerland, two-thirds of which are new ventures, benefit from the platform’s support. “All of the cantons involved in this project have enjoyed good returns on their investment.”
FROM THE CZECH REPUBLIC TO SCOTLAND
“In 2014, the European Union (EU) tendered a project to develop a coaching platform specifically for SMEs. Platinn, and its foreign partners, won”, explains Christoph Meier. The EU invested some 3.7 billion Euros in the project known as SME Instrument. “We too share in the benefits, as we have access to any upgrades and improvements that are made to it”, adds the director of the Fribourg innovation platform. Platinn has been widely copied all over Europe. “Several regions in the Czech Republic have adopted an instrument based on our model, while Scotland plans to launch a similar project in 2018. Wallonia has voiced considerable interest, too.” Platinn has proved equally popular in Switzerland, “The canton of Bern has already adopted our model.” Those in charge of the Fribourg platform provide interested regions with “a tool box that has been tried and tested by hundreds of companies over several years”, a series of guides on topics such as coach training, as well as IT tools developed and tested by platinn. To improve responsiveness to other countries’ requirements, a structure that deals specifically with internationalisation issues – smE-MPOWER – has been created. Like platinn, it is based in Fribourg.