In the long run, the innovation level of a region corresponds to the level of qualifications. The best promotion is one that targets the education of future entrepreneurs and employees. The survey 2013 clearly showed that a lack of skilled workforce is considered the biggest hindrance for innovation in SMEs. In almost all BSR countries the number of people of working age will decline by up to 20% in the next 15 years. Therefore it is essential to exploit the full human potential and develop qualifications fitting SMEs, i.e. by
• focusing on entrepreneurship,
• establishing qualifications that correspond to the practical needs of SMEs by combining vocational training and academic education (like in the Dual System that proved highly effective in Finland and Germany),
• fostering high potentials, but also weaker learners, fighting youth unemployment and thus counteract the growing lackof workforce.
Highly qualified personnel are the prerequisite for any innovative company and must be the highest priority. Investments in the required qualifications pay the best interest rates and are the best method for a sustainable promotion of innovations!