Tassos Sisdiropoloulos, Director of Programmes Department, Regional Development Agency of Western Macedonia S.A. ANKO

BRIDGES aims at improving the RIS3 delivery on the ground. In your opinion, does the action plan contribute effectively to this purpose?

The most added value of the BRIDGES project  for our region is that it helped to specialize the RIS3 strategy, mainly in agro-food sector. The processes, we went through in BRIDGES, enabled us to specialize the calls in our regional operation programme according to the needs of SMEs. It was a unique opportunity  for us to come closer to SMEs in order identify their needs. This helped us further to select good practices for transfer which fully addressed those needs.

What has BRIDGES project brought to your region? What couldn’t have happened without the project?

If we try to make  an on-going evaluation of BRIDGES, we have to look at different target groups. At first we should look at us as a partner. There is no doubts that thanks to BRIDGES we have a stronger institutional capacity than before. The second target group is the Managing Authority, who could specialize their strategy and calls and make them more tailored to the needs of SMEs. The third target group but the most important are the SMEs of agro-food sector. As a result of BRIDGES actions they will have the opportunity to participate in different calls of structural funds. This will support them  in improving their innovativeness and competitiveness. Finally we have the regional stakeholder group, who participates in BRIDGES. Their involvement helped us widen the knowledge and ensured that we are on the right way.