Administrative barriers can keep SMEs from gaining full benefits of EU funding opportunities intended to help elevate their competitiveness, so city and regional authorities must improve their governance and regulatory framework to reduce barriers, improve messaging and increase the visibility of support and EU funding opportunities. These actions will benefit SMEs and the reputation of institutions delivering the services and support programmes.
Recent global events (COVID-19, War in Ukraine, etc.) have made it even more crucial to support SMEs’ development and competitiveness. European cities and regions can respond by making funding more accessible, so businesses can expand or innovate, export within and beyond the single market, undertake energy-saving upgrades, hire from traditionally disadvantaged groups, increase digitalisation, etc. Communication of these opportunities must be better targeted, digitally accessible, interactive, equally distributed and clearly presented, reducing bureaucratic jargon as much as possible.
Building on existing practices and informed by interregional learning, InnoCom will improve local policy instruments to introduce innovative models, digital tools, and services, reduce obstacles, and make other changes for better and more user-friendly interaction with businesses. In follow-up, it will monitor the expected outcome: SMEs empowered to raise their game through access to public services, finance, and other support.
Partners from a balanced mix of regions and cities in Italy, Romania, France, Latvia, Slovenia and Ireland will work together with the University of Latvia (Advisory partner) to identify weaknesses, seek solutions and exchange good practices and ideas through the interregional learning process. Stakeholders will have an active role providing feedback, co-designing, and participating in interregional learning.
The expected results are 6 improved regional policies, reduced barriers, and increased visibility of EU funding.
What will this project change
InnoCom partners are working to remove obstacles that keep SMEs from accessing support offered by regional and municipal governments, and to make communications between institutions and SMEs less bureaucratic and more user-friendly.