The Conference invites policymakers, academics, business support organisation and foremost small and medium-sized companies to join us on May 12th, 2020 in Maribor, Slovenia.

The Internationalisation Conference is a joint effort of six European regions: East Slovenia, Abruzzo in Italy, Algarve in Portugal, Extremadura in Spain, South-East Bulgaria and West-Midlands in the United Kingdom that will demonstrate, how internationalisation policy can be designed to overcome the barriers that SMEs are facing and fulfil their needs in their business expansion, growth, competitiveness and sustainability. 

The INTRA (Interreg Europe) project reflects the need to enhance and exchange knowledge and good practices among the policymakers, foremost the managing authorities, involved in the Cohesion policy. In the three years of Exchange of Experience process, the partners and their regional stakeholders developed Action plans that do contribute to the effectiveness of the internationalisation policy. All Action plans are outputs based on Interreg Europe programme that enabled us to analyse our regional needs, scan other EU regions for possible solutions and propose a project/measure/programme dedicated to experiences, knowledge, or skills transfer between the regions. 

The INTRA demonstrated that the Operational Programmes can be aligned to the needs of SMEs only if the process is structured through the cooperation of different local, regional and national stakeholders that shape internationalisation environment. 

The Internationalisation Conference goes beyond the demonstration of INTRA achievements. It will place the internationalisation as a cross-cutting priority within the regional development. It will put in the spot the role of regions and regional development agencies in creating internationalisation framework and governance. It will further provide insights into the role of international organisations such as the European Association of Regional Development Agencies (EURADA), Smart Specialisation Platform, Clusters and Networks. More, it will present the role of science and technology transfer offices, technology parks and business incubators in the internationalisation of SMEs, start-ups, born globals.  

All those cross-cutting themes will be presented and discussed during the Internationalisation Conference to which You are warmly welcomed! 

dr. Amna Potočnik, INTRA (Interreg Europe) Project Manager