CAST is an incubation and acceleration support facility to sustain tourism start-ups and SMEs to grow and scale internationally by creating a European network o
The main objective of CAST is to support the creation, business development and scaling-up of companies in the tourism sector through incubators and accelerators integrating creativity, art and design skills with cutting-edge technology, science and other relevant expertise.
CAST does this by bringing together a consortium of organisations with enormous experience in working with creative industries across Europe and stimulating their creation growth and internationalisation – as well as in the tourism sector. All the partners have worked extensively and intensively with creative enterprises, stimulating innovation and cross sector working.
The activities are directed at relevant stakeholders in the creative industry-tourism nexus, including enterprises, sector and regional organisations and business support bodies.
Direct beneficiaries will be SMEs in the creative, cultural and tourist sectors, which will receive support from the project and will be enabled to develop their activities through start up and scale up processes, including innovation, access to new markets and finance.
The indirect beneficiaries are the other groups, which will benefit from the models and techniques developed and can participate in networks resulting from the project. An overview of the regions and bodies involved enables us to set out examples of these types of organisations.

Resources needed

Budget of the action: € 2.300.000.- funded by COSME.
The ten partners have partially allocated two staff members each average along the 36 months of the implementation phase. External experts have been used as well.
The network has been already established and will continue following project end.

Evidence of success

The main evidence of success is actual creation of the network within the first year of implementation of the good practice as a result of the efficient cross-border and cross-sectorial collaboration. Some early results achieved by the network so far within the framework of the geographical scope of the project taking into account the already implemented activities:
- Number of start-ups and/or SMEs supported: 72
- Number of start-ups converted to scale-ups: 18

Difficulties encountered

Main risks considered:
• Mapping of measures at European level is not comprehensive and misses important developments
• Regional mapping does not produce representative picture,
• Scale-up actions do not bring results
• Failure to take sustainability into account, bearing in mind Europe 2020 g

Potential for learning or transfer

CAST good practice, and in particular the network created along with its provided services, will be ready to be transferred after the implementation of the project as a blueprint for future developments.
The methodology, along with outcomes and risks detected, is being properly documented and will be possible to be adapted in other countries/regions/communities with the minimum infrastructures, resources and facilities required to the creation of the network as the knowledge and know-how will be transferred.
Main institution
Border, Midland and Western, Ireland (Éire)
Start Date
July 2018
End Date


Juan Carlos Martinez Barrio Please login to contact the author.