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Lead Partner: Society for the Development of the Province of Burgos (SODEBUR)
The key policy instruments linked to Investments and Growth are managed mostly from the main cities (regional or national capitals), often disconnected to rural areas, and have less impact in areas of lower population density, in particular the actions towards innovation of the SMEs. The promotion of entrepreneurship spirit has to be further developed in rural areas, and in particular the promotion of new niches of business opportunities, such as “Energy, Environment, Eco-industries, ICT or Social Innovation”. 
Lead Partner: Provincial Government of Teruel
SILVER SMEs aims to improve the implementation and delivery of Regional Policies for SMEs competitiveness by building on significant opportunities arising from the Silver Economy (SE). This 5 year Interreg Europe project was launched in June 2018.
Lead Partner: Region of Peloponnese
IMPROVING SMEs COMPETITIVENESS IN REGIONS WITH AN AQUACULTURE BUSINESS ECOSYSTEM More than 90% of businesses in EXTRA-SMEs regions are inland and coastal SMEs operating across and around the aquaculture value chain, contributing to growth and creation of jobs. Along the chain, these economic operators are characterized by systematic weaknesses in reaching international markets and exporting their products. To this end, EXTRA-SMEs will support public authorities to join forces and exchange experiences in a) administrative simplification, b) expansion in new markets, c) innovative value-added product solutions, d) personnel up skilling, and e) resolution of stakeholders’ conflicts of interests. OBJECTIVE EXTRA-SMEs brings together 8 regions from 7 countries, to achieve expansion of rural and coastal SMEs in wider markets for the promotion of their products, through simpler and improved administrative processes, and innovative technologies. EXPECTED IMPACT - Increased capacity of 200 staff of public administrations to effectively support SME competitiveness - 14 million euros unlocked to support projects on the modernisation of the wider network of aquaculture SMEs - Increased awareness and consensus building among the wider aquaculture sector, the workforce, and citizens, to support measures for SMEs internationalisation operating locally (over 1000 individuals). MAIN OUTPUTS & BENEFICIARIES - 8 action plans to improve the addressed policy instruments, benefiting managing authorities and beneficiaries - 4 interregional workshops, 2 site visits and 1 EU-wide policy learning symposium to promote capacity building among partners and stakeholders - 13 policy briefs to transfer lessons learnt to EU public authorities - 1 benchmarking online toolkit for the assessment of the extraversion performance of SMEs - 4 joint thematic studies and analyses reports on territorial needs and pathways for the improvement of SMEs internationalisation.
Lead Partner: Fejér Enterprise Agency
The lack of access to credit and financial exclusion can be a serious obstacle to business creation in many European regions. Microfinancing of SMEs and support to social entrepreneurship is an already tested and proven tool which can contribute to a high level of quality and sustainable employment, reducing disparities and poverty; and thus contributing to the realization of the « Inclusive growth » priority of the Europe 2020 strategy. There is a wide variety of microfinance programs across Europe, however, there are significant differences in how these microfinance initiatives reach their target groups. Therefore, the “ATM for SMEs” project is aiming at improving the access to microfinance in the participating regions by sharing and exchanging the local knowledge on innovative solutions. The "ATM for SME"s consortium is lead by Fejér Enterprise Agency (HU), and is characterized by a balanced proportion of managing authorities and microfinance institutions, and a European-level advisory partner. The intensive interregional policy exchange and learning process, planned in the framework of the project, allows the gathering of evidence on the feasibility of these good practices, and capitalising on the experience accumulated in the  participating regions.     The 9 regional partners will prepare 9 action plans in order to integrate and deploy  good practices learnt from interregional cooperation within the identified regional or  national policies.
Project summary IMPROVING SMEs COMPETITIVENESS IN REGIONS WITH AN AQUACULTURE BUSINESS ECOSYSTEM More than 90% of businesses in EXTRA-SMEs regions are inland and coastal SMEs operating across and around the aquaculture value chain, contributing to growth and creation of jobs. Along the chain, these economic operators are characterized by systematic weaknesses in reaching international markets and exporting their products. To this end, EXTRA-SMEs will support public authorities to join forces and exchange experiences in a) administrative simplification, b) expansion in new markets, c) innovative value-added product solutions, d) personnel up skilling, and e) resolution of stakeholders’ conflicts of interests.   OBJECTIVE EXTRA-SMEs brings together 8 regions from 7 countries, to achieve expansion of rural and coastal SMEs in wider markets for the promotion of their products, through simpler and improved administrative processes, and innovative technologies.   EXPECTED IMPACT - Increased capacity of 200 staff of public administrations to effectively support SME competitiveness - 14 million euros unlocked to support projects on the modernisation of the wider network of aquaculture SMEs - Increased awareness and consensus building among the wider aquaculture sector, the workforce, and citizens, to support measures for SMEs internationalisation operating locally (over 1000 individuals).   MAIN OUTPUTS & BENEFICIARIES - 8 action plans to improve the addressed policy instruments, benefiting managing authorities and beneficiaries - 4 interregional workshops, 2 site visits and 1 EU-wide policy learning symposium to promote capacity building among partners and stakeholders - 13 policy briefs to transfer lessons learnt to EU public authorities - 1 benchmarking online toolkit for the assessment of the extraversion performance of SMEs - 4 joint thematic studies and analyses reports on territorial needs and pathways for the improvement of SMEs internationalisation. €1,765,617.00 from 1 Jun 2018 to 31 May 2023 Topic SME competitiveness Partnership Lead Partner Partner What policy instruments does the project address? PELOPONNESUS OP MAIN FEATURES AND MEASURES CONCERNED The Operational Programme (OP) Peloponnesus 2014-2020 aims to enhance regional economic development by boosting SME competitiveness, under Thematic Objective (TO) 3. Still, since most regional SMEs operate in the agri-food sector, a number of interventions under TO3 are also covered by the EAFRD and EMFF programmes.   The OP, however, acknowledges that measures to boost innovation for agri-food SMEs is a priority of developmental nature, where ERDF resources need to be directed. Accordingly, the OP dedicates ERDF resources to actions for all SMEs relevant to RIS3, including SMEs of agri-food sector.   To this end, EXTRA SMEs will address: “Priority Axis 3 - Enhancing the competitiveness of SMEs”, and investment priorities 3a, 3c, and 3d.   REASONS FOR IMPROVEMENT The OP aims to tackle the disadvantages of the regional economy, aggravated by the long-lasting recent national economic recession; nonetheless, Peloponnese continues to rank low in entrepreneurship and trade compared with the EU average. This is particularly important for the aquaculture-based industries in the Peloponnese, for which innovation, internationalisation, and exports have a high economic potential and export dynamic; to this end, the OP can be improved to support launching of new and value-added products and services in the international market. Which partners are working on this? Region of Peloponnese ROP Liguria ERDF MAIN FEATURES AND MEASURES CONCERNED The ROP aims to help Liguria Region to better achieve Europe 2020 targets, by focusing on SME diversification and competitiveness, through investment in innovation and enhancement of productivity and creation of jobs. Measures concerned are in Priority Axis 3 of the ROP namely: 3.1 Promote entrepreneurship, in particular by facilitating the economic exploitation of new ideas and promoting the creation of new businesses, also through incubators. 3.2 Develop and implement new business models for SMEs, especially for internationalization through consolidating, modernizing, diversifying the region’s production systems. 3.3 Support the creation and expansion of advanced capabilities for the development of products and services. 3.4 Supporting the capacity of SMEs to engage in growth in regional, national and international markets and in innovation processes by improving access to credit, business financing and risk management.   REASONS FOR IMPROVEMENT ROP of Liguria needs to be improved to enable SMEs expand in wider markets and create the conditions for new jobs’ establishment, in a region severely lacking of added-value local food products; the Liguria region falls behind in specialized traditional food production, a trademark in Northern and Central Italian regions. ROP’s improvement through the creation of new business models will diversify the region’s product portfolio, and maximize profits due to higher market prices applied. Which partners are working on this? Liguria Region Regional Operational Programme for Zachodniopomorskie Voivodeship 2014-2020 MAIN FEATURES AND MEASURES CONCERNED The ROP aims at promoting smart, sustainable and inclusive growth in the region; it places emphasis on boosting research, technological development and innovation, SME competitiveness, the shift towards a low-carbon economy, the promotion of sustainable and quality employment, and social inclusion. Measures concerned by the project are included in “Priority Axis 3: Promoting Competitiveness of SMEs”:   3a: To promote entrepreneurship, in particular by facilitating the economic exploitation of new ideas and fostering the creation of new firms, including through business incubators, with consideration of the "Small Business Act". 3c: Supporting the development and expansion of advanced capabilities in the development of products and services.   REASONS FOR IMPROVEMENT Westpomeranian region suffers from high rate of unemployment, and its score on innovation is only modest, in spite of efforts recorded during the recent years. On the other hand, the rate of agri-food exports has been increasing, making the aquaculture food sector hold significant potential for regional growth. The ROP can be improved to further support this trend by enabling the formation of clusters and the launch of innovative products, so as to further boost the export dynamics of the region. Which partners are working on this? Northern Chamber of Commerce in Szczecin Regional Operational Programme MAIN FEATURES AND MEASURES CONCERNED The Regional Operational Programme (ROP) aims at promoting smart sustainable and inclusive growth and addresses the major development challenges: regional competitiveness, sustainable urban development, the low-carbon economy, and economic and social infrastructure at regional and local level. Measures concerned by EXTRA SMEs are in the two investment priorities of Priority Axis 3 (competitiveness of SMEs): 3a - Promoting entrepreneurship, in particular by facilitating the economic exploitation of new ideas and fostering the creation of new firms, including through business incubators. 3c - Supporting the creation and the extension of advanced capacities for products, services and development.   REASONS FOR IMPROVEMENT The ROP needs to be improved to address long standing issues hindering economic development around aquaculture areas, such as degradation of sites, aged processes, low-qualified personnel. Also, the ROP needs improvements to support new opportunities for SMEs competitiveness improvement. More specifically, the most recent relevant Romanian regulation includes special provisions for stimulating the aquaculture sector, in order to increase the investments. Economic activity is not constrained to production, processing and trade, but also extends to other opportunities, as recently the extensive fish farms have started to provide other services, such as ecological tourism, recreational fishing, and educational activities. Which partners are working on this? Bucharest-Ilfov Regional Development Agency Lapland's Food Programme 2025 MAIN FEATURES AND MEASURES CONCERNED Lapland’s Food Programme 2025 envisions 30% self-sufficiency in selected foods categories, through changes that encourage activities supporting the production of local Lappish food and natural products. The Programme aims to boost entrepreneurship in the food and surrounding sectors, encourage new income and achieve regional development. Aquaculture and the related chain of activities, are found among the industries identified as high potential areas in which development measures can be targeted. More specifically measures concerned with EXTRA-SMEs include: - The development of new high quality products - Support Lapland’s profitability by improving existing and building new business and income models - The acquisition of young players and enhancement of co-operation between entrepreneurs - Further development of processing and training   REASONS FOR IMPROVEMENT Lapland’s aquaculture and related industries have the potential to significantly contribute towards the region’s development, by becoming more competitive and self-sufficient in relation to food sustainability. The policy instrument can thus be improved to better address aquaculture related activities entrepreneurship, competitiveness and innovative business models for the regional SMEs. The region’s ageing economy and administrative procedures are also problems which the instrument can help address. Which partners are working on this? Lapland University of Applied Sciences Operational Programme of Region of Western Greece 2014-2020 MAIN FEATURES AND MEASURES CONCERNED The Western Greece Operational Programme (OP) 2014-2020 pursues the self-sustaining, extraverted and sustainable reconstruction of the region, focusing on its global identity, values and the environment. The development of the agri-food sector is recognised as a priority (Thematic Objective 3 – TO3), including changes to the traditional model of production in aquaculture.   Since most regional SMEs operate in the agri-food sector, a number of interventions under TO3 are also covered by EAFRD and EMMF programmes. The OP, however, acknowledges that measures to boost innovation for agri-food SMEs is a priority of developmental nature, requiring the allocation of ERDF resources; to this end, the OP foresees such interventions. Accordingly, EXTRA-SMEs addresses Priority Axis 3, and investment priorities 3a, 3c, and 3d.   REASONS FOR IMPROVEMENT Western Greece remains Greece’s second poorest region in terms of GDP, well below the EU average, and among the fastest declining as a result of the country’s economic recession. However, even since the beginning of the crisis regional exports growth rate remains positive. This is particular the case for the food sector, including aquaculture related industries, which present a significant opportunity for regional development. To this end, there is significant room for improvement in the OP in regard the formation of clusters and the development of new innovative products. Which partners are working on this? University of Patras Border Midland and Western Regional Operational Programme MAIN FEATURES AND MEASURES CONCERNED The Regional Operational Programme (OP) 2014 – 2020 aims to enhance research and innovation, information and communications technologies (ICT), SME competitiveness, the shift to a low-carbon economy and supporting integrated urban development. Measures concerned by the project are encountered in Priority 3: “Enhancing the competitiveness of SME Competitiveness” and across the following investment priorities: 3a - promoting entrepreneurship, in particular by facilitating the economic exploitation of new ideas and fostering the creation of new firms, including through business incubators. 3d - supporting the capacity of SMEs to grow in regional, national and international markets and to engage in innovation processes.   REASONS FOR IMPROVEMENT Ireland’s OP is strategically justified based on Europe 2020 strategy and aims to stimulate the in-company innovation and accelerate micro-enterprise start-ups by fostering the creation of new firms, including through business incubators and extraversion. However SME entrepreneurship and competitiveness in coastal and aquaculture intensive regions remains limited, since innovation policy tends to be largely top-down from central governmental and specific regional needs are often neglected, thus limiting regional development and export growth in these regions. Which partners are working on this? Western Development Commission OP for investing European Structural and Investment funds MAIN FEATURES AND MEASURES CONCERNED The Operational Programme (OP) aims at helping Lithuania's economic development as well as facing social challenges. It places a clear emphasis on boosting research and innovation, SME competitiveness, the shift to a low-carbon economy, the promotion of human capital. Measures concerned by the project are encountered across “Priority Axis 3: Promoting Competitiveness of SMEs” of the Policy Instrument, in all its relevant investment priorities: 3.1 (entrepreneurship): Setting up and development of businesses to increase the level of entrepreneurship, especially of young people, paying special attention to regional SMEs. 3.2 (internationalisation): Stimulating enterprises to give more focus on entering and consolidating their presence in foreign markets, and involvement in international networks. 3.3 (innovation): Optimising business and production processes, adapting original product/service design solutions, foreseeing the introduction of product, process or service standards in SMEs.   REASONS FOR IMPROVEMENT Despite the reflection of Europe 2020 strategy on the OP, Lithuania continues to fall behind the EU average in terms of entrepreneurship level, and compared to other countries of similar size and development level, export volumes of domestic goods of Lithuania are small. This is particularly the case for SMEs operating in the economic environment surrounding the country’s water bodies, which are mostly subject to special licenses. Which partners are working on this? Public Institution National Regions' Development Agency (function(d, s, id) { var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0]; if (d.getElementById(id)) return; js = d.createElement(s); js.id = id; js.src = "//connect.facebook.net/en_US/sdk.js#xfbml=1&version=v2.10"; js.async = true; fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs); }(document, 'script', 'facebook-jssdk')); EXTRA-SMEs Latest News See all project news 04/11/2020 An article comparing wild-caught and farmed seafood The following article presents a comparison between the quality of wild-caught and farmed fish, explaining the advantages and disadvantages of both farmed and w Type: Project 23/10/2020 Three best practices in Romania published Three best practices have been identified by the Regional Development Agency Bucharest-Ilfov within the EXTRA-SMEs project. The three good practices have been... Type: Project 19/10/2020 4th EXTRA-SMEs regional stakeholders meeting The 4th stakeholders meeting of University of Patras included various presentations and a discussion on conflict resolution in the aquaculture sector. Type: Project 26/08/2020 Greek innovation in fish farming Greece has achieved an innovation in fish farming, a distinction at European level Type: Project 10/06/2020 Regione Liguria best practice published Best practice identified by Regione Liguria on Interreg Europe website Type: Project 01/06/2020 Liguria Region 4th Stakeholders Meeting Regione Liguria organized the 4th Stakeholders Meeting on 27 May 2020 Type: Project 11/03/2020 Interview with HAPO chairman, Apostolos Touralias Interview with Apostolos Touralias, president of the Hellenic Aquaculture Producers Organization Type: Project 26/11/2019 Study Visit in Szczecin, Poland Two day Study Visit in Szczecin, Poland 26th and 27th November 2019 with the participation of all project partners. Type: Project 24/09/2019 3rd Steering Group Meeting in Finland The 3rd Steering Group Meeting of the EXTRA-SMEs project was hosted by Lapland University of Applied Sciences in Rovaniemi, Finland. Type: Project 10/05/2019 2nd Regional Stakeholder meeting in Italy LIGURIA's 2nd Regional Stakeholder meeting was held in Genoa on 10th May 2019. Type: Project
The Good Practice constitute a direct financial support of the Regional Operational Program to SMEs internationalisation activities.
Location: Algarve, Portugal
Project: INTRA
Project summary   Destination strategies for the competitiveness of the local SMEs The aim of Destination SMEs is to assist European territories in designing effective destination management strategies in order to provide tourist SMEs with a favourable environment for growth and improve their competitiveness.The project brings together 7 partners from 7 European countries (France, Italy, Malta, Ireland, Finland, Latvia, Slovenia) consisting of a mix of public authorities at national, regional and local level and agencies having a delegation of competences from their public authority. Creating effective tourist destinations Tourist SMEs need favourable conditions to succeed and to increase their competitiveness.  Only a well-managed "Destination" can offer such conditions.. how?Strengthening the identity of the territory Establishing a territorial tourist development strategy Ensuring a cohesion between the various tourist offers in the area Allowing cooperation among stake holders & an effective governance systemThe project: exchange of experiences and knowledge transfer Thanks to the interregional exchange, the analysis of policies and best practices from different countries and the involvement of relevant stakeholders within each area, the partners will have the opportunity to improve their territorial policies or to develop new destination management projects (action plans), giving an effective support to SMEs of the tourist sector. €1,483,536.00 from 1 Apr 2016 to 30 Jun 2021 Topic SME competitiveness Partnership Lead Partner Partner What policy instruments does the project address? Auvergne ERDF ESF regional operational programme 2014-2020; Axis 3 SMEs competitiveness; Investment priority 3d Support to the capacity of SMEs to participate to processes of innovation and growth; Specific Objective: Strengthen the finance opportunities to cover all development steps of SMEs This measure aims at supporting the creation, the development, the innovation and the improvement of the productivity of tourist SMEs. Only private investment projects (like tourist accommodation) are eligible to these subsidies. It is expected that supported SMEs will contribute to the economy of their territory, directly and indirectly. During the previous programming period, the Tourism Department of the Auvergne regional Council observed that beneficiaries of ERDF located on a territory where a destination management strategy had been developed, were more successful than others to attract customers. Indeed tourist SMEs are part of a destination, an area with activities, accommodation, transportation systems etc. Destinations that are well managed are more likely to generate `wise growth' in their visitor economy. This is why the Tourism Department introduced an inflexion in this new Operational Programme to give a preference to projects located on a territory where a destination management body or strategy exists. But the measure does not give any support to the implementation of such destination management strategies, which means that many territories in the region, and consequently many SMEs, don't benefit from the favourable environment that an "organized destination" can provide. This is the point that needs to be improved in the OP, which can be done twice a year (Application Doc.) or in 2018 (mid-term review of the OP). Which partners are working on this? Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes Tourism ‘until 31/12/2016 Regional Tourist Development Board of Auvergne’ Investment program for the growth and the occupation 2014/20, Priority axis 3, Investment priority 3.b), Action 3.3.2 The priority axis 3 is dedicated to the competitiveness promotion of SMEs. The main objective of the axis is the strengthening, modernisation and diversification of the productive systems. The intended result of the measure is to increase tourist flows in relation to the population (target value: from 23,2 days of 2013 to 24,5 days in 2023). The selected Investment priority is 3.b, which aims at developing and realizing new models of activities for SMEs, in particular as far as internationalization is concerned. Action 3.3.2 is focused on the support to the development of products and services complementary to the enhancement of identified cultural and natural attractiveness factors of the territory, even by means of the integration of businesses belonging to the cultural, tourist, sports, creative and media sectors and to the traditional and typical products supply chain. The foreseen interventions are oriented to the qualification of the accommodation and reception services and to the support to the SMEs operating in the cultural and tourist fields.   In order to increase the effectiveness of the policy which was recently approved, P2 wants to benefit from new project ideas abroad to inspire local businesses to present similar innovative projects in their territory, increasing the use of available ERDF funds by local entrepreneurs. Which partners are working on this? Grand Paradis Foundation EcoGozo – the local Sustainable Development Strategy for the island of Gozo This policy instrument aims to translate the national Sustainable Development policy into a sustainability action plan for the island of Gozo, resulting in a stronger economy, a sounder environment and an improvement of the island’s social and cultural milieu. Like all sustainability action plans, this policy is in constant need of revision and improvement. The Rural Tourism aspect – identified in the National Tourism Policy as the strategic choice for Gozo - is seen as crucial in this regard. In fact, the National Tourism Policy states that: “Gozo has established itself strongly as a quality destination attracting activity and special interest holidays. Gozo is also strong in quality relaxation travel, besides also having pioneered aspects such as rural-tourism experiences. These are attributes which strongly differentiate Gozo from mainland Malta and need to be further developed as part of the Island’s strategy to achieve more sustainable tourism flows.” The following actions are listed as Policy actions with respect to Gozo: • Development of a specific tourism strategy for Gozo within the framework of the national tourism policy • Support Gozitan traditional crafts and promote the artisans who work in these sectors • Initiatives supporting the rural characteristics of Gozo • Incentives supporting Green Tourism All these points could be dealt with by developing a transversal Destination Management strategy in order to answer all the needs identified in the policy document Which partners are working on this? Ministry for Gozo Southern & Eastern Regional Operational Programme, Priority Axis 3: SME Support, promotion and capability development. The Operational Programme sets out a strategy, including a set of investment priorities to meet the strategic objectives set for the Regional OP. The specific objective 3a, that corresponds with investment priority 3a, is ‘To increase employment levels in micro-enterprises in the Southern and Eastern Region by supporting business start-ups, business expansion and higher innovation levels in micro-enterprises’. The investment priority supports start-ups and growing businesses through the provision of business information, advisory services, capability building, mentoring and financial supports. Micro-enterprise supports are administered by Local Enterprise Offices in each local authority area. The OP states that supports will be provided for SMEs specifically targeted at micro-enterprises in the manufacturing and traded services sectors. The potential for growth in the tourism sector should be acknowledged with specific reference to the extension of supports to tourist SMEs. Also, there is a need to include supports for the establishment of destination management body(s)/ cluster for tourism related SMEs, which could develop a destination management strategy, as there is no such provision in the current OP. Unless there is specific policy support to encourage territories to organise themselves as a tourist destination, tourist SMEs are unlikely to succeed. The establishment of such a body/ cluster would increase the efficiency and effectiveness of current ERDF supports. Which partners are working on this? Cork County Council Regional Development Programme POKAT 2017 and its “sub-programme” Tourism Operational Programme 2014-2020 The Tourism Operational Programme of North Karelia 2014-2020 aims at improving competitiveness of tourism destinations, increasing international tourism, developing tourism events, nature- and culture-based tourism product development. In North Karelia, tourism sector is scattered and there is a lack of tourism SMEs agglomerations. Resources allocated to tourism development should be targeted at fewer projects, objectives and actors based on the tourism entrepreneurs needs. Better coordination and enhancing SMEs agglomerations are main foci.The Tourism Operational Programme of North Karelia 2014-2020 is a sub-programme of the Regional Strategic Programme of North Karelia for 2014-2017 that outlines regional development targets based on the region’s potential, needs, culture and special characteristics. Tourism is one of the selected development targets. Which partners are working on this? Regional Council of North Karelia National Operational Programme “Growth and Employment” investment priority No. 3.2.: "Supporting the capacity of SMEs to engage in regional, national and international markets, and innovation processes." Specific Objective No. 3.2.1.: to promote the competitiveness and exporting capacity of SMEs. This policy aims at promoting international awareness of Latvian products and services, thus increasing the competitiveness of enterprises in external markets and hence, the volumes of export of goods and services of SME’s. It does not cover destination management as one of the means for increasing competitiveness of SMEs.The cooperation approach for implementing destinations and promoting SMEs development and cooperation is missing. It is important that national level policy instrument includes the needs of Vidzeme region tourist SMEs. Latvian tourism development policy guidelines aims at accentuating the creation of regional tourism clusters. Educating tourism SMEs on the benefits of developing their business and joining clusters is encouraged in the Tourism development policy guidelines. Destination SMEs will help to draw the attention to destination management issues. Vidzeme region set up a tourism cluster in the Gauja national park and sustainable tourism is included as one of the region’s S3 areas. In order to develop the cluster and implement region’s S3, it is important to improve the coverage of destination management in the National Operational Programme. Since the last planning period, there have been discussions of the disadvantages of dispersed investments and on the advantages of stakeholder cooperation in a destination. The detailed conditions of implementing the policy instrument are still in progress, so it would be advisable to include clustering in it. Which partners are working on this? Vidzeme Planning Region Policy of encouraging competitiveness of Slovenian tourism (Slovenian Tourism Development Strategy), Measure 1.1 “Encouraging development of tourist destinations” The policy to facilitate increase the competitiveness of Slovenian tourism is included in Slovenian Tourism Development Strategy. Within the project we will focus on the Measure 1.1 of respected policy - namely “Encouraging development of tourist destinations” which proposes an active participation of all stakeholders in Slovenian tourism (regional tourism organisations, local tourism organisations, tourist societies, etc.) for developing effective tourism destinations with high-quality and attractive integrated tourism products as well implementing sustainable and responsible management in the tourism industry and at destinations.  Slovenian Tourism Development Strategy is the key strategic document in the field of tourism development and sets out the role and the importance of all stakeholders in this field. Roughly, we can summarise three development areas in national tourism strategy: - increase competitiveness, - increase favourable business environment and - increase efficient and innovative marketing. Which partners are working on this? Institute for Culture, Tourism and Sport Murska Sobota Final Destination SMEs video newsletter Destination SMEs final video newsletter shows the main results of the project at the end of Phase 1 Have a look at the video (function(d, s, id) { var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0]; if (d.getElementById(id)) return; js = d.createElement(s); js.id = id; js.src = "//connect.facebook.net/en_US/sdk.js#xfbml=1&version=v2.10"; js.async = true; fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs); }(document, 'script', 'facebook-jssdk')); Destination SMEs Tweets by Destination SMEs Latest News See all project news 23/10/2020 The official launch of the Gozo Artisan Network The Gozo Artisan Network and the territorial quality brand is the result of a pilot action within the Interreg Europe Destination SMEs Project, Type: Project 16/10/2020 DSMEs workshop at the #EURegionsWeek The workshop “Cooperation for better Destination Management” was held on October 14, 2020 with the aim of sharing DSMEs Projects tips and tricks on what makes Type: Project 20/09/2020 Cooperation for better Destination Management What makes a destination management policy more effective? Destination SMEs project will share tips and tricks on governance and empowerment of SMEs. Type: Project 02/03/2020 Cork County Council - A dissemination event Cork County Council recently hosted an awareness event about the project and extent of supports available for SMEs in the Tourism sector in Cork. Type: Project 18/02/2020 Ministry for Gozo - approved the Pilot Action The Ministry for Gozo is pleased to announce that the Interreg Europe monitoring committee has approved the request for a pilot action Type: Project 16/01/2020 The PP met in Amsterdam to share the progresses At one year from the beginning of the second phase, the Project Partners met in Amsterdam to supervise its development and to plan the next actions. Type: Project 27/04/2018 Destination SMEs project study visit to Slovenia During study visit in Slovenia "Destination SMEs" partners learned about public policies and implemented initiatives related to destination management. Type: Project 08/01/2018 Exploring tourism practices in North Karelia In December 2017 Destination SMEs partners went to North Karelia, Finland, to learn about the region’s practices related to destination management. Type: Project 16/10/2017 Good Practices showcased in Cork Destination SMes project: policy learning in Destination Management moves to Cork Type: Project 30/05/2017 Destination Gran Paradiso Destination SMEs partners met in Italy from 29 May to 1 June 2017 in the Gran Paradiso area (Aosta Valley) for the fourth project study trip. Type: Project
Project summary The key policy instruments linked to Investments and Growth are managed mostly from the main cities (regional or national capitals), often disconnected to rural areas, and have less impact in areas of lower population density, in particular the actions towards innovation of the SMEs. The promotion of entrepreneurship spirit has to be further developed in rural areas, and in particular the promotion of new niches of business opportunities, such as “Energy, Environment, Eco-industries, ICT or Social Innovation”.  €1,022,597.00 from 1 Jan 2017 to 30 Jun 2021 Topic SME competitiveness The aim of Rural SMEs To improve the policies on regional support systems for entrepreneurs through exchange of experiences and identification of good practices, implementing the lessons learnt in regional action plans to increase the creation of innovative SMEs in rural areas. To achieve this goal the project envisages the identification, transfer and adoption of projects, measures and policies that would contribute to find out solutions to key challenges that face business development in less populated areas, such as: access to finance; communication and logistics; access to knowledge; innovation services supportIn particular, and through the organization of 7 Study visits, 4 Workshops & 2 Seminars, involving the partner’s staff and the relevant regional stakeholders, the project will focus on supporting measures linked to: Rural Entrepreneurship (public support, new niches, young entrepreneurs)Innovative Rural SMEs (Public support, circular economy, Social Innovation, etc.)  Partnership Lead Partner Partner What policy instruments does the project address? ERDF Regional Operational Programme Castilla-León This new policy instrument for the period 2014-2020 in the Spanish region of Castilla y León includes six different priority axes related with the thematic objectives corresponding mainly to the smart and sustainable growth pillar of the Europe 2020 Strategy. The project [email protected] SMEs affects directly to the priority axe number three (“Improving SMEs competitiveness”). On these grounds, the project is related directly with the three main priorities of investment: 3.1. Promotion of entrepreneur spirit. 3.2. Development and application on new market models 3.3. Support to the economic capacity of SMEs in their innovation process. Thus, this priority axe is based in two core topics: entrepreneurship promotion and establishment and development of new business. The funding allocated to this priority axe in our Operational Programme is around 83 M€.   Regarding to the main reasons for this policy improvement these are related with the lack of concrete focus in rural areas. The policy should be enriched with measures addressing the demographic reality of the region and the necessities of enterprises located in these areas, since rural SMEs barriers to business growth differ geographically. Which partners are working on this? Society for the Development of the Province of Burgos (SODEBUR) County Tipperary Local Economic and Community Plan 2015-2020 The purpose of the Local Economic and Development Plan (LECP) for County Tipperary is to set out, for a 6 year period, the objectives and actions needed to promote and support the economic, the local and community development of the county, both by the County Council itself directly and in partnership with other relevant stakeholders in the county. There is no specific funding allocated to the policy instrument, however, it does elaborate a framework by which funding is spent by local actors All local authorities in Ireland are required to make a LECP as per the Local Government Reform Act 2014. The first County Tipperary LECP was completed in January 2016 and covers the period to 2020. The statutory requirement to adopt the Tipperary LECP is an important measure at the local level in the Irish Government’s overall National Action Plan for Jobs The LECP contains a high-level economic priority and associated strategic actions of direct relevance to the [email protected] SMEs project as follows: • LECP High-Level Economic Priority1 : To promote and enable appropriate economic development opportunities throughout the county • Strategic Action E1.3: Promotion and support of smaller indigenous economic opportunities in all appropriate settlements in the county and micro-enterprise opportunities in all parts of the county, including rural areas  The policy instrument needs to be improved to incorporate practical solutions for SMEs in rural areas to exploit the innovation support system Which partners are working on this? Tipperary County Council Operational Programme for the Implementation of the EU Cohesion Policy 2014-2020, Directive 2014/95/EU Operational Programme for the Implementation of the EU cohesion Policy 2014-2020 is a centralised OP for territorial development of Slovenia, covering all 11 Thematic Objectives. Our goal is to improve Priority 9: “CLLD with specific goal better economic and social inclusion of the society, where creation of entrepreneurial activities and innovative development partnerships. The new business opportunities in the countryside has to be further fostered and developed; specific emphasis has to be on support to creation of innovative SMEs in the countryside. On the basis of the data from 2013 there is a lack of financial mechanisms for start-ups and also lack of entrepreneurial culture, more aggravated in the rural areas. The programme should be better developed in themes that concerns the: - creation of entrepreneurial activities and innovative development partnerships - specific measures and services for encouragement of the entrepreneurship in rural areas. Especially is important to tackle the issue of young entrepreneurs in countryside where specific attention need to be given to the young with potentials, women and other vulnerable groups that are facing threat of social exclusion that has little or no opportunities for the development of own entrepreneurial ideas due to lack of knowledge and different skills needed for successful start ups.   Which partners are working on this? BSC, Business support centre Ltd, Kranj O.P. of Western Grecee 2014-2020 The policy instrument addressed above is the first priority axis in Regions operational program 2014-2020 with a total budget of 70,4 m.€ , making obvious the need to be further supported and improved. The reasons it should be improved are: i) The vision for Western Greece as described in the operational program 2014-2020 is to become an innovation pole for scientists, researchers and SMEs. In that framework support will be given to entrepreneurs, SMEs and clusters especially in cases that innovation is embedded in the value chains. SMEs have been identified as a key factor not only for the improvement of competitiveness of the Region but also as a necessary condition for the recovery of regional economy and labor market. ii) A recent analysis (2014) of the Greek Ministry of Development shows that Western Greece has a very strong concentration of workers in the rural areas and agriculture ( 9th among 272 European regions) – as also in SMEs workers( 26th among 272 European regions). Having these in mind the Region’s rural SME’s play a significant role to the reconstruction of Region’s productive base .   iii) Τhe implementation of RIS3 strategy till now in the Region has highlighted the importance of supporting rural SMEs in a more holistic approach, establishing links with research institutes and commerce organizations. It’s remarkable the consensus of all the regional research and commerce players to focus on the rural SMEs as the locomotive of a sustainable development.  Which partners are working on this? REGIONAL DEVELOPMENT FUND OF REGION OF WESTERN GREECE ON BEHALF OF REGION OF WESTERN GREECE Economic Development and Innovation Operative Program Within Széchenyi 2020, the Economic Development and Innovation Operation Programme (GINOP) is dealing with the issue of the project. The policy instrument related to the approach called Needs of territories with serious environmental or demographic unbalance. The core aim of this approach that the disadvantaged territories find external and gain internal resources to catch up and renew. 1.priority: Develop the competitiveness and employment of businesses 3.priority: ICT developments 5.priority: Employment encouraging and develop the business adaptability The policy instrument should be developed based on territorial point of view. The operative programme mainly appoints sectoral development priorities and it has no exact territorial context. With the help of the project our agency could analyse and classify the most disadvantageous rural areas and make different suggestions based on the local needs.   The allocated fund of this priority axis is 1 344 675 091 €. (Development of SMEs’ competitiveness and employment enhancing)  Which partners are working on this? Central Transdanubian Regional Innovation Agency Nonprofil Ltd.  Competitiveness Operational  Programme, Priority axis 1 – Research, technological development and innovation (RDI) to support economic competitiveness and business development and Priority Axis 2 - Information and Communications Technology (ICT) for a competitive digital economy, Investments The Competitiveness Operational Programme (COP), in Romania, address the challenges stemming from the low support for research, development and innovation (RDI) and the under-developed information and communication technologies (ICT) services and infrastructure. By investing in these areas, the COP aims to contribute to bolster the competitiveness of the Romanian economy The Programme focus on 2 main priorities: A1.Research, development and innovation supporting economic competitiveness and the development of businesses (Budget € 952.57 million) A2.Information and communication technologies for a competitive digital economy investments (Budget € 630.2 million) Policy instruments oriented on encouraging investments and growth are usually managed by the cities capital of regions or country not very well connected to the rural areas. Many rural business, in Romania, suffer from insufficient access to innovation structures and knowledge, finance, communication, logistics, etc) hence good practices, from different European regions, need to be promoted to local stakeholders (including authorities), to increase their capacity to initiate/ manage entrepreneurial activities and stimulate the creation of networks and clusters for developing new products and services in rural areas    The policy instrument is not reaching enough the stakeholders from rural areas and it needs to have a better approach to entrepreneurship initiatives and business development opportunities in these areas Which partners are working on this? Chamber of Commerce and Industry Bistrita Nasaud, Romania Pacto Territorial para a Empregabilidade do Ave (Ave Region Growth and Jobs Territorial Plan) (2014-2020) The municipalities integrating CIM Ave are implementing this policy instrument for Ave Region that is operated under CIM Ave responsibility. The main objective of the policy instrument is to enhance the competitiveness of enterprises, and to strengthen the region competitiveness by promoting the investment in innovation, R&D and diversifying and strengthening SMEs, with the aim of increasing participation in the processes of growth and innovation.   The priorities of this policy instrument are:  - Stimulating entrepreneurship by facilitating the support for the economic exploitation of new ideas and fostering the creation of new enterprises, including through business incubators;  - Developing and applying new business models for SMEs, The reasons for the improvement of the policy instrument addressed are:    - Innovative activities that must involve rural/peri-urban areas, currently lagging behind the main urban centres    - SMEs in the Ave Region are facing viability challenges, not only due to the outbreak of the financial crisis, but also due to the low integration of R&D results. To this end, the region acknowledges the need to develop innovation support services, so that SMEs can exploit new technologies and models to develop innovative products and have access to new markets.    - Promote less bureaucratic procedures and low speed of evaluation and funding processes that are the main obstacles for growth/innovation faced by rural economy SMEs in the region  Which partners are working on this? Ave Intermunicipal Community - CIM Ave Sign up for the Rural SMEs newsletter Subscribe now LinkedIn Join the conversation about development in the world of #ruralsmes on LinkedIn with us... 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Type: Project 01/05/2020 A Policy Brief from the Policy Learning Platform The below infographic shows the most relevant projects related to rural SMEs and rural innovation Type: Project 03/04/2020 The Value of Farming Life It is not prudent to become a farmer for the sake of earning money only, this job can be done only if one is passionate about animals Type: Project 26/09/2019 Financial tools for innovative rural SMEs Financial tools for innovative Rural SME’s Type: Project 26/09/2019 Greenhouses and synergies with SMEs Central role of the farming community and the impact of climate change. Type: Project 26/09/2019 Network of Teleworking and Tele-Education Centres Addressing geographical challenges using teleconferencing Type: Project 26/09/2019 Patras Science Park Tour of Patras Science Park incubation and innovation facilities Type: Project 26/09/2019 Innovative local Greek produce facilities Study visit to Greek olives, herb, tomatoes and botargo production facilities Type: Project 20/06/2019 Romania: 10th Meeting with Stakeholders The evolving Action Plan for the region of Bistrita-Nasaud in NW Romania. Type: Project 20/06/2019 Rural SMEs InfoDay An opportunity for rural and future entrepreneurs to learn more about the Rural SMEs project. Type: Project
09/12/2020
The voucher system helped Rivertum gain the funds needed to patent protect their technology.
Type: Project
22/10/2018
On Monday 22nd of October, the European Resource Efficiency Knowledge Centre will hold a workshop on 'SMEs, circularity and Cluster organisations' in Vienna.
Type: Other