Acronym of the projectAGROINNOECO

Duration:  24 months (01.09.2017 – 31.08.2019)


PROGRAMME rationale:  Priority Axes 1: Entrepreneurship & Innovation T.O. 3: Enhancing the competitiveness of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs)

Specific Objective 1.2 Innovative territories I.P. 3d: Supporting the capacity of SME-s to grow in regional, national and international markets and to engage in innovation processes

Lead Partner:  Regional Development Fund of Region of Western Greece (GR)


Technological Educational Institute of Western Greece (GR)

Chamber of Achaia (GR)

Cyprus University of Technology

Bulgarian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BG)

Chamber of Commerce and Industry Tirana (AL)

University of Tirana (AL)

Project Description:

One of the key determinants for the growth of an entrepreneurial society is the empowerment of private initiatives & the nurture of new enterprise on their way to sustainability. In the Balkan Med (BM) territory, there are enough individuals wishing to become entrepreneurs but they lack of business abilities skills. Also, in the BM Regions, there are high unemployment rates, especially youth unemployment, but high education attainment levels are close to EU-28 average (28.4%). The opportunities that appear in these regions are the relatively high level of SMEs’ creation, the EU initiatives to promote employment creation the initiatives for linking research innovation with the enterprise sector. This project will encourage these opportunities with its outputs &results and it’s directly related to the objective of enhancing the competitiveness of SMEs through supporting the capacity of SMEs to grow in regional, national & international markets &to engage in innovation processes. It will develop an open innovative business friendly ecosystem, based on the 3 pillars of a “triple helix” that will facilitate the identification, maturing & promotion of innovative entrepreneurial ideas in Agro food sector.  It will define a methodology, which is whole an experimental application of a scientific model to be tested, that will facilitate the innovation transfer to the Agro food (inc. agro/aquaculture) sector.  .

The project will address the issue of pre-incubation in Agro food Sector (inc. Agro/Aquaculture) as a necessary step for filling the existing gap between institutes of higher education and development structures, for the facilitation of transfer innovation. Pre-incubators can provide a risk reduced environment where innovative ideas with commercialization potential, generated by young innovators and existing entrepreneurs, can be further developed and tested for market viability before founding a company. In a broader context, the project addresses the concept of pre-incubation as an important mechanism for providing the necessary knowledge and skills to young innovators and existing innovative entrepreneurs in order to start their own enterprise.

General Objective: To improve innovative territories by unleashing territorial potential to improve the transnational innovation capacity of the business sector and developing the appropriate environment in the BM regions.

Specific Objectives: To provide adequate support to SMEs in order to improve their adjustment capacity to the changing socioeconomic and policy circumstances, by:

  • supporting business model innovation;
  • encouraging enterprises to develop and promote innovative products/services,
  • promoting networking and clustering;
  • providing integrated management support and governance to boost innovation and technology transfer strategies,
  • creating a culture of entrepreneurship,
  • contributing in qualifying young entrepreneurs to found and manage a company on their own,
  • facilitating the innovation transfer to the sector,
  • Assisting in increasing the number of business companies in the BM regions.

Main activities:

WP 1   Project management;

WP 2   Communication and dissemination;

WP 3   Experience of knowledge & experience on good practices;

WP 4   Development of a pre-incubation model for promoting and

supporting entrepreneurship;

WP 5   Pilot implementation of pre-incubation model;

WP 6   Networking of Business ideas and recommendations for future steps.

Main results:

Increase the attractiveness of the region for young and existing innovative entrepreneurs by promoting socio-economic development;

Support the development of innovative entrepreneurship through commercial exploitation of Agro food sector and foster an eco-friendly business for growth and jobs and by providing those trainings and coaching;

Creation of a network of experts in entrepreneurship, innovation and entrepreneurial education for knowledge transfer;

Contribute in merging education with business practice and with the economic needs of the regions;

Create common understanding about business model innovation and commercialization of innovation;

Develop the entrepreneurial skills and mindset of the participants, improving their opportunities in the labor market.

Main outputs:

Good practice report on pre-incubation activities at EU & BM Region,

Transferability assessment of pre-incubation good practice features.

Based on the lessons learned,

  • a pre-incubation model for the BM territory which will create suitable conditions for supporting innovation entrepreneurship even online.
  • Report on key features of the pre-incubation model in the BM territory,
  • Documented implementation procedures for a successful pre-incubation model,
  • Creation of an open Virtual Hub.

During the pilot implementation in the regions:

  • Average selection of 12 participants
  • 3-4 Open access dissemination events,
  • 1 “pre-incubation space in Patras
  • Open 5 training sessions per region
  • 5 study tours,
  • 5 workshops,
  • Individual practical training
  • Monitoring & evaluation report of the pre-incubation model & their results,
  • Development of a business plan/participant
  • 12 Enterprises cooperating with research institutions
  • 6 Enterprises supported to introduce new to the firm

The project is co-funded by the European Union and by the National Funds of the participating countries.



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