Balkan Ideas Network for Sustainable Innovations in the Agro-Food Sector

Acronym

BALKANET
Priority axis Enterpreneurship and Innovation
Specific Objective Innovative territories
Call 1st Call for Project Proposals
Lead Partner Chamber of Ilia
Partners Agency for Regional and Economic Development of Vratsa
Agricultural University of Tirana
Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Tirana
Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Vratsa
Development Company of the Region of Western Greece S.A. OTA
Budget 866.674,18
BALKANET project is inspired by the following three elements: the awareness that it is strategically important to facilitate innovative business models in agro-food sector of BMP area, the conviction that is important to improve transnational cooperation opportunities of the target area, it is necessary to enhance an operative Network through local SME's and research centres with particular regard to young innovators skills, the importance of comunication transferring of best practices to foster sustainable growth of the area. The overall objective of the project is to favour the potential of innovation, the promotion of applied research and the support to SMEs sustainable adjustment capacity.

The added value of the project is to cover strategic agro-food topic areas:
1) Agriculture/farming methods and techniques;
2) Product processing;
3) Packaging and marketing.

The project proposal answers to some of specific needs of the target areas: optimize the role of a key local activity like agro-food sector; face to the actual socioeconomical frame, conditioned by high unemployment rates, especially of young people; to increase SME's competitiveness with special reference to sustainable innovative models. To address such problems and needs identified, the project will produce some relevant outputs connected to the following three specific objectives:
1) Identifying, analyzing and sharing of existing agro-food best practices and innovative business models valorisation in the BMP area;
2) Transanational Cooperation Network between public/private research centers and local enterprises in order to improve SME's efficienty and adjustment capacity, with particular reference to the improvment of young innovators skills and business competences;
3) Raising awareness, transferring knowledge and fostering common understanding about the importance of sustainable business innovations in agro-food sector of BMP area.

The main outputs are:
1) The creation of Balkanet Transnational Network of agro-food SME's, research centers, public administrations and local stakholders mainly with the support of digital devices;
2) the transferring activities through best practices and innovative agro-food experiences and to foster commercialization, internazionalization and connections of local SMEs and their agrofood product/processes (Balkanet Innovative Agro-food Models BtoB meetings);
3) Focusing on civil society and local stakeholders to share project outputs and to promote a new model of sustainable socioeconomic growth (Transnational Balkanet agro-food Festivals).

The project approach (quadruple helix) is based on the development of joint analyses, methodologies and ICT services that favour an integrated transnational process. According to this Balkanet can secure critical mass, enhancing mobilisation capacity and innovation potential to overcame markets fragmentation.
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