Main Parts of the Project

Transnational project and financial management

It relates to all activities carried out by beneficiaries for a sound implementation of APP4INNO, including all technical, economic and financial activities of management and reporting. It has the following goals: 1) proper implementation of the project content-wise, by timely realizing all outputs and indicators; 2) sound financial management, fulfilling obligations related to the management of ERDF and IPA funds as well as those related to the EU horizontal policies; 3) smooth communication among partners as well as with the relevant Programme bodies. The Lead Partner is responsible for the whole project management that will be carried out jointly by all beneficiaries, under the supervision of a Project Steering Committee (PSC). PSC provides the main strategic decisions concerning the whole implementation as well as monitors the achievements of the project. The processes of implementation will be represented in a ’Project Audit Trail’ in which all actors and outputs of the project administrative management will be identified. The tight cooperation and coordination is ensured by a Project Help Desk. Each partner takes care of the technical-administrative management of their own specific activities and of the related financial accountability duties. Lead Partner assures the whole technical-administrative and financial project management towards the Programme Authorities.

Communication activities

Communication activities relate to all activities of information, dissemination and knowledge management of the project, aiming at broadly raising common awareness at the level of the policy makers, operators and general public and at spreading technical know-how and innovation in agriculture. To this purpose, each PP appoints a communication manager, who will work in contact with the PHD. Activities are realized according to an internal and external strategy both at transnational and regional level. For a clear presentation and recognizability a project coordinated profile is developed for all internal and external communication. The means for performing the communication activities are through the use of electronic media (website and wiki tools) as well as digital and hard copies of materials, e.g. brochures and leaflets. Both are developed in all project languages to ensure a wide understanding and spreading of information. Above these horizontal communication means, dissemination of project results oriented to target group is foreseen in technical parts, in which events for involving the target group and raising the awareness of policy makers are foreseen. The partners utilize their relevant local/national and international networks to create strategic dissemination alliances and actively publish articles in magazines and journals. Events of cross-border dissemination of project contents and results are scheduled (kick-off meeting, final conference), with the involvement of local policy makers and stakeholders.

Development of tools, services and targets for the competitiveness of the primary sector

The project part aims at defining the methodological framework for the establishment of the Platform. The platform’s characteristics are defined in terms of modalities, contents and targets of its main activities; it is a common support tool for agricultural SMEs to maintain a position on the international market, by promoting innovation. To this purpose, three main aspects are tackled: (1) the definition of approaches and therefore of services that the Platform should provide to agricultural SMEs; (2) the definition of the fields of action, that are the horizontal topics, transversal to traditional agricultural sectors, to which the approaches and services provided by the Platform contribute; (3) the definition of minimum standards, in terms of competitive capacities and innovation potential, that should be owned by the agricultural enterprises to access to approaches and services of the Platform. The PPs produce two main reference documents, the ’Report on significant approaches to strengthen the competiveness of primary sector’ and the ’Operational manual for adopting development approaches in agriculture’ that are the basis for the implementation of further project actions.

Start up of the transnational permanent platform for the competitiveness of the primary sector

This part is about the establishment of the ’transnational permanent platform for the competitiveness of the primary sector’, i.e. a transnational SMEs support system run by the project partners. Through the platform the approaches and services are provided to the SMEs that work in the defined fields of action and show the necessary potentials defined by the partners in order to successfully introduce innovation and increase competitiveness. However, the transnational service platform for agricultural SMEs competitiveness is not a mere ’catalogue of services’ for SMEs, but it creates a transnational virtual ’meta-cluster’ of SMEs that, in the identified fields of action, cooperate, create synergies and aggregate critical mass. SMEs can interact not only with the project partners but also among themselves, triggering processes supporting the share of needs and the establishment of agreements and joint businesses. The project part includes the equipment and start up of the platform (in terms of human resources and IT instruments) by: (1) training the project partners’ internal staff who deliver the services; (2) setting in place the IT tools supporting the delivery of the services, also integrating the wiki tools. The ’community’ of agricultural service support actors and SMEs, established within the platform, are able to attract and activate synergies, at national and regional level, with institutions as well as other business support actors that benefit of the network contents and improve their capacity to perform their institutional roles.

Pilot actions for the application of services and for the promotion of immaterial value of primary activity

The project part consists of the pilot application, within the ’transnational permanent platform for the competitiveness of the primary sector’ of the approaches and services, in order to demonstrate their efficacy and suitability to generate innovation and to strengthen the competitiveness of the primary sector. The pilot testing is carried out with the support of the tools and technical services provided by the platform and its staff, bringing factual evidences to the target groups on the effectiveness of such approaches and tools. In addition, the procedures and the tools for the services are going to be fine tuned. The pilot actions therefore have highly demonstrative value, in terms of transfer to the agricultural sector of approaches and tools usually applied for the innovation and competitiveness of other sectors. The following specific effects will be generated by the pilot actions: (1) agricultural SMEs will be stimulated to introduce innovation and to establish networks, emulating the increased performances of the ones involved in the pilot actions; (2) local/regional/national institutions will have the opportunity to improve policies by integrating new approaches and tools for innovation in agriculture; (3) business support actors will have the opportunity to improve their capacities and effectiveness in reaching their institutional aims. It includes: (1) a ’competition of ideas’ for the selection of the best pilot actions proposed by SMEs; (2) the implementation of the pilot actions; (3) the targeted spreading of the results of the pilot actions both at regional and transnational level.

Assessment of results, capitalization and addresses for policies

The project part is focused on the validation and capitalization of the approaches and methodologies for the competitiveness of agricultural SMEs in order to promote their integration into policies in all involved regions. It translates the evidences of an increased competitiveness of SMEs, deriving from the project implementation, into policy addresses and commitments which will ensure the continuation of the project results in a wider geographical area also after the project end. In this regard the partnership commits itself in further building on the project results by means of a ’project follow-up pact’ set in place during the project implementation. Policy addresses will be provided at local, regional, national and transnational level, including the involvement of EU institutions and specific Steering Groups of macro-regional strategies (Danube). In order to ensure a large ownership of the project results, the effectiveness of the methodologies and approaches will be evaluated. The evaluation of the project results will be carried out with the participation of the agricultural SMEs, supporting the integration of the project achievements into structural policies for innovation in agriculture. The activities will encourage the capacity building of the following target groups:

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European Union European Regional Development RefundSouth East Europe

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