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Collaboration for identity-based economic development (COLLABOR8)
Start date: May 9, 2007, End date: Nov 29, 2013 PROJECT  FINISHED 

AIM To contribute to the economic prosperity. sustainability & cultural identity of NWE in increasingly competitive global markets. This will be done by forming & supporting new clusters in the Cultural. Creative. Countryside. Recreation. & Hospitality(CCCRH) sectors using uniqueness of place as a binding force & overcoming barriers to regional & transnational collaboration. THE PROBLEM Globalisation creates homogeneous businesses often unconnected with a region’s locality or cultural identity. A place’s uniqueness is a potential asset for enterprises to develop distinct products & services & to collaborate. Rural areas. in particular. face economic hardship with declining populations & disappearing traditional landscapes. This requires careful economic restructuring to strengthen their economies & protect their landscapes. cultural diversity & traditions. Europe has an important economic & social asset: its rich cultural diversity.Despite the EU breaking down barriers to trade across local. regional & national boundaries. CCCRH enterprises do not work together as effectively as in other parts of the world. In a rural area of South Africa. formerly of low economic diversity. an arts/hospitality trail grew from 10 enterprises collaborating into a thriving consortium of 180 complementary enterprises within 10 years. There is little evidence of such models in Europe. CCCRH enterprises (40-65% of private sector workers) mostly operate independently & in competition to one another. This does not maximise the potential of an area or collective marketing/trade benefits. APPROACH COLLABOR8 will use cultural identity as a powerful device for collaboration across regions & mixed sectors to offer a ‘critical mass’ of products/services. Partners will support consortia to use new technology & sustainability/quality standards to give them leading advantages & link them regionally & transnationally by a common code of practice that contributes to sustainable economic prosperity. Achievements: 80 Cluster involving more than 2,500 enterprises leading to the development of 62 new joint products and services and 26 new brands. More importantly, the project has resulted in the establishment of 19 transnational initiatives. These numbers speak for themselves. The Collabor8 project has proven to have been hugely successful and has far exceeded its original targets. These clusters consisted of businesses involved in the Cultural, Creative, Countryside, Recreation and Hospitality sectors and were brought together in order to contribute to the economic prosperity, sustainability and cultural identity of NEW using the uniqueness of place as the binding force.Most of these clusters continue to thrive and develop including the Go Kerry initiative in the lead partner area of South Kerry. This initiative has actually succeeded in uniting the county of Kerry as a whole with the businesses involved coming together to market their regions and their neighbours as strongly as they market themselves. The use and promotion of local food was also a theme that united businesses in clusters and one which enabled much transnational learning transfer amongst the partners. To the fore here were the Flemish Land Agency in Belgium (VLM) who worked with local producers and restaurant owners to produce the “de Merode Box” idea of local products and the South Downs National Park Authority who developed the Sussex Breakfast concept of sourcing locally produced food to serve in the local businesses. Indeed SDNPA also developed a range of recipe cards using local products that was picked up on and used by Tourism East Flanders. The whole concept of utilising local food products and the multiple opportunities that exist to present these in different ways for the visitor was further promoted in a pilot TV programme developed by SKDP in conjunction with the New Dutch Waterline and SDNPA.Another key area of collaboration between the partners and indeed one that produced a successful long term output was in the area of recreation. Angling in particular proved a source of inspiration for the development of clusters with the exchange of the Angling Passport idea from the Westcountries Rivers Trust to SKDP who then went on to develop the Go Angling Kerry on-line booking system for the region. The BBNPA, MTCBC and SDNPA were also strongly involved in this initiative.Utilising new technologies effectively was another key concept in this project and Studio VMK provided excellent training and advice to all businesses involved, not just on the technology but they led by example on demonstrating the benefits for all involved in working together through clustering.It is a tribute to the project that many of these clusters continue to thrive and develop and the links established between the different partner areas are still in place to this day. They all still promote the key cornerstones of the project - sustainable development, quality, utilising new technology and above all, promoting the unique sense of place that makes each area special. C8 - helping to sustainably enhance the economics of rural regions in North West Europe.The COLLABOR8 success story – for more check out information: Lead Partner +353 66 9761615 (Sean de Buitlear)
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  • 50%   5 996 289,45
  • 2007 - 2013 North West Europe
  • Project on KEEP Platform
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