green groWing of SMEs: Innovation and Development .. (WIDER)
green groWing of SMEs: Innovation and Development in the energy sector in mEd aRea
Coherently with general object 1.1 -Strengthening innovation capacities-� WIDER aims to contribute to the identification and strengthening of innovation capacities, knowledge management and networking of Mediterranean SMEs in order to reinforce their position in the energy sector and to increase their potential at transnational level. Indeed, WIDER aims at improving and sharing knowledge management regarding innovation, markets opportunities and new products of SMEs all along the supply chain of the eco-smart housing for independent living of elderly sector in all the 7 focused MED regional industrial areas. Thanks to the implementation of 7 regional targeted pilot projects, the selected local SMEs -actually or potentially belonging to the eco-smart housing for elderly sector- have the chance to gain, improve and share competencies regarding the increase of the value of their own products or the repositioning of new ones on wider target market segments through an energy efficiency and end-user centered approach. Moreover, it contributes to reinforce both economic competitiveness to match international concurrence and the environmental performances of all the 7 focused MED regions. In addition, WIDER intends to contribute to enhance elderly customers' lifestyle while helping them to use energy in a cleaner and better way and improve energy saving until autonomy of their residence. As well, WIDER aims at supporting the selected local SMEs capacities of local, national, European and international cooperation, clustering and networking to share information, create synergies, capitalize and disseminate experiences and results. Besides, it will be strengthened the cooperation between SMEs, research, innovation centres, intermediary bodies to foster innovation. WPs are: 1.Management and Coordination 2. Information, awareness raising and Capitalization 3.Measures to favour user-driven innovation for eco-smart housing for elderly 4.Pilot action to enhance user-driven innovation of smart eco-systems approaching emergent market 5.Networking to favour transnational thematic synergies. WIDER partnership is composed of 10 partners (4 RDAs, 1 public university, 1 non-profit association aimed at animating the regional RDC, 1 chamber of commerce, 1 energy agencies, 2 transnational networks oriented at economic development) from 7 countries from the extreme Occidental boundaries of MED Programme (Algarve) to the extreme Eastern ones (Central Macedonia) crossing other 5 eligible areas (Catalonia, Rhone-Alpes, Marche, Slovenia and Sarajevo Macro Region). Moreover, 5 external partners: users interests are brought by the European Network AGE Platform and the Italian Trade Union CNA Retired, joining as external partners along with a big telecom company, a leading ICT company and an association of AAL companies. The project lasts 30 months (from January 2013 to June 2015) and the budgets is -� 2.525.746,00. Achievements: VOUCHER WINNERSThrough a transnational innovation voucher scheme promoted in 7 pilot areas WIDER funded the implementation of 39 innovation projects for a total amount of 350.000 EUR. Learn more about the awarded projects from WIDER pilot areas: • Algarve, Portugal (6 projects)• Catalonia, Spain (6 projects)• Central Macedonia, Greece (5 projects)• Marche region, Italy (5 projects)• Rhone-Alpes, France (5 projects)• Sarajevo Macro region, Bosnia and Herzegovina (7 projects)• The Heart of Slovenia, Slovenia (5 projects)STP ambassador programme highlights impact of innovation vouchersThe WIDER (Green Growing of SMEs) STP ambassador programme is having great success in the six participating STPs across the Med area of Europe.Beneficiaries of the innovation vouchers were SMEs working on technology and innovations aimed at energy efficiency, eco-smart housing, and sustainability, stemming from the need to improve the living conditions for the elderly, and taking into account the rapidly ageing population in Europe. Inaugural events were held in each STP in order to highlight the importance of this topic, and to showcase the possibilities this segment of the market can hold for SMEs and researchers. Between the 6 STP ambassadors close to 5,200 participants attended the various exhibitions and accompanying events.Eco-smart solutions for the elderly presented in the WIDER roadshow Through the Vouchers scheme of the WIDER project were funded six innovative projects of Algarve SME, totaling 50,000 euros, aimed at improving the autonomy and the quality of life of the elderly.The innovative projects from Algarve include a healthy and eco-ventilation heating system, a system for monitoring the quality of the air, a georeferenced tracking device for indoors, a belt that mitigates falls, a "toilet-bidet" and even a house "drawer "!In each of the three campuses of the University of Algarve in Faro, there were workshops where the awarded projects were presented. The workshops also included lectures related to the topics of WIDER: Energy Efficiency on Buildings, on 4th June (Fátima Farinha, High Institute of Engineering, Penha), Active and Healthy Aging in the Algarve Region, on 9th June (Nídia Braz, High School of Health) and Population Aging, on 16th June (Ana Teixeira, the Faculty of Economics).
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