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Innovative Actions for Trade and Enterprise in the Mediterranean (INNOVATE-MED)
Start date: Mar 31, 2009, End date: Sep 29, 2011 PROJECT  FINISHED 

The final aim of INNOVATE-MED is to design coordinated strategies and set up innovative actions that enhance the potential for MED SMEs to act in an international market. The strategy will be designed on 3 levels. Firstly, common strategies will be developed between territorial authorities and the business community to support innovative clusters for internationalisation, to overcome the typical Med SMEs fragmented system and widespread generalised problems facing traditional economic sectors requiring modernization, partnership and diversification to better compete in international markets. Secondly, at cluster level, innovative internationalisation actions for enterprises will benefit the whole local economy and create and consolidate trade and partnership opportunities with similar actors in other partner regions. This is based on peer learning to allow guidance in developing innovative actions to be experimented at strategic level. Thirdly, as pilot actions, the partners will design an experimental marketing strategy for 2 horizontal clusters in sectors traditionally strong but in need of modernization, partnership and promotion to be competitive internationally and analyse market opportunities for innovative products. The active involvement of Chambers of Commerce and development agencies will ensure the bottom-up involvement of the key business stakeholders and a top-down process of capitalisation of results for territorial economic growth. Achievements: State of the art of project implementation since the project startTraditional, typical and high value added MED SMEs are typically fragmented and suffering from global competition and widespread generalised problems facing traditional economic sectors requiring modernization, partnership and diversification to better compete in international markets. The INNOVATE-MED project, with partners from Italy, Greece and Spain, part-financed by the Med programme, takes advantage of complementary situations in the Mediterrean area to jointly set up an innovative cluster approach for SMEs internationalisation. After a three-step process, partners have implemented a strategy of marketing and promotion for two horizontal clusters (food & wine and fashion) in traditional sectors, experimenting pilot opinion maker tours and an innovative marketing strategy to promote the two MED sectors. Synergies among partners are optimised in order to achieve economic critical mass for export and create high added value.Latest project activities and outputsAs the majority of SMEs in Naples (Italy), Valencia and Alicante (Spain), Dodecanese and Crete (Greece) are characterised by their deep-rooted traditions and high quality products but also by their isolation and lack of technical skills, the partners have focused on developing innovative strategies to improve the SMEs technical development, address the know-how gap and traditional framentation in these sectors, and thus achieve a higher level of competitiveness in the global market, through innovative export promotion clusters. Promoting a network of Cretan olive routes in the ANUGA trade fair in Cologne and presenting the INNOVATE-MED SME clusters for the food and wine sector and the fashion accessories and jewellery sector to 56 journalists and opinion-makers in Copenhagen at the CIFF Fair have been the experimental marketing actions aimed at enhancing the partners' internationalisation strategies.Next key steps for the projectThe project is now concluded.
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