The AdriaFootouring project (acronym for Adriatic Food and Tourism: Innovating smes) is part of the European programme IPA Adriatic Cross – Border Cooperation Programme. It has involved 11 partners from Italy (Abruzzo, Emilia Romagna and Veneto), Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Montenegro e Slovenia. It aims to promote the development of tools and services to encourage the growth and innovation skills of the existing and new born SMEs involved in the tourism and agribusiness sectors. Adria Footouring project website link.
The project was started in 2012 and it has investigated issues related to innovation and existing local support organizations for small and medium enterprises of the agri-food and tourism sectors. Information about the needs, lacks and obstacles to innovation were collected by means of interviews and debates with the operators of the Adriatic areas that were engaged in the project.
The Adria incubator is the result of the analysis of such issues, and it aims to provide those tools required by entrepreneurs when a process of innovation is started. It supports entrepreneurs to face the risks that arise along their way to innovation and competitiveness.
Particularly relevant in this project has been the cooperation of economic and academic bodies, local agencies and innovation centers that have supplied skills and useful information to respond to the needs of the entrepreneurs that represent the incentive to the growth and innovation of the territory involved.
- defining innovation needs of SMEs and business supporting providers and collect best practices mainly related to financial support to innovation;
- promoting the concept and systematic practices of sustainable innovation trough study visits to innovative SMEs;
- increasing the diffusion of the culture of innovation among the communities through special events;
- organizing transnational and regional dissemination conferences to improve transnational exchange;
- building a pilot innovative concept of the innovation support service, through the implementation of a virtual incubator.
- boosting innovative capacity of traditional sectors such as tourism and food, by improving the innovation environment;
- improving the capacity and effectiveness of business support organizations involved in innovation services;
- increasing the innovation potential of traditional economic sectors, thanks to the help of enabling sectors such as ICT;
- contributing to foster the integration process, by offering IPA regions the opportunity to join a network of institutions being already part of territorial innovation systems, and to exchange good practices on innovation promotion