Euro-Mediterranean cooperation projects 2021 framework: time to act, stronger together

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Photo: First Annual Assembly of the Blue Growth Community, 4 February 2020

Euro-Mediterranean cooperation projects embrace relationships between Mediterranean countries and organisations to work on top priorities for the wellbeing of the region that other ways would be very difficult when relaying only on the private sector. More so, because these projects mobilize millions of euros and set the path to continue to develop such transversal priorities for a more prosperous future for all the Mediterranean citizens based on green, blue and digital economy. 

In the COVID-19 scenario and aiming at the economic recovery of the Mediterranean private sector, all the projects from ASCAME’s network will be at the service of the Chambers of Commerce and the Mediterranean Private sector/SMEs playing an essential role, as instruments tackling important elements on economic reactivation, green economy, energy efficiency, cultural heritage, innovation, investment, and technology.

In that sense, several ASCAME members are involved in Euro-Mediterranean cooperation projects as they add strong value to the consortiums through their unique set of expertise and extensive networks in the MED region’s private sector. All of these projects aim to serve as an instrument to tackle important elements to boost the economic recovery of the Mediterranean region and to establish synergies with other members and networks of stakeholders.

Thus, during this 2021 and through its participation in the Euro-Mediterranean Cooperation Projects, ASCAME and its network will work through capital topics to empower a more equitable socio-economic recovery, repair and revitalise the Mediterranean economy:

Digital Economy and Innovation:

  • Microfinance and investment support system for SMEs: developing an innovative supporting model to facilitate access to funding for “non-bankable” people allowing many young and women’s entrepreneurs to create, develop and run their own enterprises. Creating a database listing all microfinance schemes available in the Mediterranean area and offering microfinance packages mixing direct support (sub-grant) and crowdfunding to support the growth of the best business ideas selected.

Projects involved: MEDSt@rts (Med microfinance support system for start-ups), EBSOMED (Enhancing business support organisations and business networks in the Southern Neighbourhood).

  • MSMEs innovation: strengthen transnational innovation networks, clusters and value chains and create new jobs, drive efficient resource use and accelerate the process of generating, diffusing and applying innovative ideas, concepts and business models. Tangible solutions for target groups will be provided through cross-border business events and creating a governance model to strengthen the traditional sectors and provide innovative business support to enterprise and start-up to better compete on the markets.

Projects involved: INVESTMED (InNoVativE Sustainable sTart-ups for the MEDiterranean), CRE@CTIVE (Innovation for bringing creativity to activate Traditional Sectors in MED area).

  • Technological transfer: develop an integrated innovation ecosystem at local level to support technological transfer and commercialization through mentorship programmes, development of product/services by selected start-ups and spin-offs.

Projects involved: iHERITAGE (ICT Mediterranean platform for UNESCO cultural heritage), INTECMED (Incubators for innovation and technological transfer in the Mediterranean), INTERNISA, TECHLOG.

  • Innovative Social and Solidarity Economy (SSE): work for services provision to unemployed people, focusing on vulnerable groups through train-the-trainer workshops and sessions, sub-grants to support innovative SSE initiatives, and agreements between public administrations and relevant stakeholders for coordinated planning and implementation of social services.

Projects involved: MoreThanAJob (Reinforcing social and solidarity economy for the unemployed, uneducated and refugees).

  • Innovation brokers: increase the capacity of public authorities & innovation brokers to facilitate access of innovative start-ups, youths and women entrepreneurs to Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) and commercialisation schemes, and improved capacities of start-ups, youths and women entrepreneurs for efficient and fruitful IP management, through training sessions on IPR use and management, personalised IP and innovation related services provided to start-ups, young and women entrepreneurs, and policy reviews aiming at aligning IP laws, regulations and practices in the participating countries with international best practices.

Projects involved: IPMED (IP Capacities for Smart, Sustainable and Inclusive Growth in the MEDiterranean Region).

  • Innovation in the Agri-food sector: boosting women labor participation and entrepreneurship, by leveraging on the potential of the agri-food sector and showing a significant level of untapped potential in terms of innovation and growth through women trainings in marketable skills in the agri-food sector, coaching and mentoring programmes, traineeship programmes for women on Rural Social Innovation and agreements for a local agri-food stakeholder network to help match between job offers and demand.

Projects involved: InnovAgroWoMed (Social Innovation in the Agri-food sector for Women’s Empowerment in the Mediterranean sea basin).

  • Textile Business Development: supporting initiatives for the internationalization, innovation and technology upgrading and circular economy in the textile/clothing industry and boosting the MSMEs participation in key business events and internationalization/innovations fairs.

Projects involved: TEX-MED ALLIANCES (Textile Mediterranean Alliances for Business Development, Internationalization and Innovation).

 

Green Economy:

  • Organic Ecosystem and agro-food alliances: creating more efficient tools and services and, in consequence, increase the competitiveness of organic MSMEs that will scale-up and access new markets. Create new job opportunities and leverage income for organic farmers, thus contributing to soil conservation and environmental sustainability. In that sense, it will be created an organic cross-border network for cooperation, dialogue, knowledge transfer among stakeholders of the organic sector, trainings to provide MSMEs with tools and methods aimed at boosting organic production, processing and marketing, and MSMEs will receive consultancy services to facilitate their entry in innovative organic value chains and participating in international agro-food fairs.

Projects involved: ORGANIC ECOSYSTEM (Boosting cross border Organic Ecosystem through enhancing agro-food alliances).

  • Sustainable Tourism: offering training sessions organised on sustainable destination management, developing Adventure Tourism (AT) products, especially off-season, based on a thorough understanding of market demand drivers, supply and competitiveness variables, promoting a multi-stakeholder engagement to capacity building and exchanging of experiences and adopt strategic alliances, and implementing pilot actions through a cross-border marketing alliances to international source markets.

Projects involved: MEDUSA (Development and promotion of Mediterranean sustainable adventure tourism), MED PEARLS (The Mediterranean as an innovative, integral and unique destination for Slow Tourism initiatives).

  • Resource Efficiency (RE) services: by setting up demonstrators in Lebanon, Jordan and Egypt through 6 innovative RE services; launching innovation One-stop-shops established and Innovation Voucher Services for SMEs tested; organising B2B events and 9 company missions to promote technological cooperation among Mediterranean SMEs; and training events to enhance the technical and management capacities of local SMEs.

Projects involved:  MAIA-TAQA (Mobilizing new Areas of Investments and Together Aiming to increase Quality of life for All).

  • Sustainable Development: boosting sustainable management through better use of natural resources mapping and analysis of the economic, environmental and regulatory state across the Mediterranean, pilot actions for the development of new products/services, strategic marketing plan and networking spaces.

Projects involved: MedArtSal (Sustainable management model for Mediterranean Artisanal Salinas).

  • Energy and water management: development of new products and services addressed to the efficient use of water and energy and reduction in consumption by 10%, creating a cross-border eco-Innovation support center, offering sub-grants to purchase innovative products, services, equipment and eco-innovative products and services designed specifically for the hotel industry, and organising spin-offs created out of the project.

Projects involved: GREENinMED (Speeding up the MED SMEs' uptaking of eco-innovative solutions in energy and water management), NEX-LABS (nexus-driven open labs for competitive and inclusive growth in the Mediterranean).

  • Environmental protection: create direct jobs for young people, thanks to the socio-economic viability of 60 incubator projects and the improved employability of participants in the "Mediterranean Practical School for Sustainable Development" and related international mobility programme and the creation of an online platform for social educators with training tools on environment and sustainable development skills.

Projects involved: RESMYLE (Rethinking employment and social integration of young Mediterranean people through sustainable development).

 

Blue Economy:

  • Job creation in the Blue Economy sector: develop port-logistics dual technical and vocational education and training resources adapted to the sector needs, launch learning programmes with job placement programmes and set up partnerships between key stakeholders belonging to Ports connected to international trade.

Projects involved: YEP MED (youth employment in ports of the Mediterranean).

  • Reinforcement of the Blue Growth: reinforcement of the cross-cutting and integrated dynamics between projects and transnational key stakeholders and support Mediterranean clusters in their transnational activities processes. Furthermore, enhancing the dissemination and transferability of projects results, ensuring a wider and deeper impact towards external multilevel stakeholders, contributing to the sustainable socio-economic development of the Mediterranean area through innovative investments in the Blue economy. Projects involved: BLUE GROWTH COMMUNITY (Capitalization & communication project for Blue Economy innovation in the Mediterranean).

 

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