EXTRA-SMEs (Improving policies to boost SME competitiveness and extraversion in EU coastal and rural areas where aquaculture is a driver of the regional economy) is an Interreg Europe funded partnership project working across eight EU regions to improve specific regional policies and to increase the competitiveness of inland and coastal SMEs within the aquaculture value chain.
The project objective is to identify and promote best practices with a view to simplifying administrative procedures in aquaculture sector, supporting internationalization and expansion of SMEs in wider markets, and engaging them in innovation processes that will serve as drivers for job creation.
EXTRA-SMEs aims to improve the implementation of regional development policies and programs, in particular of investment programs for growth and job creation and, where appropriate, ETC programs, to support SMEs at all stages of their lifecycle.
In order to ensure the proper implementation of the project, the partners have undertaken the following specific objectives:
- Increase the capacity of regional authorities to effectively implement policies on SMEs entrepreneurial development, internationalization and extraversion.
- Identify innovation pathways and raise awareness on the benefits of modernization of the aquaculture SMEs value chain.
- Incentivize investments, outwards-looking entrepreneurship, address limited access to finance, lack of knowledge and inability to expand in wider markets.
The project runs from June 2018 to May 2023 and includes the following partners:
Region of Peloponnese – Lead Partner
Northern Chamber of Commerce in Szczecin
Bucharest-Ilfov Regional Development Agency
Lapland University of Applied Sciences
University of Patras
Western Development Commission
Liguria Cluster for Marine Technologies
Public institution National Regions Development Agency
The total budget is 1,765,617 euros, of which the budget of the Bucharest-Ilfov Regional Development Agency is 176,367 euros.