The creation of economic opportunities across the European borders is one of the biggest challenges facedby cross-border cooperation. Projects seek to foster business and to help people improve their skills, with benefits for all communities on both sides of the European frontier.
Refugees on one side, ordinary activities on the other: the new normality of cross border cooperation – in countries closely linked to the conflict area – has shifted to double gear. As the crisis continues, the emergency is now “embedded” into daily routine, while efforts to keep going with previously planned activities, start yielding fruits.
“At the beginning, it was a research project but now it has become a large-scale project with interconnection between universities, researchers and economic actors. In the ENI CBC programmes one is never alone: this is the main added value of this programme.”
Dario Di Cara, Research Scientist in the Institute of Marine Engineering CNR-INM Palermo (Italy)
“Start-ups and new businesses begin with so much hope, excitement and promise, but the search for c capital is often challenging and stressful, whether you’re starting a business from scratches, or you are trying to find resources to push your start-up forward.”
“Our task is to create reasons to visit the Carpathian region. We do not just want to preserve elements of national culture, we want to package them nicely and present them as a tourist product, which can be sold by tourist operators.”
Lada Malanii, lead beneficiary marketing manager (Ukraine)
“This crisis has proved to us the importance of having short supply chains, especially in the food sector. Whatever happens in the world, people will always need food, even more when international supply chains are interrupted. Countries should be prepared to provide their citizens with local food products.”
Silja Lehtpuu, project manager at the Union of Setomaa (Estonia)
“A CBC programme is the ideal framework for this project as it aims to offer youngsters and start-ups the opportunity to develop a cross-border business, and to open for themselves new opportunities beyond their country borders.”
Arttu-Pekka Johannes Tavia, Oulu University of Applied Sciences (Finland)
“Our plan is to go through all the disruptive technologies and select the promising ones. Technologies such as Blockchain and the Robotic Process Automation, are expected to be the basis of the project.”
“Tourism is not just about history, gloss and glamour: it is a service that companies provide.Many small enterprises manage their business notbased on knowledge, but at the call of their hearts,which does not always have a positive impact on the quality of services provided by tourism companies.”
George Stampoulis, Head of the consortium of project implementers (Greece)
“Entrepreneurs will be able to put into practice the concept of circular economy in a textile and clothing sector in need of new sustainable business models. STAND Up! knots together the shores of the Mediterranean, connecting knowledge, innovation, traditions and habits.”
Anna Ibañez de Arolas, Project Manager – STAND Up! Coordinator (Spain)
Roses, oregano, asparagus and capers…these are indigenous species in the Sicilian and Tunisian territories, they grow naturally in marginal lands, they do not require chemical inputs and do not demand much water. In addition, they have lots of nutritional and medicinal properties. Why then not grow them more profitably and sustainably? What if we transformed them and created other products? Creams, essential oils, perfumes… This is exactly what the ESPAS project is pursuing. Funded by the Italy-Tunisia ENI CBC programme, this partnership wants to revalorise autochthonous species in Sicily and Tunisia, to diversify their uses and to provide farmers and enterprises with more business opportunities. But how? Keep reading!
From fossil to bio-based plastic to reduce carbon dioxide emission, ensure sustainable sources and increase recycling. This change is crucial for ending plastic waste and heading towards circular economy. It is a joint effort – regardless of borders and ideologies – where every single action counts. The BioStyrene project, funded by the Estonia-Russia CBC programme, has its own innovative recipe for contributing to the global fight against fossil-based plastics…
Deadwood may seem damp, sterile, an unhygienic source of infection, something to be removed. However, the reality could not be more different. Decaying wood logs, dead and old trees host multiple microorganisms, they help the forest to better resist diseases, they increase its resilience to climate change. They also capture carbon emissions and conserve biodiversity. For these reasons, keeping the deadwood in the forest can bring multiple benefits. The RESFOR project, an initiative co-funded by the Romania-Ukraine ENI CBC programme, is raising knowledge and promoting good practices in “deadwood management”. A novel concept, very little explored in the forestry sector of the cross-border region, but yet very important for the resilience of the forests, some of which represent one of the last old-growth forest reserves in Europe, and have been included as such in the World Heritage List of UNESCO.
What can university students do to contribute to your business development? This is what Peter Fischer, BRIDGE project manager, asked companies and small businesses in the neighbourhood, and the answer was clear: students can use their knowledge to help us resolve small problems, and we can provide them with real working life experiences. This is how the initiative BRIDGE came up: a cross-border network of five universities where students and businesses cooperate with a two-fold objective. On one hand, increasing the hands-on skills of the university graduates, and on the other, helping small businesses to further develop. BRIDGE is a project funded by Kolarctic CBC programme.