Transnational cooperation helps reduce regional disparities and increases cohesion in specific territories
By facilitating knowledge exchange, transnational cooperation empowers disadvantaged regions. It builds capacities and enables each territory to learn from the others, tapping into methods and solutions that are developed or applied elsewhere in the region.
A region’s competitiveness is often linked to having innovative small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) which turn new ideas into new business. The PROINCOR project gave innovation audits to hundreds of SMEs in the Baltic-Adriatic corridor, to show these companies how they can facilitate uptake of new ideas and develop the systems they need to act on innovation. Ultimately, the project thus helped reducing economic disparities between eastern and western regions in central Europe.
PROINCOR established an innovation advisory service in ten regions and seven EU member states along the former Iron Curtain. More than 30 regional innovation advisors were trained according the PROINCOR innovation audit guide. The advisors then targeted more than 6300 companies and carried out innovation audits for about 500 SMEs. As a result, the innovation management system in around 140 companies was improved. Hands-on measures and innovation-oriented follow-projects are other key results of the innovation audits. The involved companies also started 70 new product or process development projects. As a result of the innovation audits, the project leveraged about 33m EUR of private and public funds.