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A New Euroregional Strategy

Paola Votta

Paola Votta

Third Countries Knowledge Area Leader

During the first half of this year, ZABALA together with Technopolis, have been jointly working in assisting the L’Eurorégion GECT Pyrénées-Méditerranée (EPM) in the development of the new Euroregional RIS3.

The assistance defined a new Euroregional Smart Specialisation Strategy (S3) for the 2021-2027 period, taking into consideration the establishment of the necessary framework conditions to enable the active regional cooperation between companies within the Euroregion’s territory.

Considering the areas of specialisation defined in the S3 2021-2020, 4 priority strategic innovation areas for the EPM on specific themes are prioritized: water, e-health, agri-food sectors and tourism.

In parallel the establishment of the necessary conditions to secure the active participation of companies in the territory of the Euroregion in a regional cooperation dimension was considered.

There are many obstacles of a very different nature that hinder cooperation between companies in different ways. In addition to the cultural or mental obstacles which can hamper the appetite for cooperation, there are administrative or legal obstacles which can make this cooperation effectively more difficult.

The assistance analysed what are the obstacles to cross-border cooperation encountered by SMEs (of what nature, with which targets, according to what geographical specificities, with what importance), how do they work and what are their consequences for cooperation and finally, what are the solutions for overcoming or minimising them (which actors, and which actions to put in place).

Obstacles in the Euroregional Strategy

To address the main obstacles to SME participation in cross-border cooperation projects, an online survey targeting SMEs in the Euroregion was conducted. The primary conclusions extracted from the study where the following:

Cultural Barriers

  • Linguistic diversity.
  • Cultural diversity.
  • Lack of knowledge of stakeholders and potential partners.
  • Apprehension of diversity and poor image.

Geographical Barriers

  • Accessibility of the territory.

Regulatory Barriers

  • Regulatory differences related to specific projects.
  • Fiscal differences.

Economic Barriers

  • Price differences.
  • Wage differentials.
  • Lack of initiative or support from public authorities.

Specific barriers related to R&D&I cooperation projects.

  • Industrial property management.
  • Enforcement of public aid law.

Specific barriers in projects financed with European Funds.

  • Implementation of the 2005 public procurement ordinance.
  • Complexity in the setting up of new projects and procedures for the instruction.
  • Financial management and payment deadlines.
  • Administrative and financial monitoring of projects

This project continues increasing Zabalas’ experience in the planning, analysis, design, impact assessment and implementation of instruments, programs, policies, strategies, and initiatives to support R+D+I and entrepreneurship.

Over the development of this contract, we have carried out over 20 interviews with players in the innovation ecosystem of Baleares and Cataluña, we have evaluated their innovation capacity, and suggested improvement actions to optimize synergies and opportunities across the Euroregion.

Expert person

Paola Votta
Paola Votta

Pamplona Office

Third Countries Knowledge Area Leader

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