After almost two years of hard efforts, strategic planning and fruitful co-operation amongst partners and interested stakeholders, the INCUBA project came to an end.

During the project’s final conference, which was organized and hosted by CIHEAM Bari, 𝐨𝐧 𝐅𝐫𝐢𝐝𝐚𝐲 𝟐𝟎 𝐍𝐨𝐯𝐞𝐦𝐛𝐞𝐫 on Zoom, the INCUBA partnership drew its conclusions and presented the results achieved in Puglia and Western Greece.

The final event of the project, having built on the outcomes and results obtained by main organizations and projects in the framework of Interreg Greece-Italy programme, presented all members of the partnership, conference attendees, esteemed guests and keynote speakers with the opportunity to elaborate on the concepts, which build the key-core of the project, namely the incubators sustainability, the private funding to support them and their beneficiaries and the future perspectives.

Mr. Damiano Petruzzella (CIHEAM Bari), the moderator of the Conference, after welcoming everybody to the online-event, laid down the meeting’s objectives, briefly summarized the meeting’s Agenda and introduced the guest speakers. Introduction speeches were held by Mr. Maurizio Raeli, (CIHEAM Bari Director) and Mr. Fokion Zaimis, (Deputy Head of the Region of Western Greece for Entrepreneurship, Research and Innovation), followed by the presentation of the Project’s main results by Mr. Konstantinos Tzamaloukas, (Region of Western Greece – Lead Beneficiary).

The second part of the final conference evolved around the business incubators’ model, with focus on the experiences and the local ecosystem. Mr. Marco Gay, (Digital Magics) elaborated on how incubators build their economic sustainability through private support, whereas Mr. Teodoro Milano, (University of Bari) presented the Mediterranean Innovation Hub and the relative ecosystem experiences.

The private and public funding opportunities to support business incubators and entrepreneurship were the core of the second part of the event, when Mrs. Paola Bellotti, (Coopfond) and Mr. Dario Montalbetti, (Genera Impresa) elaborated on private funding opportunities and presented a new approach to support business incubators and entrepreneurship. Last but not least, the next EU opportunities in 2021 – 2027 programming period were demonstrated by Mrs. Alessandra Noviello.

During the last part of the conference, Mrs. Francesca Volpe from CIHEAM Bari presented the final version of the network to capitalize the INCUBA experiences (agreement for collaboration), which will act as the roadmap of collaboration and agreement amongst partners and stakeholders dedicated to the vision of the INCUBA-Project to support innovation, entrepreneurship and sustainable development of the agri-food sector, and will later on be agreed and signed by each invited party.

The closing remarks of Mr. Gianfranco Gadaleta, (JS coordinator  Greece-Italy programme) signified the final destination on the project’s journey.

The INCUBA partnership had set an ambitious plan to foster and sustain the creation, innovation, competitiveness and internationalization of start-ups, Small, and Medium Entrerprises, through the strengthening of existing and new agro-food business incubators at the project area.

As the final-conference has ever so clear demonstrated, the project has fully achieved its goals, exceeding the stakeholders’ and partners’ expectations and will definitely function as a useful tool for policy makers and SMEs across the vast Agri-food ecosystem to design, incorporate and implement innovation and innovative ideas into their modus operandi.

 

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