The program aspires to provide actual
results that could influence priorities of regional
strategy in a positive way. All suggested actions are
innovative and risky due to previous mentioned characteristics.
In any case this pilot application turns successive
then orientation as well as community financial resources
will be affected.
All actions are affected by the results
of previous Community Support Frame, the strategic analysis
of the region which took place in during the RIS program
and the new Community Support Frame that aspires to
reorient ate and support local SMEs or create new ones.
During the period 1994-1999 the Community Support Frame
- The development of financial and social infrastructure
- The Rural development and mountainous areas
- The Competitiveness of enterprises
- The effective exploitation of human resources.
The forthcoming Community Support Frames
include a well structured approach towards the support
of regional development:
- The development of the region as the new western
gate of Greece to Northern Greece and Europe and the
use of the competitive advantages created by the new
- The further development of the urban infrastructures
- The development of tourism – the protection and
development of the natural and cultural regional resources.
- The sustainable development of the non-urban areas.
- The qualitative development of Human potential.
The proposed actions are innovative
and risky. They aspire to develop policy orientations
and measures the will speed up innovative thinking and
innovation in the region. This will happen only through
the collaboration of the local actors and the use of
the already existing infrastructures as well as the
The competitive positioning
of Epirus will probably change during the next years.
The region has managed to perform quite efficiently
with growth rates higher that the Greek average,
during the last years. The infrastructures that
will be developed and supported by the current Structural
Funds like the harbor of Igoumenitsa, the Egnatia
highway, the new local transport networks, the expansion
of the University infrastructures, the new technology
park, etc. create a totally new environment for
the region. In that respect, Epirus has to understand
better the entrepreneurial and investment opportunities
that arise especially in the services sector and
redirect its activities. The region should act in
the future not only as a “passage” to Greece but
as a place for endogenous development and application
for innovative ideas. In that respect an analysis
of the opportunities and the implementation of a
pilot action in three key areas will be developed,
namely ENICT (Entrepreneurship in the Services Sector
mainly ICT), ENTRA (Entrepreneurship in transport
networks) and ENTOUR (Entrepreneurship in Tourism).
The development of new innovative,
for the region, entrepreneurial activities does
depend a lot on the ability of the local human potential
to react to the changes. Innovation is helped by
infrastructures, but only innovation culture can
create new innovative enterprises and Knowledge.
The local entrepreneurial potential is weak, characterized
by mainly small and non-ambitious enterprises, operating
at the local environment. So training of existing
entrepreneurs or potential ones is crucial. Structural
funds and operation programs in Greece support a
number of training activities. But what it seems
that it is still missing is the development and
application of training techniques that provide
new thinking to potential entrepreneurs that could
compete to the international environment through
the application of innovative ideas. The following
study and pilot training actions will be applied
in order to identify training needs and application
of innovative methods for promoting an innovative
- Innovative Entrepreneurship through new technologies
- Innovative Entrepreneurship through internationalization
- Innovative Entrepreneurship through proven
Investment opportunities and
new innovative companies are not usually the result
of programs or public support actions. They depend
basically on the mobilization of private capital.
Private capital, either in the form of individual
investors or venture capital can really make the
change. In that respect two factors are crucial.
First, where the interesting and well-justified
business opportunities exist and second, the potential
investors know about those opportunities. In that
respect the region will develop key activities in
order to document better the existing and future
opportunities available through the creation of
an investment guide, which is currently totally
absent to the region. In addition, the following
pilot actions will be developed:
- Visiting schemes for Business Angels and
- Matching events for Venture Capital Companies
- Awareness raising visits, presentations and
networking actions to Greek financial centres
(Athens and Thessaloniki) to inform on potential
innovative opportunities. Also abroad.
Technological support of the
companies and organizations and especially innovative
SMEs in the region in developing and using e-commerce
activities and learning on how to get focused information
and manage it through the use of the internet.
does not rely only on today’s opportunities. It
does depend on the future shaping of a local economy
and the technological needs that will occur in the
future. In that way Innovation Policy of today will
not be shaped in a vacuum but also taking into consideration
the future trends. Epirus will perform a well-focused
regional foresight activity in order to develop
a common understanding among its actors on the main
threats and opportunities in a 10-15 years horizon
and create alternative scenarios for regional innovation
policy. Emphasis will be put on technologies in
3 main sectors and two main issues. The sectors
are: Tourism, Transport, and ICT. The issues are:
Epirus as a new link gate with the Western Europe
and the role of transport an the impact of EU enlargement
on structural and cohesion funds that now constitute
a major development source for the region.
Innovation has become a common
“word” in all development activities in Greece.
The structural funds and the operational programs
in Greece support relevant activities covering most
of the economic sectors. On the other hand, the
large availability of funds for innovative actions
is not monitored carefully in order to highlight
the opportunities created from parallel actions.
For example, the General Secretariat for Research
and Technology support business plans and operational
costs for new innovative spin off enterprises. Actions
like mobilization of private capital and innovative
training should be aware of the new entrepreneurs
that are under development. Consequently, there
is a need to further development of a pilot initiative
called the Innovation Policy Interface Committee,
as an advisory group to the Steering Committee of
the proposed and that will feed any further development
of innovative schemes avoiding duplication. The
Committee will present its work through reports
every six months that will be communicated to both
the region and the local actors.
Innovation at the top of the
policy agenda. This could be the title of the last
action line that Epirus Innovative Actions will
work upon. Innovation promotion and support cannot
be developed without the wider awareness and mobilization
of companies, entrepreneurs, private capital, local
actors and policy makers. In addition, the innovation
language cannot be a “hard” language but it needs
to be understandable by all these actors, which
are called to play a role with their ideas and participation.
In that respect, an awareness campaign, will be
developed including an innovation week with local
enterprises exhibiting, information workshops and
information days in collaboration with the Steering
Committee meetings. Brochures, leaflets and information
feeding to local websites. Last but not least participation
to international events and manifestations on Innovation.
On going monitoring, control
and evaluation of the program – ex post evaluation.