Working Groups
(pilot phase)
  Meetings of the Working Groups



Any regional development strategy demands:

 Based on the above three criteria, preparing the final proposal of the regional innovation strategy of Epirus, working groups for the basic sectors of regional activity are organized, as part of the RIS OF EPIRUS program.  Each groups task is to examine the sectors present condition, to discuss the innovative ideas and the projects which could  assist the future development of the sector, and to come up with a number of proposed innovative actions, which could be implemented from the funds of the regional 3rd Structural Fund, during the following years.

The task of each group is directed by the project leader, an expert in the field, with knowledge of the local condition.  Part of the project leaders job will be to write the final report for the group.

The sectors of activity which have been chosen  are:

º Silver hanbdicraft º Pisciculture
º Dairy industry º Ecotourism
º Non metal minerals (mainly marble) º Food processing
º Energy saving*

*  for this sector a separate study will be prepared, based on energy measurements in selected SMEs of the region, prior to the final proposed action plan.

The above groups have been meeting during 1999, in the pilot phase. The groups, expanded with more participants, will be organized better, and will be meeting systematically during the year 2000, and the years after (workshop meetings of all groups in the same place are also planned).

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In the Epirus region the task and the value of the working groups is not well known yet.  Therefore , a method of testing the best possible way to formulate working groups and direct their task was planned and implemented since the first period of the RIS program.

The first working groups, in a pilot phase, were organized during the 1st Forum of Innovation which took place in Ioannina, on the 2nd of July 2000.  During this first session, the groups had the chance to discuss:

  1. Issues related to the task of each group

  2. Ways to have the groups expanded, and to work through the most efficient way

  3. Issues common to all different groups ( a session common for all participants was also organized)

Following this first pilot phase of 1999, the organization and the sessions of the groups in a more systematic way, based on the suggestions of the group members have been planned for the year 200, and the years after.


Photo:  Meeting of the silver handicraft working group July 1999 

ECOTOURISM GROUP (pilot phase)

In order to present to the local community, practically and realistically, the way the working groups are functioning, and how the proposed innovative actions can be implemented in the 3rd structural fund, we proceeded with the organization of the ecotourism group, from the beginning of the RIS program.

In other words, the ecotourism group was used as a model, and as an example for the progress of the RIS program. 

The project leader of the group was selected from the international pool of experts (Mr. John Swarbrooke, lecturer, department of food and tourism, Sheffield Hallam, university, England).  Mr Swarbrooke has worldwide experience on tourism and ecotourism, has worked in Greece too, and is a coauthor of various international books in tourism.

The members of the group were selected from the private and the public sector of the region.

The group started its sessions in March, 1999,  Following the first couple of meetings an initial report was structured by the project leader, and was evaluated by the group.

During the following meetings of the group it was decided to proceed with the implementation of some of the proposed actions searching for funds from the 2nd structural fund of the region.

The proposed actions selected were:

  1. The formation of an ECO TOURISM TRAVEL TRADE manual for foreign tour operators

  2. The formation of an eco tourism web site (for tour operators too)

  3. The visit in various European destinations in order to meet tour operatos, promote the regional advantages, and assist the placement of Epirus in the eco tourism travel destinations-books of the year 2001, and the years after.

 The first and the second actions have already been implemented, and will be completed at the end of February 2000.

The funds for the 3rd action have been secured (the action will be implemented during the first quarter of 2000).

The working group continued its meetings systematically during 1999, and will continue the same way in 2000, and after.


Photo:  Meeting of the ecotourism working group-April 1999 (with the participation of the head of the commercial section  of the British Embassy Mr. G. Thomas).

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Three meetings with all the working groups together have been scheduled for the next three months:    

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