Balkan ideas network for sustainable in-novaions in the agre-food sector

                                                   THE AGRO-FOOD SECTOR

Acronym of the project:       BALKANET
                                                    Ref. Nr. /BMP1/1.2/2469/2017

Duration:                               24 months (09.2017 ÷ 09.2019)

Programme rationale:

PA 1: Entrepreneurship &Innovation T.O. 3: Enhancing the competitiveness of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs)

S.O. 1.2. Innovative territories I.P. 3d:  Supporting the capacity of SMEs to grow in regional, national and international markets, and to engage in innovation processes

BALKANET project is inspired by the following:

  • the awareness that it is strategically important to facilitate pilot innovative business models in agro-food sector of BMP area -  optimizing the role of a key local activity like agro-food sector
  • the conviction that is important to improve transnational cooperation opportunities of the target area, it is necessary to enhance an operative Network through local SME's and research centres with particular regard to young innovators skills – facing the actual socioeconomically frame, conditioned by high unemployment rates, especially of young people,
  • the importance of communication transferring of best practices to foster sustainable growth of the area – increasing SME's competitiveness with special reference to sustainable innovative models.

Lead Partner:

 ILIA Chamber, Pyrgos (GR)



Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Tirana (AL)

University of Tirana considered an essential academic actor in scientific research for agriculture matters (AL)

Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Vratsa (BG)

Agency for Regional and Economic Development, Vratsa (BG)


General Objective:

To favour the potential of innovation, the promotion of applied research and the support to SMEs sustainable adjustment capacity.

Specific Objectives:

1) Identifying, analyzing and sharing of existing agro-food best practices and innovative business models valorisation in the BMP area

2) Transnational Cooperation Network between public/private research centers and local enterprises in order to improve SME's efficiency and adjustment capacity, with particular reference to the improvement of young innovators skills and business competences

3) Raising awareness, transferring knowledge and fostering common understanding about the importance of sustainable business innovations in agro-food sector of BMP area.

Added value & approach:

The added value of the project is to cover strategic agro-food topic areas:

1) Agriculture/farming methods and techniques,

2) Product processing,

3) Packaging and marketing.

The project approach (quadruple helix) is based on the development of joint analyses, methodologies and ICT services that favour an integrated transnational process. According to this Balkanet can secure critical mass, enhancing mobilisation capacity and innovation potential to overcome markets fragmentation.

Main activities:

1. WP 1- Project management

2. WP 2- Communication and dissemination

3. WP 3-Studying, analysis and benchmarking of Agrofood sector

4. WP 4-Creating of Balkanet Network

5. WP 5- Transferring of Agrofood Innovations

Main results:

  • BMP agro food context analyses and benchmarking document. It will collect challenges and positive aspects of socioeconomic frame of BMP area
  • Creation of agro food sector  innovative best practices and product /processes ideas Data Base
  • Creation of local stakeholders Group Data Base
  • Project Platform Network that is also official web site and
  • Digital web service system for all the stakeholders involved in the project 
  • Creation of a Guideline document  to support  new innovative enterprises 
  • Creation of a communication and marketing plan to support new innovative enterprises
  • Organization of experience workshops / field visits in order to facilitate the knowledge transfer and the cooperation actions among local stakeholders 
  • Innovative best practices sharing meetings to improve transnational connections through SME's

Main outputs:

  • Creation of Balkanet Transnational Network of agro-food SME's, research centers, public administrations and local stakeholders mainly with the support of digital devices
  • Transferring activities through best practices and innovative agro-food experiences and to foster commercialization, internationalization and connections of local SMEs and their agrofood product/processes (Best Practices Sharing Meetings)
  • Focusing on civil society and local stakeholders to share project outputs and to promote a new model of sustainable socioeconomic growth (Transnational Balkanet agro-food Festivals).

The Project is co-funded by the European Union and by the National Funds of the participating countries.