Capacity Building and Best Practices Research Projects

Project # 3:   MED.PRIDE Consortium: Innovation Development & Enterprise Creation


MEDPRIDE - Mediterranean Project for Innovation Development 

  • European Commission Project code:  402
  • Date:1998
  • Duration:  30 months
  • Consortium: 10 Partners from 8 Countries
  • Total Budget:  2.281.836 €
  • Sector:  Industry, research and innovation
  • IIM Role: Consortium Partner, Steering Committee Member and Results Dissemination Partner

EU Innovation Policy andFramework Overall Goals:  

  • To develop a common strategy to promote the introduction of technological innovation in EU (European Union) and Mediterranean countries for the SMEs (small medium enterprises).
  • To enhance the SMEs competitiveness to face the challenges of the free trade markets environment to be implemented in future years.

These goals will be achieved by setting up a network of Centers of Excellence (CoE) in Mediterranean Countries based on the common use of an operational model addressed to the creation and the development of innovative enterprises.


The main objective of MED PRIDE is to set up a network of Centers of Excellence (CoE) in European and Mediterranean third countries aimed to share and implement an operational model for creation and development of innovative enterprises.  The aim is to implement an operational model for:

  1. The creation of innovative enterprises
  2. The adoption of innovation in existing small medium Enterprises

In order to successfully implement an innovation process, it is of the outmost importance to facilitate access to information on new technologies, improve services, enhance skills, competencies, know-how and avail of financial and other management tools. The MedPride Poject objectives are in line with EU Economic Development and EU Innovation Policy  and the objectives of the EUMEDIS initiative, the project intends to support transfer of competencies in the field of industrial innovation and develop a common strategy to support the introduction of technological innovation in the Mediterranean context, so to enhance SMEs competitiveness and help them facing the challenge of free trade area.

MED PRIDE also aims at being an open platform for further enlargement: both at technical level and content level the project could be extended to other countries and new participants: in effect the transfer and sharing of know-how will be based on models and methodological tool kits that can be adapted to different needs and replicated in different contexts. In this sense, it is significant to note that at the end of the project the results will be the creation of 6 application models for enterprise creation and innovation, all based on the same relevant methodology, standards and key elements, but that will differ on specific implementation criteria, according to the priorities that will be given by each Centre of Excellence or to the constraints that each one will have. It is also reasonable to expect that the timing and the speed for implementation and for obtaining results will be different according to each country's features. From the technical point of view, the project will create specific outputs that could be re-used in the future for any further partner. Moreover the www platform will provide a user friendly and open solution that will allow increasing the number of partners without prejudice.
MED PRIDE is based on some assumptions that, considering the complexity of innovation challenge in the Mediterranean area, are the most adequate to provide a concrete and successful instrument to help develop innovation:

(a) At the basis of a successful innovation process there is the need to access the information on new technologies, services, improved competencies and know-how, financial tools etc. To facilitate this process MED PRIDE aims at improving performances of organizations that can act as interfaces both for existing SMEs and for new enterprises. For this reason the project involves intermediaries such as development agencies, enterprises associations/representatives and universities. These organizations have also a very good penetration at local level, which represents an important asset. Centers of Excellence involved can guarantee a good dissemination of information and coherent actions to stimulate and facilitate innovation in their territory

(b) This method will avoid implementation of dispersed interventions and will facilitate the development of a coherent action at national level, in every participating country. The project methodology of work will lead to the development of synergies and networks with other actors involved in enterprise development and innovation process such as local development organizations, venture capitalists, incubators, and communication and information services.

(c) The transfer of know how to the Mediterranean partners, is based on two essential criteria: the first one is the identification of good practices implemented by the European partners. This will reduce risks linked to the implementation phase and allow the adaptation of the methodology proposed to different social and economic environments. Secondly, the transfer of know-how will request a proactive effort from the Mediterranean partners. The direct involvement in the implementation is fundamental to strengthen and develop their ability to: manage the tools provided by the project, develop information and awareness raising tools that should boost the entrepreneurial potential in their countries, create and improve networks with other operators involved in the innovation process, being them institutional or private.

(d) Action is oriented towards an easy and open exploitation by the final users: potential entrepreneurs and existing enterprises. The tools that will be shared by the network of CoE are user friendly and flexible enough to be adapted to different needs. The project is demand driven: the most important factor to demonstrate the effectiveness of actions undertaken will be the requests for financing and for intervention by the final users on the basis of a sustainable and effective project submitted for financing to be developed when the Centers will be established. It is important to note that this activity will help creation of new information networks but also consolidation of existing networks at local level, since the diffusion of information at all levels is absolutely necessary to reach the demand potential even in more peripheral areas of the participating countries.

(e) MED PRIDE will contribute to the diffusion of the use of information society technologies at two levels: (i) at institutional level, since a consistent part of the CoE work will be undertaken through internet (creation of a dedicated web site, fruition of distance learning through satellite technologies, exchange of documents and information through a dedicated area of the portal, creation of a private communication area between every CoE and its local network); (ii) at public level, enhancing the social and economic environment through: creation of innovative enterprises where the use of ICT and high technology is a fundamental component, support to take up of innovation by existing SMEs operating in traditional sectors, where the need to improve performances is very strong.


  1. Creation of Centres of Excellence or task forces dedicated to foster innovation and economic growth through a better use of ICT.
  2. Creation and adoption of specific and customised models for enterprise creation and innovation in each participating country.
  3. Creation of new Innovation Action Tool-Kits, on the basis of needs expressed by the Mediterranean CoEs and enterprises.
  4. Groups of trained personnel will be able to deal with the creation of innovative, ICT based companies.
  5. Create an international network to facilitate exchange of experiences, transfer of know-how and co-operation.
  6. Adoption of technological innovation and ICT based solutions by a number of SMEs throughout the involved countries.
  7. Access to better & wider customised information through internet, particularly via the MEDPRIDE web site (thanks to its navigation features) and the targeted links with other web sites.
  8. Improved access to technological and financial support, thanks to the work undertaken by the CoE.
  9. Improved ability by SMEs to take up with new opportunities offered by IS and ICT tools and solutions (E-business, e-commerce, new ways for marketing products, availability of new products, etc.).
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