Written by Sara Tedesco


COVID-19 has caused several setbacks, and also for this reason the EU has promptly brought new solutions
to help Europe’s recovery, as well as to facilitate the EU’s twin transitions to a sustainable and digital
economy, through the Single Market Programme (SMP), an EU funding programme that aims to help
the single market reach its full potential. In particular, under the SMP, the Competitiveness of Enterprises and
Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (COSME) programme aims to help SMEs in accessing the market, as well
as to strengthen their entrepreneurial education through support services.

Pursuing the same goals as the EU, the Blue Italian Growth Technology Cluster (hereafter “BIG TC”) will actively engage the creation of new opportunities for its associated SMEs working in the blue economy through the realisation of two projects recently funded for an amount of around €320.000 by the European Commission through the COSME programme. Both projects have digitalisation and internationalisation at the core of their activities.

The Mediterranean Blue Acceleration Network (MedBAN) project’s core concept is the creation of an innovation platform and acceleration services for SMEs and start-ups working in the blue economy field. Through MedBan, several SMEs will receive financial support in the process of green and digital transition, and will have the chance to transform their business models towards a smart ESG paradigm, in line with EU Taxonomy. Alongside with BIG TC, the consortium is formed by other five cluster organisations coming from France, Greece, Italy, Portugal and Spain.

The IKAT project aims to provide innovation, acceleration, mentoring, training and internationalisation services to SMEs working in tourism, to make them more resilient and support their recovery. Not only through the realisation of
IKAT there will be an increasing knowledge of the tourism ecosystem, but it will be also crucial for the achievement of the EC’s most recent tourism policy.

In addition, a Consortium will be created to set up a democratic, agile and flexible work method, and to carry out activities to support the tourism ecosystem in the short and medium term. The main focus areas will be the Mediterranean and Black Sea and the consortium is formed by seven cluster organisations from Greece, Italy, Portugal and Spain, including BIG TC. The upcoming two years will be full of exciting opportunity for all SMEs associated to BIG TC, opportunities that will bring new huge results in the blue economy field at the national level, and that will actively contribute to the realisation of the EU’s sustainable and digital goals.