How does the Italian National Contact Point for ENI CBC Med Programme sees the SME4SMARTCITIES project?
Italy works alongside Spain, Jordan and two other Middle Eastern countries for more sustainable, efficient and intelligent urban growth in the Mediterranean. The forward-looking ideas start from the "Mediterranean SME working together to make cities smarter" project (SME4SMARTCITIES), funded under the Call for Standard projects ENI CBC Med.
FILSE is the only Italian partner involved in the initiative aimed at building Euro-Mediterranean economic clusters, through the competitiveness and development of small and medium-sized enterprises. "We have been working since the beginning of 2020 to create a fertile context for the creation of new innovative companies and to facilitate and support collaboration between SMEs at international level in the Mediterranean area - explains Valeria Rainisio, FILSE Project Manager - The goal is making companies able to position themselves firmly on the markets, while at the same time favoring the development process of smart cities ".
What role do local administrations play in this context?
“Precious!!! Because, on one hand, we want to promote cross-border integration starting from businesses but, on the other hand, we aim to strengthen institutional capacities (in the context of simplifying public / private procedures) creating new collaboration networks. We therefore want to support the launch of innovative start-ups, with products and services that can meet the expectations and needs of smart cities ".
What concrete impact will your ENI CBC MED experience have on the territory of intervention, in Italy?
"SME4SMARTCITIES has completed the analysis of the state of the art of the level of innovation of Italian local authorities, interviewing a sample of 50 municipalities of various sizes, paying particular attention to public award procedures. Furthermore, good practices and critical areas have been identified, in order to create a comparison with the other countries involved: the aim is to choose the best policies applicable to the entire area of the Mediterranean basin ".
Have synergies been created with other ENI CBC MED projects? If so, what do they consist of?
"Yes, together with the IPMED project (the other ENI CBC project in which FILSE is working), we have involved the innovative start-ups of our network in common activities. Furthermore, with some partners of both projects, we have set up a new partnership with which we have presented a proposal on the ENI CBC MED capitalization call. However, we hope that soon all the cities of the Mediterranean will be managed efficiently and will be more livable for the communities. The word must go first of all to public authorities and businesses, which must work together to find the best technological solutions for smart city ".
Meanwhile, the SME4SMARTCITIES project, despite the limitations imposed by the pandemic in progress Covid-19, is continuing its activities with the idea of reaching the deadline set in August 2022 with tangible results in terms of innovative and technological products and services, precisely to improve the responses of cities to urban challenges.
For the Italian version of the interview visit this link.