SEEing is believing

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SEEing is believing
South East Europe 2007-2013
APP4INNO created critical mass for innovation in the agro-food sector by engaging micro and small enterprises from 11 regions and assisting them to develop innovative ideas for the market through a transnational online platform. Representing the interests of local businesses, the Drama Chamber of Commerce facilitated the conclusion of 3 collaboration agreements between Greek and Italian companies. In addition, pilot actions (i.e. supporting selected entrepreneurs to innovate) led to significant developments and encouraged cooperation between multiple levels of stakeholders.
Photo credit: APP4INNO project
ClusterPoliSEE reports and recommendations along with those of 2 similar projects - Clusterix and Clustrad – were presented to the Bulgarian Ministry of Economy as main relevant policy maker, as well as to the Association of Clusters in Bulgaria. As a result a cluster accreditation system has been prepared to be introduced in the next few months based on the experience of Hungary and Austria. The project know-how will be used in delivering the OP Innovation and competitiveness 2015-2020, i.e. to create synergies between key enabling technologies and traditional industries and fund new measures for clusters' support.
Photo credit: ClusterPoliSEE project
Through the EASE&SEE project our local business support unit facilitated the set of a public- private partnership, i.e. a local agreement between a social enterprise and three traditional Venetian manufacturers was signed. By using luxury tissue and glass scraps offered by the manufacturers, the social cooperative created a new fashion upcycling collection with high social and environmental added value. Other social cooperatives located in the Veneto area, who were involved in the project, expanded their market potential and activated new business relationships outside their traditional business arena.
Photo credit: EASE&SEE project
We managed to bring together almost all significant organisations that are active in the forest-based industry in our region around Ljubljana. This has resulted in new joint activities after the end of project’s lifetime, such as the national project on rational use of hardwoods with a focus on beech wood initiated by the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Food of the Republic of Slovenia, our Associated Strategic Partner in ID:WOOD.
Photo credit: ID:WOOD project
An Energy Investment Forum (office) was established in the Municipality of Piraeus with the help of TRACE project. The aim of the EIF is to link public institutions, citizens and investors for the implementation of energy projects. The Piraeus EIF staff already prepared grant applications worth EUR 1,5 million to install 15 photo-voltaic panels in city schools, replace inefficient lighting and implement additional energy efficiency measures.
Participation in BE-NATUR noticeably improved our cooperation with regional and local stakeholders like land owners, farmers, Natura2000 site managers, etc. Together we continue pilot projects started in the SEE project, e.g. the adapted sustainable management of special wetland areas with horse power, i.e. Pferdeheu, in Ausseerland and the Enns Valley. The Province Government of Styria recognised the importance to protect nature and maintain biodiversity through such eco-friendly agricultural activities and supported the inclusion of such measures in the new Austrian programme to enhance environmentally-friendly management of agricultural areas.
Together with our partners we defined the main performance characteristics of a 'mild home', i.e. affordable, modular, do-it-yourself, near zero energy houses. Based on these indicators we did a market analysis and a design competition for the town of Feltre (Belluno Province) to check the conditions for constructing such houses for the less well-off citizens. By the end of the project we were able to initiate an investment process that will see the realisation of an eco-green village utilizing the MILD HOME methodology. Other Italian municipalities have shown interest in transferring the practice.
In M2RES we exchanged experience in transforming marginal sub-urban areas, such as closed landfills or brownfields, into energy production sites using renewable energy sources. One of the project pilots was carried out in our town of Giurgeni, where we demonstrated how to implement a photovoltaic power plant of 0,5 MW.  Through the SEE project we managed to also get support by the county council for legislative provisions banning PV plants on agricultural land .
In the strategic ORIENTGATE project we aimed at integrating climate knowledge into policy and territorial planning. We learned from six pilot studies of specific climate adaptation measures. Finally, using project know-how we developed a climate change adaptation strategy for the wetland ecosystems of Attica Region in Greece, which was endorsed by the Regional Authority. The strategy is based on climatic parameter research and geospatial data collected through ORIENTGATE activities.
Photo credit: ORIENTGATE project
DANUBEPARKS enabled protected areas along the Danube to establish a network for sustainable cooperation and develop a "trademark label". Today, DANUBEPARKS is well known, recognized and respected as a key stakeholder for nature conservation along the Danube. It is recognized as a good practice for transnational cooperation for nature protection not least through the Natura 2000 Award 2015 we received from the European Commission.
Photo credit: Danubeparks project
Since many regional railways suffer from difficult economic downturn our partnership wanted to investigate whether incorporating them into tourism and leisure activities could bring them back to life. A consultancy analysed 18 regional railways in partner countries and made recommendations for concrete measures. We are proud that the Mariazeller Bahn, operated by the partner NÖVOG in Lower Austria, is now very successful on the tourist market thanks also to recommendations worked out in the frame of Access2Mountain.  
SENSOR developed road colour-coded risk maps showing the rate of death and serious injuries on 27,000 km of roads in 10 countries including Slovakia. Also the consortium did Road safety Star Rating, i.e. an inspection vehicle screened 19,000 roads in partner countries and the resultant material was then analysed against safety 30 factors affecting crash rates. Star Rating was done for all 8 NUTS3 regions of Slovakia. Based on these Safe Road Investment Plans were produced with the help of an online tool for each partner country. They can be used as a free-standing scheme, or as part of road maintenance programmes, or as rehabilitation schemes.  
Photo credit: SENSOR project
Thanks to HINT in Rousse we launch a learning platform to promote professional skills for the field of inland waterway transport and logistics. Such platforms were created also in Slovakia, Hungary, Croatia and Serbia by modelling them on existing platforms in Austria and Romania. The project helped study the feasibility of jointly building a river vessel to be used in multi-national training. We hope that together with our partners we will further develop this concept in the future.
TRANSDANUBE supported the creation of tourist information centers in 14 local museums in southern Moldova, enabling us to put up special signs and equip sites with mobile exhibition stands. Through the project we were able to develop a tourist manual and a feasibility study for further exploiting the potential of tourist locations in the southern part the country that is closest to the river Danube.
In CHERPLAN we focused on integrating environmental concerns into managing cultural heritage. The local impact in Slovenia is represented by the management plan for the historic centre of Idrija, which helped us in preparing a UNESCO application. The ambitious idea of Idrija entering the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites motivated our stakeholders to contribute to CHERPLAN's activities.
Starting from the idea of energy efficiency BUILD SEE explored how such measures can be used in greening urban neighbourhoods and promotion of social inclusion. In Bologna we were particularly interested in social housing, the same for our Austrian and Hungarian partners. We perceive the strength of the project to be engaging local stakeholders through working groups and the resulting local action plans.
Photo credit: BUILD SEE project
STATUS was a positive experience for us as the project offered a new methodology for urban development for small and medium size towns based on a participatory approach. The main project outcomes were 10 strategic urban agendas. Although we could not involve a pilot municipality from Slovenia, we received strong support from the Ministry of Environment and Spatial Planning who show considerable interest in upscaling the STATUS methodology.
Drama Chamber of Commerce, APP4INNO Bulgarian Small and Medium Enterprises Promotion Agency, ClusterPoliSEE City of Venice, EASE&SEE Slovenian Forestry Institute, ID:WOOD Municipality of Piraeus, TRACE Agricultural Research and Education Centre Raumberg-Gumpenstein, BE-NATUR Veneto Regional Union of Chambers of Commerce, MILD HOME Centre for Promotion of Clean and Efficient Energy in Bucharest, M2RES Thermi Wetland Centre, ORIENTGATE Donau-Auen National Park, Danubeparks (Step 2.0) Austrian Federal Ministry for Transport, Innovation and Technology, Access2Mountain Slovak Association of Moto Sport, SENSOR Bulgarian Maritime Administration, HINT Association of Tourism Development in the Republic of Moldova, TRANSDANUBE Slovenian Academy of Science, CHERPLAN Municipality of Bologna, BUILD SEE Urban Planning Institute of the Republic of Slovenia, STATUS
for contributing to SEE evaluation and thus to this factsheet