17 December 2019
SMART ADRIA, project Kick off meeting in Podgorica

The official kick off meeting marking the beginning of the thematic project “Smart Adria Blue Growth” (SABG) was held in Podgorica on 17 December 2019, with the presence of project partners from Montenegro, Italy and Albania.

Smart Adria Blue Growth project worth 2.1 million EUR is supported under the Interreg IPA CBC Italy-Albania-Montenegro Programme, aimed at enhancing cross-border cooperation and competitiveness of SMEs in the Adriatic-Ionian region by improving the development environment regional cross-border blue growth markets.

SABG project, financed under Priority Axis 1 - Competitiveness of SMEs, focuses on development of a Quadruple-Helix strategy in the Programme area, i.e. by fostering the innovation transfer from applied research to SMEs, with the support of Policy Makers and civil society. 

The kick off meeting was opened by Radosav Babic, General Director of the Directorate for Investments, Development of SMEs and Management of EU Funds, on behalf of the Ministry of Economy as a leading partner on the project. Mr Babic emphasized that the results of this project will support productive, effective and efficient economic cooperation of Albania, Italy and Montenegro based on the most important aspects of long-term progress. 

“Synergy between our countries and the EU is a key factor in economic growth, overall progress, job creation. We are strongly committed to proactive socio-economic transformation and improving the competitiveness of the private sector in order to provide adequate sources of sustainable long-term growth”, Babic said.

The main activities of the project were presented at the meeting, which include the establishment of three virtual laboratories based on the concept of blue growth in Montenegro, Italy and Albania, which support the commercial exploitation, testing and piloting of innovative products and services. At the regional level, the project will bring together research societies, the private sector and universities to foster the transfer of research and innovation results to regional growth.

The Ministry of Economy of Montenegro is the lead beneficiary of this project in cooperation with one Montenegrin project partners, European Integration Office - Government of Montenegro, two Albanian partners, Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs and Union of Chambers of Commerce and Industry of Albania (UCCIAL) and three Italian partners, Unioncamere Puglia, the Region of Puglia and Region of Molise. Associated partner is the Chamber of Commerce of Montenegro.