Public authorities enhance the competitiveness of SMEs – 45 good practices, 50 study visits and PURE COSMOS goes on
Just two years into its 5-year programme, partners in the PURE COSMOS Interreg Europe project have to date identified 45 good practices and organised nearly 50 study visits. This has provided the groundwork for developing Regional Action Plans intended to help cut red tape and increase the competitiveness of start-ups and SMEs.
The implementation of the PURE COSMOS (Public authorities Role Enhancing Competitiveness of SMEs) Interreg Europe project began in April 2016. Since then partners from Italy, Hungary, Germany, UK, Greece, Czech Republic and Spain have been actively working within their regional stakeholders to understand the barriers and challenges to SME growth and to find new ways to improve the effectiveness of public-sector support and reduce administrative burden through selected policy instruments.
Local stakeholder groups (LSG), made up of representatives from the local, regional and managing authorities, financial institutions, universities, Chamber of Commerce, SMEs and policy makers have been committed to supporting the successful implementation of the project. The Peer Reviews hosted by each partner region in the first year gave the opportunity for nominated experts to meet with stakeholders to offer potential solutions and recommendations – all with the aim to make the business climate for SMEs more transparent and reliable.
Almost 50 study visits have been organised enabling participants to bring examples of good policies and practices to the attention of both the other project partners and to their local, regional (or national) policy-owners and decision-makers. The study visits have been the occasion to exchange experiences between the participants.
The Good Practice Register, managed by the project is continually being added to and currently has 45 innovative solutions covering eight important policy themes: one stop shop model, government to business, digital by default, more effective and transparent public services, increasing the digital skills of SMEs, e-commerce services. Good practices for study have been collected not only inside the partnership, but beyond with contributions from Welsh, Irish, Estonian and Danish organisations. The Register can be read on the project website: https://www.interregeurope.eu/purecosmos/library/#folder=250.
Work has now started on developing the Regional Action Plans with each partner holding an Import Workshop that will consolidate the learning to date and where appropriate look at how it can be localised and implemented into partners’ regions. Each workshop involves relevant experts from the partners, i.e. experts on the aspects of good practices that have been found appropriate to import. The experts will assist local stakeholders in drafting their action plan and in the importing process.
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