FIRECE – Innovative Financial Instruments for industry low carbon energy transition in Central Europe

To reach nationals targets for renewable energy shares of final energy consumption CE regions have the common challenge to keep investing and even to accelerate the financing of concrete actions to deliver sustainable energy measures.

FIRECE project links to the specific objective because it will support public sector to plan and manage instruments able to achieve saving targets. The implementation of Innovative financial instruments and the assessment of the projects submitted by SMEs for energy savigns will contribute to achieve the indicators contained in the Regional Energy Plans. Finally, FIRECE contributes to the achievements of the energy saving targets planned at worldwide and EU level.

 The main objective of FIRECE is to increase capacities of regional operator to manage Energy Plans particularly on the financial resources locally available to enhance the investments in renewable energy by Industry, especially SMEs. quality assessment criteria will assist operators and local actors to check and optimize use of public resources addressed to investments on renewable energy by the industrial sectors (manufacturing).

The main project outputs are a transnational strategy to implement financial schemes and assess investments by public resources for Industry, a strong exchange knowledge action addressed to regional operators with training courses organized in 9 different regions, a methodology to support the exploitation of financial common financial schemes identified and a tool on-line available to local actors for the quality assessment of the investments.

The project will implement two pilot actions in nine different regions: six regions will develop ex-ante analysis 5 regions will test the tool to assess projects and investments supported by public resources in the frame of the Regional Energy Plans.

Main data of the project:

Project title: Innovative Financial Instruments for industry low carbon energy transition in Central Europe
Project code: CE1131


  • Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Craft and Agriculture of Venice, Rovigo Delta Lagunare – Italy
  • Network for Energy & Environmental Technology – Germany
  • Emilia – Romagna Region – Italy
  • South Transdanubian Regional Innovation Agency Nonprofit Ltd. – Hungary
  • Technology Promotion Burgenland Ltd. – Austria
  • Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft zur Förderung der angewandten Forschung e.V. +Fraunhofer Center for International Management and Knowledge Economy – Germany
  • Regional Development Agency ARLEG SA in Legnica – Poland
  • Lubelskie Voivodeship – Poland
  • IRENA – Istrian Regional Energy Agency Ltd. – Croatia
  • ENVIROS Ltd. – Czech Republic

Project budget in EUR: 1.872.633,00 €
ERDF funding in EUR: 1.542.138,35 €
Funding program: Interreg CENTRAL EUROPE
Project duration: 01.07.2017- 30.06.2020

(More information: (
The project is co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund and Hungary.

I-CON – Improving COmpetences and skills through Food sector InNovations – (Interreg Central Europe Programme)

Slovenia, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia are facing declining employment opportunities in traditional industries as a result of structural change.

This emphasises the need to take steps to stimulate economic activity with employment generating potential in regions that are facing difficulties in maintaining a critical mass of facilities to support economic development.

Analysis show that the food sector together with other value-chain related sectors represent one of the most important, potential fields to leverage improvement of socio-economic situation in remote areas.

Within this framework, those Central Europe Countries, together with Austria, Italy and Germany, will design and implement a sustainable transnational action plan to generate competitive advantages for SMEs and proactive hints for intermediaries and institutional representative levels.

Ten competent partners bringing knowledge competences and reliable and strong relationships with their local environments, will collaborate to improve entrepreneurial competences and skills in remote areas through food innovation potentials.

Outputs of I-CON will be a joint transnational food mentor scheme and a food crowd design platform usability.

Main data of the project:

Project title: I-CON – Improving COmpetences and skills through Food sector InNovations
Project code: CE393

  • Pomurje Technology Park – Slovenia
  • CCIS-Chamber of Agricultural and Food Enterprises Slovenia
  • Business Upper Austria
  • Campden BRI Hungary Ltd.
  • South Transdanubian Regional Innovation Agency – Hungary
  • CNA Regional Association os Emilia Romagna Italy
  • Industry Association Service & Training of Treviso and Pordenone – Italy
  • Hohenheim University Germany
  • Polish Chamber of Food Industry and Packaging – Poland
  • Slovak Chamber of Commerce and Industry – Slovakia

Project budget in EUR: 2.216.448,40 €
ERDF funding in EUR: 1.833.568,10 €
Funding program: Interreg CENTRAL EUROPE
Project duration: 06.2016 – 05.2019

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V-EDUCA 2  – Vocational education 2                                                                               

Vocational Education 2 is an educational project on nearly zero energy buildings (NZEB). The main objective of the project is to smooth transition from standard and often energy poor construction to nZEB standard supported by EU and cross-border countries.

Specific, objectives are:

  1. To upgrade university curriculums and educational processes in the field of construction
  2. To educate designers and workers that are employable and competent to respond to modern world construction needs
  3. To raise awareness on nZEB as inevitable standard for both sectors, public and private.

Main project activities include:

  • Analysis of energy efficient construction in the cross-border area
  • Case study of „the best“ energy efficient construction project on each side of the border
  • Development of curriculum and nZEB content for summer school
  • Summer school
  • Study tours
  • Practical education of students
  • Guide to cost-optimum nZEB construction

Besides technical activities project includes project management as well as promotion and publicity.
Project has four project beneficiaries, two coming from Hungary and two coming from Croatia. Lead beneficiary is Regional Energy Agency North who along with University North implements project on Croatian side. Beneficiaries on Hungarian side are South Transdanubian Regional Innovation Agency Nonprofit and University of Pecs. Altogether, project beneficiaries form a group of competent and experienced entities that can and will effectively implement project and fulfill its short term and long term goals.

Main data of the project:

Project title: Vocational education 2 – Co-operation in higher education
Project code: HUHR/1601


  • University North – Croatia
  • Regional Energy Agency North – Croatia
  • South Transdanubian Regional Innovation Agency Nonprofit Ltd. – Hungary
  • University of Pecs – Hungary

Project budget in EUR: 237.504,92 €
ERDF funding in EUR: 201.879,17 €
Funding program: Interreg V-A Hungary-Croatia Co-operation Programme 2014-2020
Project duration: 01.09.2017- 31.12.2018

(More information:
The project is co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund and Hungary.


EE Pannonia – Elaboration of joint energy efficiency action plan for the border region by municipalities, involving the local community (Hungary-Croatia IPA Cross-Border Cooperation Programme 2007-2013)

The project EE Pannonia – „Elaboration of joint energy efficiency action plan for the border region by municipalities, involving the local communities” is implemented in the framework of the Hungary – Croatia IPA Cross-Border Co-operation Programme 2007-2013. Long-term overall objective of the Programme is to promote culture and knowledge-based development based on the successful management of the natural and cultural heritage and on the intensive socio-economic relations between the two sides of the border region. The project is implemented in the framework of the Co-operative Economy and Intercommunity Human Resource Development – Joint local planning, strategies, programmes priority.

The international cooperation started on 1st of December, 2013 with the partnership of the Lead Beneficiary South Transdanubian Innovation Agency Nonprofit Ltd, the City of Osijek and the Regional Energy Agency North.

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APP4INNO – Establishment and promotion of new approaches and tools for the strengthening of primary sector’s competitiveness and innovation in the South East Europe (South East Europe Programme)

The APP4INNO project that will be implemented as part of the European Union’s South East Europe Programme started on 1st of October 2012. In its realization STRIA works together with 14 partners form eight countries.

The main focus of the project is the uncompetitiveness of the agricultural SMEs resulting from the lack of innovation, R&D activities and services helping internationalization. A key issue is the innovative potential of high quality traditional products.

The aim of the project is the establishment of a transnational service platform that supports innovation, technology transfer and the co-operation of agricultural SMEs thus contributing to the competitive international market access of these organizations.

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STEP – Improving Communities’ Sustainable Energy Policy Tools (INTERREG IVC) 

EU member states have committed themselves to demanding climate and energy targets, the so call “20-20-20 targets”. To reach these targets, however, national and regional policies need to be deployed more efficiently at local authorities’ level.

The STEP project follows this approach by focusing on fostering local level policies supporting energy efficiency. The partnership aims at reducing the energy consumption and CO2 emissions in the partner territories and increasing the rate of renewable energy sources used. In addition, partners promote regional energy self-efficiency and diversification. Partners exchange policy practices via thematic seminars and study visits. To verify some of the practices in focus, three of the partner regions will serve as test ground for light pilot actions. Very importantly, STEP partners involve local authorities throughout the project’s implementation via regional policy exploitation actions. Thus the project serves as platform for the partner local and regional authorities to exchange with energy stakeholders and increase their capacity in the field of sustainable energy planning and implementation.

STEP partners will elaborate thematic policy practice guides with recommendations in three topics:

  1. Better implementation of sustainable energy policies at local level;
  2. Development of sustainable energy management systems, and
  3. Financing tools for sustainable energy investments.

These guides will translate into 8 regional implementation plans, which will guarantee the durability of the project results. The plans will be realised after the end of STEP and will ensure the regional and local transfer of identified policy tools.

InnoInvest – Establishing business co-operation among innovative actors in the border region (Hungary-Croatia IPA Cross-border Co-operation Programme)

The „InnoInvest – Establishing business co-operation among  innovative actors in the border region” project is financed by the Hungary-Croatia IPA Cross-border Co-operation Programme.  There are 8 partner organizations taking part in the project 5 from Croatian side and 3 representing Hungary. One of the Hungarian partners is South Transdanubian Regional Innovation Agency Nonprofit Ltd. (STRIA) as the Lead Beneficiary of the project and as a sub-contractor of the project working on a professional task the South Transdanubian Regional Development Agency Nonprofit Ltd. (STRDA).

Main objective: establishing a synergetic and cooperative border region based on knowledge and the intensive interaction between the actors of innovative economy development.

Specific objectives:

  • analysing the innovation and economy development situation in all participating regions;
  • investigation of comparative advantages present in the regions participated;
  • drawing up a joint innovation development action plan based on the comparative advantages identified;
  • joint promotion of the border region as an investment location.

As a result of the project a network of innovative actors will be set, online access to cross-border business information will be provided, target group’s and politicians’ decision making process will be supported by action plans.

Inno-CropFood – Transnational Innovation Platform from Cropfield to Table (Hungary-Croatia IPA Cross-Border Cooperation Programme 2007-2013)

Under ACTION 2.1.3 Joint Research, Development and Innovation, the proposed project will contribute to the enhancement of the joint RDI capacity of the Hungarian-Croatian border region by building/establishing a cooperation of Kaposvar University, JJ Strossmayer University, the Somogy Chamber and DDRIÜ.

The overall objective of the project is to develop mutual communication platform between agro-food stakeholders in order to improve of the RDI capacity of the target region.

Main activities of the proposed project: organising thematic workshops from Cropfield to Table by inviting the relevant stakeholders of the region, patenting and innovation expert and disseminating research works and best practices; collection and analyses of best practices on field visits in food industry innovation and innovation co-operations; based on the scientific and practical findings of the workshops writing of a joint strategic proposal on the potential and capacities, as well as the development directions of RDI in agri-food chain. These contribute to the overall and specific objectives of the Programme in a way that new forms of communication and cooperation of RDI will be investigated, planned and elaborated as well as its fundaments will be established.

Main data of the project:

LB: Kaposvár University (Kaposvár)

  • J.J.Strossmayer University of Osijek;
  • Somogy Chamber of Trade and Industry (Kaposvár);
  • South-Transdanubian Regional Innovation Agency (Pécs)
  • Associated partner: Croatian Food Agency, Osijek

The location of the joint work as well as of the proposed results: Somogy, Baranya counties; and Osijecko-Baranjska counties.
The duration of the project: 1 October 2011 to 31 January 2013
Target groups: agricultural and food producers involved in RDI of the project target area, researchers, patenting experts, innovators and innovation end-users and indirectly the potential innovative producers, students and education institutions.

FORT- Fostering continuous research and technology application (Central Europe Programme)

By strengthening the cooperation between actors of the innovation system and developing joint services for target groups, the project will explore existing and develop further instruments for supporting open innovation, which foresees a transfer of SME’ internal environment into external environment including public R&D capacities, transnational networks, clusters. Specific objectives of the project are: implemented pilot actions; developed recommendations for creating organizational culture in SMEs and public research organizations for continuous innovation; implemented training programs and established transnational innovation system network; created space for ongoing exchange of innovative ideas.

During the project the following activities will be implemented:

  • Study the Innovation culture, proposing to establish an organizational structure that focuses on innovation. Target groups: SMEs, researchers, research institutions, decision-makers. Preparation of the regional plan and its implementation.
  • Training program for technology transfer organizations and cluster managers to improve their relationships. Establish the international network of technology transfer managers.
  • “Innovation Open House Events” will be organized. Bringing together researchers and research institutions in order to realize specific research and development projects. During the events innovative ideas will be presented and evaluated. The winner will get a “Cross-Innovation Voucher” (5000 EUR). Thanks to this, the innovator will be able to implement his idea in collaboration with ​​another innovative company from the partnership-regions.

Access – ACCelerating regional competitivenESS and sector-based excellence through innovation management tools and techniques (Central Europe Programme)

ACCESS (ACCelerating regional competitivenESS and sector-based excellence through innovation management tools and techniques) is our latest project within the CENTRAL EUROPEAN PROGRAMME. The lead partner of the project is the South Transdanubian Regional Innovation Agency Nonprofit Ltd. ACCESS is implemented by 11 partners coming from Austria, Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia who have been brought together in their common interest in a new level of innovation development that will focus on the following 2 specific facets:

  • Which are the tools and techniques of regional innovation management that might be useful to improve innovation capacities?
  • Which potentials might be hidden in a sector-based focus for innovation management?

The partners will start with the knowledge audit and integration that aims at investigating and understanding regional innovation capabilities in terms of sectoral specifics. Then they will analyse and integrate the cumulated knowledge in common understandings and through this they will create a knowledge base of sector-based innovation.
Furthermore, it is of high importance to share knowledge about innovation management tools and techniques. For this purpose a transnational innovation management training will be organised enabling selected employees of each partner – who will act as “internal peers” during the pilot application – to deal with innovation management related matters.

Basing on these 2 sides of knowledge generated by the project and also necessary for the pilot application (sector-based information on the one side, innovation management tools and techniques on the other side), the partners will elaborate a transnational methodical tool (a peer review methodology) to assess sector-based innovation potentials and capabilities in the regions. The tool will be also tested in the participating countries by 3 peer review groups focusing on one of the selected sectors each, and transferred in the frame of a pilot service to other regions and/or sectors.

In addition, 3 selected regions specific aspects of the strategic implementation plans will be also implemented: In Slovenia an innovative “food plain” will be set up to make the sector competitive and correspondent to EU regulations, in Central Hungary biotechnology facilitation will take place with the focus on the establishment of a transnational cluster while in Upper Silesia a double mentoring system for technology transfer will be installed.

I3SME – Introducing Innovation Inside SMEs (Central Europe Programme)

„I3SME – Introduction Innovation Inside SMEs” project financed by the Central Europe Program of the EU. There are 9 partner organisations from Italy, Austria, Germany, Hungary, Poland and Slovenia. Local development agencies, business associations, universities and research and technological transfer centres and relevant public authorities will be directly involved in the project and will benefit from the envisaged activities. They need support in the identification of instruments and strategies to apply innovation inside SMEs and provide an capabilities transfer at international level in order to ensure the efficiency an added value.
One of the hungarian partners is the South Transdanubian Regional Development Agency, and as a subcontractor the South Transdanubian Regional Innovation Agency are responsable for the professional activities. STRIA will be able to realize and utilize some of the daily routines and difficulties of the SMEs from a different perspective in the region, which knowledge can be built in the RIS as well.
I3SME aims at contributing to the micro and SMEs performances enhancement in the research and innovation fields, offering effective services in order to enable them to face the main difficulties in acceding to knowledge and innovation. It is envisaged the direct involvement of 800 SMEs and the training of 30 facilitators which will be able to support the enterprises in the acquisition of innovation.

The specific objectives are:

  • Analyse the different approaches and services already utilised in the involved areas individuating good practices and excellence, considering also the differences in terms of economic and territorial features, entrepreneurial and business activities.
  • Defining common methodologies to be applied introducing the benchmarking approach and ICT platform as tools for assessing and improving the micro and SMEs performances.5. Implementing pilot projects in order to test the new services and assess their effectiveness.
  • Conceiving specific action plans/guidelines to be adopted by SMEs in the involved areas with the participation of the relevant stakeholders.
  • Training and supporting community of facilitators, advisors who have the task of supporting SMEs in self-analysis, learning, creation and transfer of knowledge processes.

AsviLoc plus – Agencies Supporting Value of Innovation systems in regional and LOCal economies (South East Europe Transnational Cooperation Programme)

The main objectives of the project are: to contribute building up a transnational innovation system; to enhance RDAs role fostering regional innovation system; to share and to capitalise lessons learnt from the EU RPIAs.

Project activities are:

  • local and transnational networking;
  • setting up of Regional Laboratories that foreseen the sharing of knowledge and expertise among the key innovation actors;
  • implementation of staff exchanges and training package to enhance RDAs staff;
  • carrying out pilot actions to test innovation services on the SMEs and their representatives;
  • integrated planning workshops involving innovation policy makers and innovation key actors;
  • drafting of a memorandum of understanding of the RDAs addressed to the European Policy Makers in charge of shaping policies for the period 2013/2020;
  • drafting of RDAs Innovation Action Plan 2015.

Expected results: new ICT tools developed for innovation knowledge management;training tools adopted to improve knowledge management and to increase awareness innovation management process; setting up regional networks for innovation approach and policies;establishment of transnational network including coordination mechanism for innovation friendly framework contribution.

National Projects

“Improving the STRIA” project

Based on its achievements in the field of regional innovation, the South Transdanubian Regional Development Agency (STRDA) – in collaboration with other innovation and economic development supporting organisations – established the Regional Innovation Agency Nonprofit Ltd. (STRIA) in 2008.

In order to realise the aims and tasks of the innovation agency, it won the “Support for the research and development and innovation supporting services of Regional Innovation Agencies” project funded by the National Office for Research and Technology (NKTH). The aim of the project financed from the resources of the Research and Technological Innovation Fund was to maintain the strengthening of the National Innovation System through generating, harmonizing and co-ordinating regional innovation processes, organizing technological innovation networks, providing innovation services and supporting services for the integration of these elements into an effective system.

According to the official communiqué of the NKTH the 26th March 2008, STRIA received a funding of 299.937.000 HUF as part of the project mentioned above. Due to the funding, the STRIA’s operation for 3 years became guaranteed. However, one condition of the supporting organization was that the agency realises annually increasing revenues from the fees of innovation supporting services. The company can utilise the fund for the following tasks:

  • Further developing its strategic and operational plan aimed at supporting regional innovation, developing regional economic development, generating new and maintaining existing workplaces,
  • Supporting the co-ordination of the innovation resources and the utilization of regional development funds for innovation purposes
  • Helping develop the system of decentralised grant opportunities, creating professional recommendations for the improvement of the regional innovation strategy and supporting its implementation
  • Maintaining contact with organisations involved in its operation (Regional Development Council, municipalities, etc.), innovation supporting institutions, harmonizing its activities with other organisations and the members of the RIA network,
  • Creating and operating a regional innovation database,
  • Continuously assessing, analysing and evaluating the innovation activity of the region, drawing conclusions and forecasting, making proposals,
  • Entering the EU Seventh Framework Programme (FP7), CIP and other international programmes and networks, getting involved in projects with possible funding for its own activities, generating domestic and international projects for the improvement of regional innovation,
  • Providing information on the utilisation of the regional innovation database for the development of interregional and international co-operations,
  • Co-operating with the members of the network B2Europe,
  • Supporting the development of the regional innovation system, the formation and functioning of innovation networks, co-ordinating co-operations in the field of innovation,
  • Organising and managing the flow of information on innovation projects between enterprises and regional institutions of innovation,
  • Creating bridges between innovative organisations and local private and public institutions,
  • Maintaining an expert network in order to provide expert services for the regional innovative organisations,
  • Co-ordinates interregional co-operation in innovation,
  • Participating in the takeover and propagation of best practices, including experiences from the activities of the RIAs between 2005-2007,
  • Assuring access to the services of innovation networks and to the international and domestic databases containing precious information on innovation activities,
  • Continuously communicating its own innovation services and the innovation results of the region,
  • Possessing an activity in accordance with the requirements of the qualification system created for the RIAs, determined by the National Office for Research and Technology (NKTH),
  • Maintaining relationships in the form of co-operation agreements with the regional development council, the central and decentralised organisations (except for NKTH) and with other RIAs, until the end of the first year of the duration
  • Maintaining networks according to the previous statements during the total duration.