Boosting INVESTments in INnovation of SMEs along the entire FISHery and aquaculture value chain


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Programme: INTERREG V-A Italy-Croatia 2014.-2020.
Priority Axis: Blue Innovation
Lead Applicant: T2I - Technology Transfer and Innovation
Project duration: 01/01/2019 - 30/06/2021
Project budget: 1.498.440,00 €


  1. Sviluppo Marche s.r.l.
  2. Regional Agrofood District
  3. Punto Confindustria s.r.l.
  4. Istrian Development Agency - IDA ltd.
  5. Zadar County Rural Development Agency - AGRRA

Brief description of project:
Fisheries & Aquaculture (F&A) sector is characterized by micro, small and medium enterprises generally facing difficulties in accessing to innovation due to their dimension combined with high entry costs for research & development (R&D). Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) have also scarce attitude to cooperate and there is substantial gap between R&D providers and SMEs due to lack of substantive understanding of industry needs and mutual dialogue. To meet challenges, it is necessary that F&A firms exploit their products potential, innovate value & quality of territorial F&A tradition by transforming the classic “do everything alone” into innovative multi-open partnership approach applied with tailored and innovation & demand-led support.

“INVESTINFISH” project`s main objective is strengthening of competitiveness of F&A production system, through promotion of investment programs aimed at acquisition of innovation services. After having conducted an in-depth analysis of:

  • poles of excellence able to trigger innovation in 5 Regions concerned;
  • funding schemes;
  • innovation requirements from SMEs and best advanced solutions;

“INVESTINFISH” project implements pilot actions providing some Italian and Croatian F&A SMEs with a roadmap to innovation instruments & services, boosting creation of marketable innovative products and/or processes that will improve the SMEs potential market positioning. By improving interaction processes and framework conditions among key players of F&A sector, project proposal will also affect two other major challenges in those fields:

  • increase quality of sea products and by-products by stimulating investments in marine biotechnology that can open up new opportunities for innovative foods areas, nutraceutical and pharmaceutical industries and of bio-economy in general;
  • improve quality of sea water, by stimulating investments for more sustainable production and management processes of fishery and aquaculture sector, which can have a positive impact on sustainable management of coastal and marine areas.

This project will provide assistance in the form of financial instruments, ie innovation vouchers for 48 SMEs (8 per each project partner). Expected benefits of these vouchers for SMEs are, among other, accelerated time to enter market, increased linkages with innovators, increased F&A enterprises’ R&D expenditures in new & greener components/technologies/services. “INVESTINFISH” intends also to offer to the F&A sector substitution of the value chain concept with value network, proposing a shift from traditional value chains towards more collaborative value networks.