Project Details

Title: Connecting the territory through the innovation network
Priority: 1: Innovation and the knowledge economy
Theme: Innovation, research and technology development

Type of intervention

Type of intervention: 1: Regional Initiative Project
Mini-programme: No
Duration: 1st Jan 2010 - 31st Dec 2012


Total budget: €1,766,120.09
ERDF contribution: €1,381,396.56

Lead partner

The Andalusian Technology Network (R.E.T.A.)
C/ Severo Ochoa 21 - Edif. Norte - Bajo - Ofic. 5
29590, Campanillas

  • Click for contact details
    • Contact Person: Carmen Porras
      Phone: 00 34 951 231 305
      Fax: 00 34 952 020 631

Project summary

The INOLINK project focuses on regional policies and practices for the diffusion of innovation. It tackles the issue of innovation activities being usually concentrated on a limited number of innovative firms, typically concentrated in some geographical areas, while most of the European firms, generally SMEs, never undertake innovation.


The overall objective of the INOLINK project is improving the reach of regional innovation policies, through a better connection of actors within the regional innovation system, especially of those located in the most peripheral and backward areas. To achieve this objective, the INOLINK project proposes the exchange of experiences in the setting up and functioning of public structures and networks, which support innovation and the participation in R&D cooperation and knowledge transfer of actors in peripheral areas and less innovative sectors within the regional innovation system.

Ten partners from eight EU Member States participate in the INOLINK project, covering a wide EU geographical area. The partnership includes regional authorities, regional innovation networks and other intermediary bodies set up by public authorities for the promotion of territorial innovation. Territorial innovation networks exist in the participating regions of Andalusia, Saarland, Tuscany and Lower Styria. The INOLINK project is led by RETA, the Andalusian Network of Technological Spaces, a regional innovation network set up in 2005 by the Regional Government of Andalusia, in Spain.


The INOLINK project will focus on the exchange and identification of good practices on the regional diffusion of technology, and on the dissemination of the generated knowledge throughout the EU and among the regional stakeholders in the partner regions. For this purpose, study visits to regions with good practices will be organised, as well as several workshops and two project conferences.

The partners will develop a coordinated survey on the regional needs for innovation in peripheral areas, traditional sectors and SMEs. A Report on Good Practices on Regional Diffusion of Innovation and a Guide for the setting up and operation of a regional innovation network will be elaborated.


As a result of the process of mutual learning and collective debate and reflection, each partner will elaborate a Regional Improvement Plan, with recommendations for the practical implementation of the learned good practices in its regional context.


The INOLINK project expects to result on the transfer of good practices between the participation regions, and on the improvement of skills and competences of staff in charge of the definition and implementation of innovation policies in all participating regions. The INOLINK project also expects contributing to the generation of common EU knowledge on innovation policy through interregional cooperation.

Project achievements

INOLINK is an European project that involves a total of 9 entities from 8 European Countries: Bulgaria, Germany, Italy, Portugal, Rumania, Slovenia, Spain and United Kingdom, leaded by the Andalusian Technology Network (RETA).

The objective of INOLINK is to increase the reach of regional innovation policies through a better connection of actors within the regional innovation systems, especially on those located in the most peripheral and backward areas. This would contribute to increase the number of regional actors involved in innovation activities and to a more balanced economic and technological development throughout the EU territory. To achieve this objective, INOLINK proposes the exchange of experiences in the setting up and functioning of public structures and networks which support innovation within the regional innovation systems. The first activity implemented was the elaboration of a survey on innovation among all partner.

The aim was to understand the state of the art of each of the partners regions and to learn about the needs for innovation support in peripheral areas, traditional sectors and SMEs.

At the same time INOLINK partners organized a first round of study visits focused on the presentation of the best practices on the promotion of R&D cooperation and knowledge transfer within the regional innovation systems. A total of 7 study visits where celebrated in different regions: Faro on June 2010, Essone in September 2010, Saarland on December 2010, Malaga on March 2011, Coventry on April 2011, Maribor on June 2011, Tuscany on September 2011. After the presentation of the experiences in each of the study visits, partners analyzed and selected those considered the best practices on innovation. The selected experiences have been collected in a “Good Practice Guide”. To capitalize the acquired knowledge it was organized a second round of study visits, participating 9 partners, 4 of them as hostess.

The aim of this round was to deepen the experiences considered as good practices in order to be transferred to other regions. Among all the innovation practices, the partners have chosen those presented in Coventry as the most innovative. 7 of the 9 partners visited Coventry during the second round of visits.

The transfer of the selected good practices to other partner regions has been planned in a Mentoring Plan. This plan matches regions interested in good practices elsewhere with regions with good practices to be transferred. The learnt good practices will be applied to the different regional context through the elaboration of Regional Improvement Plans by all the partners with recommendations and strategies for the improvement of regional innovation policies and practices.

Communication activities have been also important in the framework of the project. One of the aims of the activities has been to awareness regional actors involved in innovation on the needs for improvement.

A huge numbers of events have been achieved to disseminate the project results: 9 regional dissemination events and 2 dissemination events in Brussels, 1 on October 2011 in the framework of the Open Days and the 2nd one on May 2012 in the Committee of the Regions. The dissemination of the project activities has increased the relationship between the partners of the project and the final beneficiaries.


All the activitiesof INOLINK have resulted in a significant impact in the partners regions, with an unexpected result: the signature of 2 memorandums of understanding.


INOLINK has been the first step in the process to increase the reach of the regional innovation policies through a better connection of the regional innovation systems and, especially, between the advance and backward regions. The experience has been highly positive, and the partners have decided to capitalize the project results in a next call of the INTERREG IVC in order to move forward this objective.


Institution, Town Country Region Contact details
The Andalusian Technology Network (R.E.T.A.), Campanillas SPAIN Andalucía 00 34 951 231 305
Etruria Innovazione S.C.p.A., SIENA ITALY Toscana 390577247452
Maribor Development Agency, Maribor SLOVENIA Vzhodna Slovenija 38623331313
cc-NanoBioNet e. V., Saarbrücken GERMANY Saarland 49 681 6857364
Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Essonne, CCI Essonne, Evry FRANCE Île de France 33160799067
University of the Algarve, Faro PORTUGAL Algarve 00351 289 800 097
Foundation for the Development of Science and Technology in Extremadura, Badajoz SPAIN Extremadura 0034 924 014 600
North-East Regional Development Agency, Piatra Neamt ROMANIA Nord-Est 0040 233 218.071
Regional Agency for Entrepreneurship and Innovations - Varna (RAPIV), Varna BULGARIA Severoiztochen 359 52 383 700
Coventry University Enterprises Limited (CUE Ltd), Coventry UNITED KINGDOM West Midlands 0044 2476 236001
Abruzzo Region, L’Aquila ITALY Abruzzo 0039 0862 36 32 48


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