Project Details

Title: Regions using ECO-ManageMENt for eco-innovation Development
Priority: 1: Innovation and the knowledge economy
Theme: Entrepreneurship and SMEs

Type of intervention

Type of intervention: 1: Regional Initiative Project
Mini-programme: No
Duration: 1st Jan 2012 - 31st Dec 2014


Total budget: €1,346,727.46
ERDF contribution: €1,085,843.67

Lead partner

Lower Austrian Regional government office Department of environmental and energy economics
Landhausplatz 1, Haus 16
3109, St. Pölten

  • Click for contact details
    • Contact Person: Mag. Barbara Nährer
      Phone: +43/2742 9005-14585
      Fax: +43/ 2742 9005-14350

Project summary

In the light of the Lisboa and Gothenburg strategies targeted at more sustainable patterns of economic development it is the main idea of the RECOMMEND project that eco-management systems and their preliminary stages can play a major role in meeting ecological challenges and can be used as a lever for establishing and strengthening of eco-innovation at a regional level.


Based on the analysis of good practice and involving regional policymakers and stakeholders the project will deliver new and improved policy approaches and methodologies to reach the following goals:

- Shaping regions of vital eco-management commitment that will raise eco-efficiency at the level of individual stakeholders

- Creating and interlinking “regional frameworks of eco-management and eco-innovation”

- Increasing the visibility of the contributions of regional economies for the solution of ecological challenges at the European level


The exchange of experience between the partner regions will be deepened

in 3 pilot actions that will prove the practicability of the project results in terms of new and improved instruments to improve eco-innovation, such as enhanced eco-voucher schemes, eco-management practitioner networks etc.


A strong project focus on awareness raising and dissemination of the project results will strengthen the commitment of regional policymakers and stakeholders for durable realisation of the Regional Implementation Plans prepared by the project partners in an assessment and peer review process. Additional briefings at EC level are planned for to feed back the project recommendations to EU policies.

The project consortium consists of 10 partners from 8 Member States with a good mixture of regions with different levels of the regional support for eco-management and eco-innovation.

There are several project partners from new member states which are very keen in increasing the number of eco-efficient businesses within their regions.

The partners decided to develop this project, because it offers the opportunity for all regions to improve their eco-efficiency even in times of limited resources.

5 partners are public authorities with responsibilities on the edge between business and environment. The other 6 partners have direct influence on the regional policies in order to raise eco-efficiency via eco-management. All of them have full support of the regional governments and therefore they can guarantee the usage of the project results even after the project duration.

In 3 partner regions we decided to include two partners in the project consortium. This construction guarantees the inclusion of the know-how institution and the policy level at the same time.


The project partnership decided to divide the project in 5 interrelated phases from know-how exchange to the preparation of the Regional Implementation Plan. The entire project is characterised by an intensive interregional exchange.

Project achievements

Are companies with an installed eco-management system more eco-innovative? That is the key question for the RECOMMEND project. Therefore the RECOMMEND project started in the first project period with a direct comparison of eco-innovation and eco-management support schemes from the Project partner regions and beyond. This comparison study is downloadable from the website. In the first Working Summit in Ceske Budejuvice (Czech Republic) in June 2012 all partners conducted a gap analysis of their own regional funding structure, which resulted in an overview of each region. The results of those analysis clearly showed the interlink between eco-innovation and eco-management of businesses. Furthermore all partners chose good practices from other partners which are interesting for an improvement of their own regional eco funding structure. In the second project phase the RECOMMEND partners concentrated on regional reflection of the existing good practices as well as on

eco-innovation and eco-management support schemes. All partners conducted within their regions thematic talks with all their relevant stakeholders and introduced the new gained information on relevant good practice examples & supporting schemes. Not less than 40 thematic talks with regional stakeholders were conducted by the project partners. Each project partner developed together with her/his stakeholders ideas for the pilot actions and the regional action plans. The early inclusion of the relevant players is the key for the success of the future project activities. At the second working summit in Peterborough, November 2012, each partner presented the outputs of the thematic talks to the RECOMMEND project team. These results were directly reflected in the creation of three interregional Working Groups (WG) on: eco-voucher schemes, eco-management practitioner networks & cluster initiatives for eco-innovation. The working groups started their work at the 2nd Working Summit and lasted

for at least 6 months. In different interregional workshops the partners learnt more about the before mentioned 3 key topics. Additionally the preparation phase of the Regional Implementation Plans (RIPs) were kicked off. The Lead partner prepared a template for his partners with concrete instructions how to prepare the RIPs; The 3rd Working Summit in Estonia (Tartu, June 2013) was the kick off of the 3 planned pilot actions; the 3 leaders of the Pilot Actions (Estonia, Austria, Czech Republic ) introduced their concepts on Pilot Action: Estonia planed to organise a series of events to promote eco-innvoation; Austria aimed to prepare one single eco-expert data base and Czech Repbulic wanted to implement a new voucher system / funding system; The 4th Working summit in Poland (Torun, October 2013) had the following 3 main discussion topics: 1. Status quo report on preparing the 8 RIPs & 1st internal reflection round on each RIP ; 2. Status quo report on the implementation of the 3 Pilot

Actions & the 3 field missions to the host regions and workshop on alternative financing possibilities of eco friendly actions (Crowd funding); In April 2014 the Peer Assessment Meeting took place in Italy (Ascoli Piceno). Target of this Meeting was to review the drafts of all 8 RIPs. Each RIP was analysed according to its efficiency, impact & implementability. Purpose of this final evaluation was to support each Partner in preparing its RIP in the most successful & realistic way. Furthermore 3 field missions according to the 3 pilot actions took place in Spring 2014. RECOMMEND succeeded in transferring 5 good practices & improved 5 regional policies on green innovation support. At the final conference in Bulgaria in Sept 2014 the project results were introduced with special focus on the RIPs. Additionally 2 workshops took place with the target to get new input for pot. new project ideas. In order to promote RECOMMEND several PR activities have been conducted so far;


Institution, Town Country Region Contact details
Lower Austrian Regional government office Department of environmental and energy economics, St. Pölten AUSTRIA Niederösterreich +43/2742 9005-14585
Marshal Office of the Kujawsko-Pomorskie Voivodeship, Torun POLAND Kujawsko-Pomorskie +48 56 62 18 505
Energy Efficiency Agency, Sofia BULGARIA Yugozapaden +359 2 980 06 44
Ekoport, Kladno CZECH REPUBLIC Stredni Cechy +420 602 563 348
Local energy agency Spodnje Podravje Ptuj, Ptuj SLOVENIA Vzhodna Slovenija 00386 (0)5 99 74 658
Tartu Regional Energy Agency, Tartu ESTONIA Eesti +372 7635374
Province of Ascoli Piceno, Ascoli Piceno ITALY Marche +39 0736 277 536
UK Centre for Economic & Environmental Development (UK CEED), Peterborough UNITED KINGDOM East Anglia +44(0)1733 311644
Opportunity Peterborough, Peterborough UNITED KINGDOM East Anglia 0044 1733 317417
Union of Bulgarian Black Sea Local Authorities, Varna BULGARIA Severoiztochen +359 52 600 266
Public Environmental Center for Sustainable Development/ PECSD/, Varna BULGARIA Severoiztochen +359 52 306-423


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