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Wednesday, 2 March 2016 16:36

Enterprise Experience Programme 2015: hands-on experience of life in small or medium-sized companies in Western Macedonia, northwest Greece

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EU News

The "Enterprise Experience Programme" is an EU initiative, which enables EU executives to visit EU SMEs for a certain period of time - for a maximum of one week - and become acquainted with companies' daily operations. Target of the initiative for the EU initiatives is to learn about the problems the EU SMEs face, as well as the opportunities they have both in Europe and in the international markets. 

Western Macedonia is endowed with rich natural resources such as energy and metallic minerals that have shaped its productive identity as one of the most important electric energy production centres in Greece (50% of country's total power is produced in the region). However, the region is also home to cluster of firms in traditional sectors, including renowned regional products such as marble, saffron, fruits, local wines, furs and specialized arts and crafts. In the recent years the SMEs active in the food & beverage sector have a significant growth potential by adopting new technologies and expanding their export activities within and outside the EU borders.

Within the frames of Enterprise Experience Programme 2015, Dr. Cyrill Dirscherl, policy coordinator, DG for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs GROW B3 - Standards for Growth, was given the opportunity to visit three companies in the Region of Western Macedonia, two in Kozani area, the capital of the prefecture and a third one in Amyndeon area, Florina prefecture, all of them actively involved in the agro - food sector.

The first company is a new-established SME "Rizes (Roots)" and its owner Mr. M. Vasileiadis has been active in the sector of artisan food production, initially funded by the Leader programme, an innovative approach within EU rural development policy. The second one is the Cooperative of Saffron in Kozani and Krokus Kozanis products, a joint venture between the Co-operative of Saffron in Kozani, Korres natural products S.A. and the company Capital Connect Venture Partners, and finally the third one, the Alpha Estate winery, which is located in Amyndeon / Florina region, a grape-growing zone in northwestern Macedonia. Alpha is considered one of the most cutting edge producers in Greece and has established the most technologically advanced vineyards in the viticulture world.

Dr. Dirscherl had the opportunity to visit the afore-mentioned companies and discuss with their representatives important issues, such as the quality of their products and their standardization through processes and certifications schemes, their export activities within and outside the EU, innovation capacity in agro-food sector while at the same time he has thoroughly discussed with the SMEs on issues and conditions of exports to third countries such as China, as well as the obstacles and the opportunities Greek SMEs has been facing throughout their operational life. As already mentioned, Dr. Dirscherl had the opportunity to realize the innovative ideas and procedures some businesses have implemented in the agro food sector, noting that the term "innovation" is not just for high-tech enterprises, but can easily be successfully applied to more traditional sectors as well.

Finally, Dr. Dirscherl had the opportunity to be informed in detail about the services provided by ANKO S.A. / The Regional Development Agency of West Macedonia towards the SMEs and more specifically by the Enterprise Europe Network, where ANKO participates in, as well as about the synergies ANKO has developed with other local and regional bodies, in order to maximize its services.

Photo Annex :

Company "Rizes" Greek Delicatessen

Cooperative of Saffron in Kozani and Krokus Kozanis products

Alpha Estate, Amynteon Florina

For further information please contact:


The Regional Development Agency of West Macedonia S.A. - ANKO 

An  Enterprise Europe Network - Hellas Partner

Fon Karagianni str. 1-3
50100 Kozani
Tel.: +30 24610 24022
Fax: +30 24610 49210

E-mail: info@anko-eunet.gr

Web Sites: http://www.anko-eunet.gr/


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