Closure of the POCTEFA COMPET’plus project

The partners of the POCTEFA COMPET’plus project revealed the results achieved in the project’s four action areas (energy, mobility, agri-food and creative industries) during a ceremony held at the Bellevue centre in Biarritz.

Companies, technology centres and business clusters from Nouvelle-Aquitaine, Euskadi and Navarra met today at the Bellevue in Biarritz to be informed about the final results of COMPET’plus, a cross-border project meant to boost SMEs’ business competitiveness and innovation in R&D&I through cross-border cooperation among the three territories involved.

The project focused on three themes or areas of common interest: electro-mobility (both electric and hydrogen), energy hybrids, healthy eating and CCI (virtual animation collaboration line for industrial applications).

The results obtained have been very promising.

In electro-mobility, the result of work done at seven meetings and during field visits, grouping more than 130 participants, a Euroregional collaboration agreement was signed between TOPOS (cluster dedicated to offering smart mobility service and solutions in Nouvelle-Aquitaine), MUBIL (reference pole in smart and sustainable mobility of Gipuzkoa) and NAVEAC/NAITEC (innovation platform set up by the government of Navarra to promote electric, autonomous and connected mobility in Navarra).

The agreement signed at the 2022 GO MOBILITY Fair is meant to encourage projects that foster innovation and competitiveness of the industrial and technological fabric in electric, autonomous and connected mobility. Particular attention is paid to pooled infrastructures, developments and results from different trial and experimentation settings for connected vehicles in real environments.

In energy hybrids a study was produced on the design of a cross-border corridor of multi-energy stations with sites in the three territories (Nouvelle-Aquitaine, Euskadi and Navarra). Based on that study, working groups were set up with public institutions, major industrial firms and business clusters in the three territories, with a roadmap based on consensus and economic and energy-related complementarities. More than 92 participants were involved in the different activities carried out in this area.

In healthy eating, four webinars and workshops were held, with more than 80 participants. The focus was on building a platform for supply and demand and around mass catering to facilitate the provision of fresh, local, eco and/or quality-label products.

The conclusions were based on a study conducted by INTIA and Onsen Conseil on the opportunities of a cross-border network to introduce virtuous models and mass catering. The following were analysed to that end: current regulations and the production and distribution of products that are ecological, local and with quality labels. Successful cases and good practices were identified.

In creative and cultural industries (CCI) applied to the industrial sector, a cross-border cluster in gamification – virtual reality and augmented reality – was set up. To combine efforts in matters concerning CCI, four seminars were held as well as in-person meetings, attended by 80 participants and 12 companies.

The companies in the cluster set the following as focus areas: to boost the sector’s visibility, find joint solutions to problems that arise, seek complementarities to meet demand and find synergies to facilitate their internalisation. Also identified were the skill profiles needed to develop the sector’s potential.

Seminars, meetings and fairs

Since the project began in 2020 several sessions have been held to share knowledge and pool theoretical and practical aspects of the project. Also, with the aim of presenting the results and discussing the role border regions can play in achieving a smart, sustainable and inclusive economy, the POCTEFA COMPET’plus project organised a side event in the framework of the 2021 European Week of Regions and Cities and a local event in the framework of the 2022 European Industry Days.

In a parallel effort, cross-border economic flows (purchases and sales) in the working sectors were analysed. The evaluation helped study how the more intense flows behave in zones and areas of interest and discern which economic flows move beyond the cross-border area. It was determined that there is great potential for the growth of cross-border trade, taking advantage of major import and export sources (accounting for around 50%) outside Iparralde, Euskadi and Navarra.

Finally, two studies were produced, an analysis of converge of the three territories’ smart specialisation strategies (RIS3) and a study that includes training for entities that promote cross-border cooperation initiatives for innovation, both done by ORKESTRA.

The Compet’plus project

As final result, the POCTEFA COMPET’plus project aims to create two innovation platforms that promote collaboration between driving-force enterprises (large groups or leading companies) and suppliers (SMEs and local businesses), with a view to generating a joint technological offering around four subject areas: electro-mobility (both electric and hydrogen), energy hybrids, healthy eating and CCI (virtual animation collaboration line for industrial applications).

The POCTEFA COMPET’plus programme is led by CCI Bayonne Pays Basque; the other partners are Cámara Gipuzkoa, Sodena, Orkestra and the Nouvelle-Aquitaine Euskadi Navarra Euroregion. The COMPET’plus (2020-2022) project is 65% financed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) through the Interreg V-A Spain-France-Andorra Programme (POCTEFA 2014-2020). It is a European territorial cooperation programme set up to promote sustainable development of the three territories’ border region.