The Italia-Malta cooperation project I KNOW, an acronym for Interregional Key Networking for Open Innovation EmpoWerment, is funded by the European Regional Development Fund. It aims at setting up a permanent hub to encourage the creation and strengthening of SMEs (micro, small and medium enterprises), providing them with faster access to the markets and boosting their competitiveness.

Programme Interreg VA Italia Malta

Priority Axis 2


Objective 2.1
To promote the creation and the enhancement of enterprises (micro, small and medium) in the intervention field of the cooperation area

Investment Priority
Promoting entrepreneurship, in particular by facilitating the economic exploitation of new ideas and fostering the creation of new firms, even through business incubators


Successfully concluded four editions of Seminars on entrepreneurship acceleration organised in Malta and in Sicily to lead accomplished and would-be entrepreneurs to address innovative and competitive cross-border networks where new and successful ideas can be presented to access new markets.

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Support the creation of innovative start-ups with priority to the sectors of environmental sustainability and the quality of life and human health

Support SMEs in the processes of Open Innovation and collaboration among them

Promote cross-border trade agreements

Students, researchers, aspiring start-ups, new entrepreneurs, incubators and investors will be able to benefit, in the three-year period 2018-2021, of services organized in specialized seminars for Business Plans, Pitching, Social Innovation, Circular Economy, and in actions of Competition, Mentorship, Incubation, Open Innovation Working-Lab, Hackaton, Networking, Matchmaking with investors, with priority to the sectors “the quality of life and health of citizens” and “environmental protection”.

The creation of a multimedia platform “Open Innovation Service Lab” will be the acceleration tool for SMEs and start-up to foster funding and investment opportunities, links to initiatives and open networks.

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The Partnership is formed by the Science and Technology Park of Sicily (leader), University of Messina, University Kore of Enna, University of Malta, and Arkimede, a partner of the Messina-based incubator Innesta. Its goal will be to involve entrepreneurial systems, areas and networks to foster and accelerate industrial innovation, and create new opportunities for economic and employment growth in the two islands.