The Project

I KNOW Project > The Project

The Project

The project I-Know – Interregional Key Networking for Open Innovation empowerment aims at supporting the creation of innovative start-ups and strengthening SME competitiveness by trying to access international markets in the sectors “quality of life and citizens health” and “environment”.

The partnership aims at establishing a permanent service hub to encourage the creation and strengthening of businesses and help them achieve faster access to markets and boost their competitiveness.

The platform ‘Open Service Innovation Lab’ will become a promotion and acceleration tool for businesses by offering financing and investment opportunities, organising initiatives, and connecting them to open networks to ensure the sustainability of circular and integrated knowledge.

The services will be provided to the different beneficiaries (SMEs, start-ups, entrepreneurs, students, and innovation actors) with an Open Innovation approach. Targeted seminars will cover such areas as Business Planning, Pitching, Social Innovation, Circular Economy, and actions of Competition, Mentorship, Incubation and Open Innovation Working-Lab, Hackathon, Networking, and Business Matchmaking with investors will be organised.

WP1 Project Management

The Project is being managed by:

  • Steering Committee / Management Committee and Coordination Group (CP) including: Project Manager (PM), Internal Project Coordinators (IC) including 5 coordinators, one for each partner;
  • Project Manager (PM);
  • Scientific Committee (SC) including 5 scientific experts appointed by each partner;
  • Financial Manager (FM);
  • Communication Manager (CM).

WP2. Communication Activities

The purpose is to promote the establishment and growth of businesses to provide them with faster access to target markets and eventually increase their competitiveness. Through dissemination activities, involvement of experts, and the use of different tools, it will be possible to reach all involved subjects, hence building participation, contamination and involvement.

The communication strategy will target specific groups through different channels and dissemination tools, such as: website and social networks, newsletters, information and promotional materials, conferences, seminars and other events.

Media Communication will go on newspapers, radio and TV, social media through press releases and press conferences and will support actions and seminars/workshops organised by WP3, WP4, WP5, WP6.

WP3 - Entrepreneurship

This action involves activities aimed at providing beneficiaries with a wide range of services with the purpose of boosting the creation of more innovative businesses in the areas covered by the Programme starting from the entrepreneurial ideas. A series of seminars and workshops will be organised on different topics: existing funding opportunities at a regional, national and European level; how to present entrepreneurial ideas with a focus on business planning and pitching; aspects related to innovation and actual implementation of an entrepreneurial idea; and access to markets.

Four editions of seminars will be organised (two in Malta and two in Sicily) of 80 hours each.

The University of Malta, with the involvement of the incubator TAKEOFF, will be in charge of organising seminars in Malta, which will focus on drafting business plans and implementing pitches by partners (pitching). The Universities of Messina and Kore of Enna will be in charge of holding the seminars in Sicily.

The main event, called MEDFEST, will be held in Malta and will provide ‘pitches to investors, exhibition spaces’ to create new opportunities for match-making and enhancing the role of the Mediterranean area as a hub for innovative projects and investment attractor for SMEs and innovative start-up businesses.

WP4 – UP-STAIRS – Incubator for Environmental Sustainability, Quality of Life and Human Health

The objective is providing a wide range of services aimed at supporting the creation of new and innovative businesses in the sectors covered by the programme starting from entrepreneurial ideas.

A call for competitive ideas will be launched at the same time in the two areas involved in the project and it will seek a thorough distribution by territory in awarding the best ideas.

The Call will address university students, would-be ‘start-uppers,’ and Sicilian and Maltese SMEs to encourage the submission of innovative entrepreneurial ideas to be involved in the incubation process. The winning ideas will start the incubation period at the Arkimede company, which has a certified incubator, and also at UniKore and UoM, which will provide a contribution during the stage of the Business Clinic.

WP5 – Knowledge and Open Innovation

Some meetings of the Open Innovation Working Lab (OIWL) will be organised to bring together target groups, institutions, research centres and other stakeholders with the aim of creating opportunities to meet and exchange ideas, projects and best practices.

The events called ‘Open Innovation Working Lab’ have been planned to become opportunities to share experiences for businesses, research entities, institutions and civil society, university students and ‘start-uppers’. During those events different themes will be dealt with related to social innovation, circular economy, innovation processes and technological transfer, law and protection of intellectual property, and smart cities.

The challenges and needs emerging from the OIWL will be the core themes of Hackaton, a marathon focussing on finding innovative solutions in the fields of interest with the participation of start-up businesses and SMEs. The processes, products and services resulting from the OIWL and Hackaton will boost the development of new entrepreneurial ideas and activities of entrepreneurial cooperation also for the purpose of their possible patenting and/or technological transfer. This part of the programme will be animated by the University of Messina through their TTO office.

WP 6 – Time to Market

This action is aimed at enabling enterprises to enter cross-border and international markets and improve their competitiveness. Therefore, by implementing commercial explorations and match-making activities, it will be possible to try and set up commercial partnership, cooperation and networks of innovative and competitive enterprises.

Match-making events will be organised among entrepreneurs in Malta and Sicily to streamline the procedures for transnational commercial agreements.

Finally, a platform of Open Innovation will be launched (Open Innovation Service Lab-OISL) to support SMEs and start-up businesses. The platform is to be intended as a virtual lab of Open Innovation and will provide opportunities to receive funding and investments, establish connections to initiatives and open networks.

Additionally, a permanent network among the project partners will be established to support Open Innovation and SMEs and start-up businesses that want to access the market.

Project specific objective Programme output indicators Project main output Measurement unit the project output indicator Project main output

(target values)

Project main output (number)
Support the creation of innovative start-ups in the sectors of environmental sustainability and the quality of life and human health N. of companies receiving non-financial support Realized Seminars Companies 200 O 3.1
Presented Pitch during the MEDFEST event Companies 5 O 3.2
Call for Idea: selected business ideas Companies 10 O 4.1
Realized Incubations Companies 10 O 4.2
Support SMEs in the processes of Open Innovation and collaboration among them in this field N. of companies receiving non-financial support Realized Open Innovation Working Lab Companies 100 O 5.1
Letters of intent for technology transfer Companies 50 O 5. 4
Patent proposals Companies 3 O 5.3
Realized Hackathon Companies 100 O 5.2
Increase of number of commercial agreements following the increased skills of SMEs for access and presence on the markets N. of companies receiving non-financial support Technological and commercial foresight report Companies 50 O 6.1
Realized matchmaking events Companies 20 O 6.2
Trade agreements Number 6 O 6.2
Cross-border service networks created for new businesses and existing businesses Implemented Networks Number 1 O 6.3
N. of companies receiving non-financial support Implementation of the OISL digital platform Companies 100 O 6.4