The high level of seasonality of main economic activities (agriculture, building and tourism and of the related to them sectors) is a common problem of most Mediterranean Islands.
Handicrafts and low-tech industrial activities were providing traditionally a possibility to offer during low season additional occupation to those employed in full season in the main economic activities and contributed to maintain a good level of activity to commerce and services during the all year. Most low-tech and low-wages industries having gone, remaining and new industrial activities have to be more high-tech, knowledge-based and ecology friendly than in any other place as they have not only to fit to competitive criteria but also to compatibility requirements (not affect negatively main economic activities by damaging the environment).
To meet these specific requirements and operate this shift industrial activities in islands suffer of specific handicaps, linked to insularity, which need to be faced through coordinated local action plans requiring the support and involvement of all local actors and the establishment of better links to remote actors detaining the expertise and know-how required for their operations.
Indeed, Small Industries located in Mediterranean islands face specific problems to develop their innovation capacities, linked to difficulties and cost of access on a stable basis to all the expertise required to sustain such developments as well as to their distance from some of their targeted markets or strategic providers located in mainland.The project will put together Local Authorities, SME Associations, Technical Centers, Training organisations and providers of IT solutions in view of organising and experimenting coordinated support policies and actions for developing existing SMEs and smart industry start-ups innovation projects. Geographic focus will be Creta, Aegean Islands, Cyprus and Sicily. Innovation priorities will focus in the use of innovative materials (smart textiles, electronic plastics, innovative ceramics), of creative design and innovative product development, innovative marketing. Policy actions including pilots will support Small Industry projects for the production of new products using these materials and extended use of Information Technologies to solve problems of local unavailability of expertise, information, education and training. Specific and to facilitate communication and networking between local actors, these solutions and strategic remote providers and clients.