The 4helix+ project aims at stimulating, coaching and funding cross-sectoral and transboundary innovation of the Med key sector Blue Growth, which deserves to be better supported being an economic driver and a potential generator of development and jobs. The main change sought is to improve basic conditions for bridging the gap among the Mediterranean maritime clusters and within their co-working spaces, maker spaces, creative hubs, etc. Main expected project results include:

  • Upgraded cross-sectoral and trans-boundary RD&I attitude of the targeted 4helix+ Med area innovative maritime clusters key actors, primarily micro, small and medium sized (MSMEs) and Start-ups;
  • Increased awareness and understanding among the involved 8 regional ecosystems about the competitive advantage of the Blue Growth through 4helix+ model and project results embedded into the regional RIS3 strategies of the 8 involved pilot territories;
  • Increased capacity of the 4helix+ partners to implement and transfer a transnational cross innovation action to support Blue Growth in the Mediterranean.

Type of tool

Training, Web Platform


Blue Growth


Local/Regional Authorities, Private sector

Geographical scale

Regional, National




Innovation, funding, coaching, knowledge provider, cross border cooperation

Pilot Areas

Marche Region, Central Macedonia, Zadar County, Andalucia, Lisbon Region, Durres, Vlora, Saranda & Shengjin coastal areas, Catalunya, Région Sud – Provence-Alpes Côte d’Azur

What problems would this tool solve?

The innovation voucher scheme is aimed at stimulating, coaching and funding cross-sectoral & trans boundary innovation of blue traditional sectors. It offers the possibility to explore a business opportunity or solve a small-scale innovation related problem by acquiring knowledge and coaching services supplied by a “Knowledge provider” who has the mission to help the company in developing such an innovation project. It allowed Mediterranean regions to face their innovation challenges and achieve their goals in their innovation support to companies by putting into place a collaborative framework at transnational level. Moreover, it made it possible that regions and enterprises could benefit from transnational cooperation to promote competitiveness. Thus, the implementation of the “innovation voucher scheme” provided many examples of successful transnational cooperation projects based on favouring RD&I processes in SMEs.

What is needed for its implementation?

Technological infrastructure

A PC/Tablet and an internet connection.


No training is needed to use this tool.


No particular investment is needed to use this tool.


How to use it?

The goal of the Innovation Voucher Call was to help Micro and SMEs to design and/or create, through small innovation projects, new products, services, processes or business models. For this purpose, the consortium had a budget of 480.000€ in innovation vouchers, amounting to €10.000 per project, that were granted upon evaluation to 48 MSMEs/Start-Ups located in pilot projects’ regions (6 vouchers were available for each target region).

Therefore, blue sector SMEs/Start-Ups that applied for 4helix+ Innovation Voucher had to select a registered Knowledge Provider in order to acquire knowledge and be assisted in its project proposal elaboration and, if awarded, project implementation.

What are the expected results?


Thanks to:

  • 8 Blue Bootcamps,
  • 18 Regional info days held online and in presence,
  • 1 Brokerage event held in Zadar and 48 innovation voucher schemes funded.

Companies from 8 Mediterranean areas have acquired knowledge:

  • Installing new alliances with experts such as the KPs
  • Generating new ideas
  • Testing new products, processes, business models, marketing strategies
  • Using voucher results to innovate their internal process and improve their activities.

Transfer potential

This result could be used in any kind of project, programme and Mediterranean territory at any time, willing to introduce R&D into the SMEs of a specific sector of an activity. At this moment, as far as we have basic financial support for offering an “innovation voucher”, this “tool”/result could be replicated. The key element is the usage of this “innovation voucher system” as an incentive to support R&D introduction into Mediterranean BLUE SMEs, thanks to the coaching activities of the selected knowledge providers.

Project contact

Ida Prosperi: iprosperi@svimspa.it

Further information