Programme:       INTERREG EUROPE 2021 - 2027 

 SMEOrigin Logo

IMG 0715

SMEOrigin - SMEs & European Original Geographical Indications

Policy objective 1: Smarter Europe

Specific objective: SME competitiveness


  •  SMEOrigin addresses the important topic of food industry in the period of post-covid development, with focus Gis by supporting and promoting the digital transformation of SMEs. 
  •  The project addresses the Green Deal challenges when it comes to food industry and Smart SMEs.
  •  It improves  the  new  2021-2027  policy  instruments,  while exploring new ways to more in-depth engagement of stakeholders at national level.
  •  Empowers selected value chains in partnering regions to strengthen the food industry sectors and make them ready for the new digital era challenges.


7 stakeholders group meetings

1 Publication to showcase all project findings and Good practices transfer and policy improvements

7 interregional workshops and site visits; 1 SWOT analysis

1 high-level event; 1 Interregional online event on food SMEs cooperation beyond borders

SZ REDA is the communication partner for SMEOrigin 

Communication activities:  1 Communication plan; at least 5 social media channels; 1 project website; 2 project videos; Social media campaigns: Info days

Capitalisation activities: Identification and use of suitable Policy learning platform tools

Outreach activities: 7 newsletters, 7 press-releases, 3rd party events; 2 project videos; 1 high-level event


Challenge - 

European countries offer a unique heritage of regional food traditions and a diverse landscape of specialties, reflecting their rich history of multi-ethnic and cultural development. Regional food represents a common European cultural heritage and is therefore a major economic asset for many European regions.

Need - 

Regional food products have a tremendous impact on local development, they are a cultural asset and they generate cooperation between various sectors such as tourism and agriculture. Moreover, the importance of a resilient food system has become even more evident during the Covid-19 crisis.

In the 2014-2020 period, “food” was already addressed by ten   projects: four focusing on innovation, one on clusters and five on support to sector. However, none seems to have focused on products with GIs. This makes SMEOrigin of utmost importance when it comes to link food SMEs , their post covid recovery, smart SMEs objectives, while protecting the EU cultural heritage.

SMEOrigin is fully in line with the overarching goal of EU Cohesion Policy which is to “strengthen economic and social cohesion by reducing disparities in the level of development between regions.” The project brings together three more developed regions (AT, FI, FR), one transition region (ES) and three less developed regions (BG, EL, PL). The partners from AT, ES and PL are new to Interreg Europe. 



7 partners from 7 countries across Europe to join forces on making SMEs smarter:

1.Steirische Wirtschaftsförderungsges.m.b.H. (Lead Partner) - AT

2.Stara Zagora Regional Economic Development Agency- BG

3.Opolskie Centre for Economy Development/Opolskie Voivodeship - PL

4.Savonlinna Development Services - FI

5.University of Patras – GR

6.Municipality of Calasparra – ES

7.INTERBIO Aquitaine/ Limousin/ Poitou-Charentes - FR



SMEOrigin overall objective is to improve regional development policies and funding programmes to increase the competitiveness of SMEs in the food sector. More specifically, the project has been designed to foster products with geographical indications (GIs) in the involved regions by strengthening the value chain of food SMEs, better labelling products, supporting and promoting the digital transformation of SMEs, while considering sustainable development.

The project proposes a strategy based on specific objectives that will comprise

a) analysis and peer review of current policies and practices in support of SMEs in the food sector,

b) exchange of knowledge and good practices on key environmental and social challenges for SME resilience and competitiveness,

c) a strategic toolkit for actions to improve resilience in the food value