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Start date: September 2008
Finish date: May 2011

Cooperation between innovative SMEs, Lead Users and support organizations in the field of ICT (Tri ICT)

The relevance of knowledge based SMEs in both regions of Carinthia and Friuli Venezia Giulia is a key factor in their economic structures. In recent years both regions have set up innovative legislation schemes and supporting instruments to accelerate the development of the knowledge based economy in the Euroregion. Besides that, big and excellent enterprises, technology parks, incubators, investment funds, universities and research centres and public organizations are keen to adopt, as “lead users”, innovative solutions for increasing the quality of life of the citizens.

However, there is a clear necessity for the two – currently separate – “innovation ecosystems” of both regions to take better advantage of geographical proximity and better connect themselves. In particular, improved collaborations among SMEs is decisive to accelerate investments and growth throughout the area. Collaborative actions must take place at three levels (hence the project named Tri-ICT): the SMEs level, the supporting organisations level and the institutional level.

The specific objectives of the project therefore are:
(1) identifying market driven trends and opportunities for cross border cooperation related to “Lead users” to support SMEs partnership. Lead Users can be identified in the following thematic domains: Transport Industry, Healthcare, Environment, Safety and Civil Defence, Culture, eGovernment, eInclusion, Communications, etc.
(2) improving awareness, networking opportunities and communication among the actors of the interregional “ecosystem” in ICT target sectors. This will include the sharing of successful methods and tools – i.e. service workflow standards, web portals, networks, databases, templates, etc...- adapting them to the opportunities and needs in each Partner region/country;
(3) testing and innovating support services for SMEs by “Training of Trainers”;
(4) elaborating proposals for new joint policies, initiatives and action plans to accelerate innovation and increase competitiveness in the Programme area by boosting the integration of SMEs in research-driven clusters and the awareness about potential benefits of research, networking and advanced training.


  • Friuli Innovazione (Lead Partner)
  • Lakeside Labs
  • University of Udine: Mathematics and Informatics Department
  • Alpe Adria University of Klagenfurt: Institute of Informatics Systems, Interactive Systems
  • University of Trieste: Electrotechnics, Electronics and Informatics Department
  • BIC Incubatori FVG Spa
  • CReS Centro regionale servizi per la piccola e media impresa

Tri-ICT project activities will last three years and will be organised in three main phases:

  • Phase 1: mapping of the DEMAND opportunities in the Programme Area, by adopting the method of so-called "lead users". The demand driven methodology refers to the document "A lead market initiative for Europe" - COM (2007) 860 (21.12.2007).
  • Phase 2: actual cases of business support services. Selecting and structuring high-level cooperation ICT projects with the goal to identify at least 12 project ideas; testing innovative SMEs support services by “training of trainers”.
  • Phase 3: proposals for the definition of an action plan and standards for common support to improve demand driven bilateral cooperation, namely in the ICT field.