Kick-off meeting for the EU-funded ENI CBC MED project MAIA-TAQA
On the 2nd and 3rd of October, the partners of the EU-funded ENI CBC MED "MAIA-TAQA" project met in Athens for the kick-off meeting which was followed by a press conference at the premises of CRES (Center for Renewable Energy Sources).
The project "Mobilizing new Areas of Investments And Together Aiming to increase Quality of life for All" (MAIA-TAQA) gathers 8 partners from 6 countries, namely Greece, Italy, Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt and Spain, and aims at promoting innovative resource efficiency services in the Mediterranean SMEs through the enhancement of their technical and management capacities.
The total budget is €3.1 million out of which €2.8 million as EU contribution. Below are some detailed information about the project.
Despite the fact that in the Southern Mediterranean countries there is a growing need for resource efficiency (RE) services (consulting, engineering and operations) to deal with the pressure on the environment, the RE supply persists at low levels. This is essentially due to the lack of a proper innovation process that would be able to identify the needs, structure the creative solutions and commercialize them. MAIA-TAQA will deal with these issues by setting up demonstrators in 3 Mediterranean pilot areas where innovative services will be applied: they will be related to micro grids, photovoltaics, energy storage, solar thermal technologies and water sanitation and purification. Partners will develop solutions for each barrier: capacity building programme (for lack of skills); innovation desk (for lack of information); guidelines (for lack of regulation); voucher (for lack of finance) and targeted B2B events (for lack of specific matchmaking). The main final beneficiaries are SMEs (especially from environment/utility/building sector) that can have a group of supporting instruments to overcome the barriers and reduce the risks to innovation.
To define a new group of sustainable services related to energy, water and waste, and consequently to promote innovative resource efficiency services in the Mediterranean SMEs through the enhancement of their technical and management capacities. Finally, a SMEs network will pave the way for tackling the regulatory frameworks and trade barriers.
What will be improved
Through the creation of real demonstration cases with local companies, MAIA-TAQA will raise awareness among the SMEs and the policy makers of innovation practices and policy instruments in the area of RE services. The established Innovation One Stop-Shops offering innovation support services will create an enabling environment for the development of the RE sector in the South MED countries.
Who will benefit
SMEs, especially those involved in the RE sector, companies and professionals, business associations and chambers of commerce, technology distributors and sellers, national and sectorial institutions, research centers, universities and PhD students.
6 innovative resource efficiency services piloted in Lebanon, Jordan and Egypt.
3 Innovation One-stop-shops established and Innovation Voucher Service for SMEs tested
3 B2B events and 9 company missions to promote technological cooperation among EU/MED SMEs
6 Agreements and Protocols signed between Partners and local target groups
12 training events to enhance the technical and management capacities of local SMEs
Centre for Renewable Energy Sources and Saving, Greece (Coordinator)
Confederation of Egyptian European Business Associations, Egypt
Jordan Chamber of Commerce, Jordan
Industrial Research Institute, Lebanon
Arab Academy for Science, Technology & Maritime Transport, Egypt
Association of the Mediterranean Chambers of Commerce and Industry, Spain
Alexandria Chamber of Commerce, Egypt
Greek Solar Industry Association, Greece
The Lebanese Center for Energy Conservation, Lebanon