Creative@hubs project: first infoday in Puglia

The first Infoday of the Interreg CREATIVE@HUBS Project, a strategic project funded by Interreg V-A Greece Italy Program took place online on 24 March. The project will create 8 hubs dedicated to cultural and creative industries, six in Greece and two in the Puglia Region.

The works have been introduced by Donato Pentassuglia, Puglia Region Councillor for Agriculture, Agri-food industry, Agri-food resources, who underlined the importance of cooperation for the concrete results achieved in recent years and the common values of peace and freedom shared with greek partners, considering the uncertainty of international scenario .

Subsequently, the JS Coordinator INTERREG V-A GREECE-ITALY 2014-2020 Gianfranco Gadaleta, underlined the strategic importance of the CREATIVE@HUBS project in which 10 million euros have been invested, an important percentage of the Program budget. “The regions of Greece and Puglia – explained Gadaleta – have joined forces in this project by focusing on two strategic chains for both countries, the agri-food and the creativity. These two themes are basic elements for the new programming period 2021-2027 – concluded Gadaleta – that the projects in the field of cooperation are avant-garde: they are able to anticipate dynamics that become strategic in the following years.”

Tina Ranieri, Joint Secretariat Project Officer, confirms the value of the project, which represents a great opportunity for the entire public-private consortium involved in the project. “In the agri-food sector – says Ranieri – a lot of ability can be expressed thanks to innovation. The CREATIVE@HUBS project, together with other creative projects of the Program, will help us understand the potential of these actions within our cooperation area which in the next program will be enriched with other territorial areas”.

During the Infoday, the project activities have been described by Takis Lybereas, Creative@Hubs Project Manager for the Region of Western Greece. Lybereas presents the several activities implemented on three main axes: infrastructure restructuring, support for collaboration through ICT tools and pilot actions for companies. The locations of the Greek hubs – continues Lybereas – will be located in the cities of Agrinio, Messolonghi, Patras, Pyrgos, Ioannina and Zakynthos, representing a further growth factor for the tourist attractiveness of the regions.

The activities carried out in Puglia have been summarized by Francesco Degiorgio, Project Manager of Puglia Region Department of Agriculture, Rural and Environmental Development. In Puglia, explains Degiorgio, the project will focus on the collaboration between creative companies and agricultural and agri-food companies. The Hubs that will take place in two pavilions of the Bari and Foggia Fairs will be real cross-sectoral laboratories where the Hub Managers will promote collaboration through networking techniques and “contamination” methodologies to enhance creativity and innovation strategies of rural areas. The activities will also be useful for producing “Guidelines”, ie strategic documents for the benefit of the local economy and partners.

These places of networking and services for the Apulian creative and agri-food companies will see their completion in 2023. The Infoday concluded with a round table attended by those responsible for the procedures for Puglia Region and the representatives of the numerous partnerships activated in the area including the University of Foggia, the University of Salento, the University of Bari and CIHEAM. Three others Infodays will update the CREATIVE@HUBS community on the progress of the project work.