The region covers the south-western part of Hungary (Baranya, Tolna and Somogy counties), occupying 15% of the country. It has a population of 886,640 and a steady decline due to outmigration and natural population decline. Its population density is significantly lower than the national average and is also the lowest in comparison to the seven Hungarian regions. Despite all this, about one-fifth of the country’s settlements are located in this region, which is mainly due to the small-village settlement structure of Baranya and Somogy counties. The settlement network of the region is highly polarized.
The region’s economic character is heterogeneous, with several dominant sectors characterizing the economic activity. The RIS3 Strategy of Southern Transdanubia identifies the following leading economic sectors:
The region’s agro-ecological potential is better than the national average. The plant structure is still dominated by small plant sizes, whose competitiveness is unsatisfactory.
The region’s natural conditions and the agro-ecological potential are favourable for both for crop production and animal husbandry. The presence of higher education institutions, research institutes and professional organizations is also favourable, as well as the participation of these institutions in international networks, which can create a basis for higher value-added agri-food production for the region as a whole.
Slovenia, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia are facing declining employment opportunities in traditional industries as a result of structural change. Within this framework, those Central Europe Countries, together with Austria, Italy and Germany, designed and implemented a sustainable transnational action plan to generate competitive advantages for SMEs and proactive hints for intermediaries and institutional representative levels.
Ten competent partners bringing knowledge competences and reliable and strong relationships with their local environments, collaborated to improve entrepreneurial competences and skills in remote areas through food innovation potentials.
Outputs of I-CON were joint transnational food mentor scheme and a food crowd design platform usability.
Under ACTION 2.1.3 Joint Research, Development and Innovation, the proposed project was contributed to the enhancement of the joint RDI capacity of the Hungarian-Croatian border region by building/establishing a cooperation of Kaposvár University, JJ Strossmayer University, the Somogy Chamber of Commerce and Industry and South Transdanubian Regional Innovation Agency. The overall objective of the project was to develop mutual communication platform between agro-food stakeholders in order to improve of the RDI capacity of the target region.
This was our project within the CENTRAL EUROPEAN PROGRAMME. The Lead Partner of the project was the South Transdanubian Regional Innovation Agency Nonprofit Ltd. ACCESS was implemented by 11 partners coming from Austria, Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia who have been brought together in their common interest in a new level of innovation development that focused on the following two specific facets:
The partners started with the knowledge audit and integration that aims at investigating and understanding regional innovation capabilities in terms of sectoral specifics. Then they analysed and integrated the cumulated knowledge in common understandings and through this they created a knowledge base of sector-based innovation.
Furthermore, it was of high importance to share knowledge about innovation management tools and techniques. For this purpose, a transnational innovation management training was organised enabling selected employees of each partner – who will act as “internal peers” during the pilot application – to deal with innovation management related matters.