On Friday, November 19, 2021, KEPA hosted its 6th Local Stakeholder Group meeting on "Financial instruments in the priority sectors of the region" as part of the project Innova-FI - Financial Instruments for Innovation of the European Interregional Cooperation Program INTERREG EUROPE. Representatives from governmental authorities, academic and research institutes, program/financial instrument management organizations, and public enterprises attended the event.

The purpose of the discussion was to enlighten attendees about the Central Macedonian region's innovation plan as well as funding opportunities in the region's priority industries. Following the relevant presentations, a discussion on the challenges and weaknesses of each sector ensued, with some needs being highlighted, such as improving the connection and cooperation between business and research, increasing technological innovation and human resource competencies in several sectors, and front-loading company financing, among others.

The attendees had the chance to present actual ideas, proposals, projects, and actions aimed at raising investments in the new programming period, in connection to flexible financial instruments, sponsoring extroversion activities, incentives to attract finance and start-up stimulation.

Session Results:

  • Participants of the LSG agreed that the biggest obstacle for businesses and innovators in the innovation ecosystem is the lack of capital, the absence of companies in the area to provide the relevant services but also the lack of skills;
  • The absence of collaborations and support structures were recognized by the attendees as the biggest weakness of the Cultural and Creative sector;
  • All participants agreed that there is a need for funding start-ups and other companies in the CCI sector to improve their innovation/technology capacity;

Key conclusions and policy recommendations:


  1. There is a need for using new and alternative Financial Instruments (crowdfunding, Venture Capital, crowdfunding etc.) in the Cultural and Creative sector;
  2. It is crucial for CCI to collaborate with other sectors and research institutes;
  3. Promote innovative products/services using new technologies.

Read the original news published by KEPA, here.