On 13 October, Anita Molka (Development Centre of the Heart of Slovenia, SI) participated at the European Week of Regions and Cities, within Interreg Europe’s session, in order to share some examples and tips for getting the most out of cooperation and to share experiences from being a partner in Interreg Europe project. More than this, participants presented how cooperation has helped regions with the recovery from COVID-19 and how cooperation can make us more resilient.

Speakers of the session were also Thomas Wobben (European Committee of the Regions), who highlighted how cooperation and sharing experiences benefits regions and opens new perspectives to solving local challenges and Nicolas Singer (Interreg Europe), who outlined how Interreg Europe helps regions collaborate and share solutions across all of Europe - now and in the future.

TRINNO project promotes competitiveness in EU regions through improving policy instruments for business support systems with the focus on digital innovations. TRINNO really made great achievements in all partner countries/regions. In Slovenia this was even more visible as Development Centre of the Heart of Slovenia had to influence policies on national level. Challenging fact for TRINNO partner, that is not a policy maker.

The turning point for Slovenian partner to truly influence national policy maker was achieved due to clear and detailed identification of different good practices (GPs) and staff exchange. These methods of TRINNO project first offered clear overview of online voucher scheme in Ireland and with staff exchange a close and in-depth presentation of GP was organised. During staff exchange representatives of Slovenian Ministry of Economic Development and Technology (Sector for entrepreneurship and responsible for new vouchers scheme), had the opportunity to visit and speak with SMEs that received vouchers in Roscommon (IE).

As such TRINNO successfully gave tools, knowledge and support to Slovenian partner to influence policy instrument Operational Programme for the implementation of the EU cohesion policy 2014-2020 in Slovenia. Even today the aftermath of this is visible in 15 different vouchers calls in Slovenia, more than 5000 vouchers approved (23,1 mil EUR) and more than 10.000 applications received, with 3479 vouchers already funded (almost 15 mil EUR). And the most important – positive feedbacks are coming every day from the voucher end users – SMEs.

But TRINNO project is not stopping after three years! We applied to Interreg Europe call for additional activities to tackle the impact of Covid-19 crisis and the work continues till September 2022 where partners will be exchanging experiences from these uncertain times. This time the Irish delegation is most interested in exchange to Slovenia, learning from Slovenian voucher scheme which is now recognized as a good practice other regions can learn from it. They will also share new Irish experiences (in this COVID-19 period) with Slovenian Ministry. So the cooperation continues.

Watch the whole event HERE