Zadar County Rural Development Agency – AGRRA: new fishery related project approved

Zadar County Rural Development Agency (AGRRA) is a public institution established by the County of Zadar with the aims, among many others, to develop sustainable economic activities in Zadar County rural areas, to sustain and develop pilot projects in agriculture and fishery, as well as to incite business cooperation and transfer of technological results. Over the years AGRRA has participated in various projects in fisheries. AGRRA was one of the main actors in the establishment of the NGO Novigrad Mussel with the main aim to achieve the Protected designation of origin (PDO) product certification for Novigrad Mussel, as well as in the establishment of the Fisheries Local Action Group (FLAG) Tri mora.  It gave technical support in the implementation of the project InoVada, co-funded within the framework of European Social Fund, whose main objectives were to investigate the quality and production parameters of mussels from the Novigrad Sea; to compare the results with other commercial production areas; to investigate the possibility for introduction of new species in commercial production, as well as to educate and transfer new knowledge and experiences from abroad to the local industry. Also, AGRRA offered technical and advisory help to private sector applicants for the project proposals within the EFF (European Fisheries Fund 2007-2013) and EMFF (European Maritime and Fisheries Fund), focusing on the projects in mariculture, scraping, modernization of fishing vessels and gear, co-financing of temporary fishing restrictions.

This year AGRRA’s investment in the fishery enhancement activities has been awarded with one new fishery related project approved within Interreg Italy-Croatia programme: INVESTINFISH. The project, with the  budget of 1.5 million euros, aims at strengthening the competitiveness of fisheries and aquaculture (F&A) production system through promotion of investment programs aimed at acquisition of innovation services. After having conducted an in depth analysis of centers of excellence able to trigger innovation in 5 regions concerned, of funding schemes, of innovation requirements from SMEs and best advanced solutions, INVESTINFISH project will implement pilot actions providing some Italian and Croatian F&A SMEs with a roadmap to innovation instruments and services, boosting creation of marketable innovative products and/or processes that will improve the SMEs potential market positioning. Expected benefits for enterprises are: accelerate time to market, strengthen connections with innovators, increase F&A enterprises’ R&D expenditures in new and greener components/technologies/services, boost Croatian-Italian competitiveness. INVESTINFISH also intends to offer to the F&A sector to substitute the value chain concept with value network, proposing a shift from traditional value chains towards more collaborative value networks. It is expected that INVESTINFISH partnership, composed of 6 partners, will start with the implementation of the project at the beginning of next year. More info about the project will follow in the next newsletters.