The cross-border area faces economic decline and high unemployment. Many of the businesses in the cross-border area are economically challenged. This is partly caused due to the lack of cooperation between business and research/educational institutions and thus, the lack of innovative actions. Enterprises providing medical, dental medical rehabilitation, accommodation, SPA and wellness, travel and leisure, medical facilitation and other services do not have sufficient cooperation with research units and as a result, lack access to innovation. Therefore, the area remains as “Low-Tech”. However, the cross-border region possesses a large variety of research institutions and universities, which could offer innovative services to economically challenged businesses in order to help them develop. Along with the development of the ICT sector in the cross-border area, the businesses will be able to use innovation in order to upgrade their services and products.
This cooperation will also lead to a new touristic product, Health Tourism, which is the process of travelling outside the country of residence in order to receive medical treatment. Health tourism will have a considerable benefit for the cross-border area, since it can combat the seasonality of tourism. Furthermore, through the creation of a platform “e-Cluster”, it will bring together local businesses with health and research industries with a common base for storing medical information. An e-Tour Facilitator will also be developed, which focuses on the patients and tourists, by offering them matching services for health and touristic units in order to receive the treatment they choose. Overall, the project will deliver a whole new touristic product with high added value bringing together research industries with enterprises and improving their access to innovation.
Project co-funded by European Union, European Regional Development Funds (E.R.D.F.) and by National Funds of Greece and Italy