WaterMedyin launched from 2 to 6 February the online training for the Tunisian Innovation Support Organisations, ISOs selected to be enrolled in the project sponsored by the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation, AICS – and implemented by CIHEAM Bari.
A total of 17 representatives of the selected ISOs participated in different training sessions: AFKAR incubator, Pôle Etudiant Entrepreneur de Carthage (PEEC), Pôle de Compétitivité de Bizerte, Open Startup Tunisia, INAT nursery (APIA), FOODTECH ESIAT (APIA), LEVEL 1 HUB, Aquatech nursery INSTM (APIA), IRA Medenine (APIA), Djerba nursery (APII).
The goals of this online training were to create a common exchange opportunity to increase trainees’ awareness and provide them with theoretical and practical tools, and support and strengthen them through the implementation of their projects.
The programme included several sessions with different topics based on the Entrepreneurship Support Value Chain as follows:
– Entrepreneurship Support Value Chain (Dr. Giordano Dichter, H&D Partners);
– Water resources management (Eng. Nicola Lamaddalena, CIHEAM Bari);
– How to build the Support Value Chain (Dr. Giordano Dichter, H&D Partners);
– Design support services to the startup building and growth (Dr. Giordano Dichter, H&D Partners);
– Innovation ecosystem: how ISOs can leverage national and international ecosystems for a greater impact at national level (Dr. Giovanni Zazzerini, INSME, Dr. Giordano Dichter (HD&Partner), Dr. Jocelyne Jawhar (CIHEAM Bari), Dr. Raoudha Khaldi (INRAT/IRESA);
– How to design a sustainable business model for your ISO (Tom Strodtbeck, Global Growth Hub);
– How to build a communication strategy for a successful ISO (Nick Di Fino, communication specialist);
– Management of coastal and marine resources for sustainable fishing (Roberto Ugolini, CIHEAM Bari).
The opening day was the best opportunity to meet the project participants under the supervision of the organising institution, CIHEAM Bari. Dr Biagio Di Terlizzi, CIHEAM Bari’s Deputy Director, started by welcoming all ISOs’ representatives and emphasised the great importance of innovative projects as WaterMedYin for the Mediterranean area. WaterMedYin project implemented in the framework of the Mediterranean Innovation Partnership for youth entrepreneurship and technology transfer in the agro-food sector (MIP), brings together public and private ISOs in a mutual network for the best Agro-Food sector development – said Dr Di Terlizzi.
Dr Skander Ben Salem, the national coordinator for WaterMedYin project in Tunisia, welcomed all representatives of ISOs and stressed the importance of the public and private alliance to strengthen the network supporting the youth entrepreneurship path.
In four training sessions Dr Giordano Dichter explained the various phases of the entrepreneurial process and opted for an exercise where all representatives of ISOs had to work in groups to create a project based on a vision and goals. The exercise was framed from the point of view of a young entrepreneur, focusing on the challenges that an entrepreuneur has to face, from financing, marketing, team competition to the market and how to support it.
Dr. Giovanni Zazzerini, the Secretary General at INSME, focused on the importance of innovation and knowledge sharing, based on the idea that communication and sharing experiences is the key to a strong entrepreneurial network. He invited all participants to be part of an interactive innovation network to get closer to entrepreneurs’ needs during their innovation pathway.
This suggestion was strongly welcomed by ISOs’ representatives, who found a common area to interact. Another topic of discussion was how to promote collaboration between the public and private sectors and strengthen the cooperation relations created by WaterMedyin project.
Dr Tom Strodtbeck, the Director of Venture Programmes Global Growth Hub, provided trainees with the tools and tips for success. He also invited them to be more open to international networks, such as the one created by CIHEAM Bari, to get access to international knowledge support and other needs.
As for marketability, Dr Nick Di Fino, communication specialist, focused on the storytelling tool for a business and on its importance to communicate the project vision to its target group.
The training sessions were very rich and multidisciplinary as they addressed all the topics related to the project creation, in particular the water and natural resources management. This topic was discussed by Dr. Nicola Lamaddalena, Deputy Director at CIHEAM Bari, who focused on water-related problems in the Mediterranean basin, highlighting the imbalance between supply & demand. He expressed his concern about the present situation and the danger resulting from the current climate changes and pointed out the strong need for good practices and innovative solutions .
Dr. Roberto Ugolini, Fishery expert and biologist at CIHEAM Bari, focused on the “Blue economy’ model, introduced in 2010 by the Belgian economist Gunter Pauli, and the sustainable use of ocean resources for economic growth. This model has a good ecological impact, reducing the environmental risks for the oceans and seas, creating new job opportunities for costal areas’ workers and sustain their wellbeing.
The final day was not only a conclusion of the first step of WaterMedYin project, but also an opportunity to collect feedback from participants, who expressed with enthusiasm the great benefits they got from this training programme.
Some social addresses about participating organisations