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About the partners

KNOW-HUB partners represent organisations working with innovation and in many cases responsible for innovation policy in their regions. There are 12 partners in the project with different experiences and background. This mix guarantee unique competences and overview on innovation policy development and implementation. Please read this section to learn more about each partner institution.






Adam Mickiewicz University Foundation

Poznan Science and Technology Park

Lead Partner


ul. Rubież 46, 61-612 Poznań, PL

Contact person: Elżbieta Książek

E-mail: elzbieta.ksiazek@ppnt.poznan.pl

Region Description

 Name: Wielkopolska

Country: Poland

NUTS level: NUTS2

  •  Size of the region, (sq km, No of counties): 29826,51 km2

  • Map of Poland with marked Wielkopolska Region
    Geographic location
  • Type of the region (rural / urban): Rural near Urban Region

 Description of Innovation System:

1.1. Innovation Policy

Marshall Office of the Wielkopolska Region is responsible for creating and implementing innovation policy. Because of that responsibility it became the most important actor in the regional innovation system, it is in charge of programming the Regional Operational Program which is important source of funding for intermediaries and projects with focus on technology transfer and innovation.

 1.2. Intermediaries

There is a high density of intermediaries working with innovation in the Wielkopolska region with most of them located in a mayor city of the region- Poznan. 9% of all polish innovation intermediaries are located in Wielkopolska. Poznan is also the main academic and research centre in the region.


 Partner Description

Name: Poznan Science and Technology Park

Type (Public Authority, Institution): Science Park managed by Adam Mickiewicz University Foundation

Role in innovation system: Poznan Science and Technology Park (PPNT) is a place where the science and business environments meet. The mission of PPNT is supporting the commercialization process of scientific research results in economy and also stimulating Wielkopolska's economic development, both achieved by supporting the entrepreneurship orientated to advanced technologies. PPNT is a multidisciplinary centre gathering specialists of the sciences, natural sciences and technologies. Chemistry, chemical technology, archeology, IT, physics, geology and economic sciences workshops, laboratories and companies work within PPNT. Through modern and functional buildings, the Park has created optimal conditions for running businesses offering a wide variety of business orientated services.

It is the oldest Science Park in Poland.










INNOVA Eszak-Alfold Regional Innovation Agency

H-4031 Debrecen, Kürtös u. 4, HU


Contact Person: Eniko Piskolczine Baracsi

E-mail: eniko.baracsi@eszak-alfold.hu


Description of the Region

 Eszak-Alföld with its 17.229 km2 covers 19.1%  of the whole territory of Hungary, with a population of 1.547.000 (15.3% of the country’s). Since 2007, the regional population has shown a continuous trend of decrease with an annual loss of 1.6% of its inhabitants, mostly as a result of the outward mobility as birth rates are still being positive balance! T

Economically, the region is one of the least successful among the 7 Hungarian ones, with an unemployment rate of 14.5% in 2011 (exceeding the national average), a GDP per capita of 1.605.000  forints, about 5350 Euros in 2009, while the national GDP per capita was 2,6 Million HUF (8666EUR) in the same year, even though major foreign companies such as Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd.; National Instruments Hungary Ltd.; FAG; Electrolux; Samsung; E.ON, Carrier; Michelin; Carl Zeiss; IT Services Hungary Ltd.; LEGO Manufacturing Ltd. and Curver Ltd. have set up their Hungarian/European headquarters or divisions in the region to supply their European markets.

In addition to the major companies, there are many small and medium‐sized enterprises (SME) in Észak-Alföld region, which play an important role in the country

The region has good potential for increasing the proportion of renewable energy production, and has significant logistics potential. The city of Debrecen has an international airport, and all around the region you can find significant surface and subterranean water reserves used for thermal water.

The region also has significant research and development capacity that promotes intensive development of innovation-oriented technologies in the region. The region holds the second position at national level regarding R&D expenditure and is third in the number of R&D personnel, hence it provides a solid R&D base concentrated in Debrecen and in the other two county seats, Szolnok and Nyíregyháza, which could be attractive to companies with high quality requirements.


Description of the Partner

Since 2005 INNOVA functions as the Regional Innovation Agency of the region. providing a complex and wide scale of services, actions, supporting enterprises in bringing their ideas to the market through research, development and innovation projects;  the research institutes in entering the international markets, as well as in finding appropriate international partners and resources.

Promoting innovation and science has been a top priority for the agency. leading to a direct involvement in organising Researcher’s Nights, the LEGO robot programming competitions and actions to raise youth awareness on natural sciences, research and innovation.

Through its services INNOVA has an active cooperation with more than 50 regional companies, providing consultancy on innovative proposals, project management services in the fields of food, thermal, information technology, measurement technology, electronics and transport.

Furthermore INNOVA was acting as the main implementing body relating RDI issues of the Regional Development Council, and taking an active role in formulation of the development and innovation plans and operative programs of the region, being responsible among others for providing status reports, qualitative and quantitative data, ect., thus has extensive knowledge of the local/regional innovative actors and their networks.





Gobierno Vasco


Industry, Innovation Commerce and Tourism Department. Basque Government

01010 Vitoria-Gasteiz, ES


Contact person: Ana Dudkiewicz

E-mail: dti-ind@ej-gv.es



North France Innovation Development

323 boulevard du Président Hoover, 59000 Lille, FR


Contact person: Jean-Marie Pruvot

E-mail: jmpruvot@nfid.fr


Region Description

Region: Nord-Pas de Calais

Country: France


Northern France and regional capital Lille are at the center of a consumer market with a population of 100 million. Within easy reach of decision-making centers including Paris, Brussels, London, Amsterdam and Frankfurt, the region combines a strategic geographical location with outstanding transport infrastructure-the densest network of multi-lane highways in Europe, high-speed rail services, the Channel tunnel, two major international airports nearby (Roissy Charles de Gaulle, Bruxelles-Zaventem) and proximity to Antwerp and Rotterdam, the world’s largest port-to offer quick, flexible access to the richest markets in Northwestern Europe and to the world.


Key Statistics:

  • 4 million inhabitants
  • 4th largest economic region in France
  • 110,000 companies
  • 91 billion Euro GDP
  • 1st region to welcome foreign investment accrued since 1993
  • 3rd exporting region in France
  • 7 competitiveness clusters
  • 14 regional clusters of excellence
  • 7,700 researchers and research professors
  • 160,000 students, 3,000 doctoral candidates, 1,800 research masters awarded each year
  • 3 ports and the Channel Tunnel.



Partner Description

Nord France Innovation Développement (NFID) is the public innovation agency of the Nord-Pas de Calais region (17 p.). NFID has a long experience in managing cluster and network programs.


NFID missions

  • Impulse, coordinate and follow-up of the implementation of the Regional Innovation Strategy (RIS):
    • animation of the RIS steering committee;
    • secretariat of the regional strategic innovation committee (CSRI);
    • elaboration of the action plans in cooperation with the stakeholders of the strategic sectors.
    • Providing back office services for the members of the "J'innove"[1]network and for the funding organizations:
      • Networking (regional, national and European level)
      • professionalization of processes and stakeholders involved in innovation support;
      • communication and events on innovation in the region ;
      • management and sharing of information systems ;
      • implementation of studies and/or actions as requested by the funding organizations.

J'innove en Nord-Pas de Calais (Partnership group founded in 2007 as part of the Regional Economic Development Scheme). The aim is to support innovation and to promote research throughout the region. With its 70 structures (universities, colleges of university level specialising in professional training (grandes écoles), competitiveness clusters, Chambers of Commerce, professional poles...), the network will provide those companies working on innovative projects with experts, who can support and help their projects to progress until they are finally achieved. It also contributes to promoting research in 300 laboratories in the region through regional, national and international companies.









The European Association of Development Agencies

Avenue des Arts 12, bte 7, B-1210 Brussels, BE


Contact person: Christian Saublens

E-mail: christian.saublens@eurada.org


Partner Description

EURADA, the European Association of Development Agencies, was formally created in 1991 and has since then managed a network of about 120 regional development agencies from across the European Union. Agencies from almost all the Member States of the EU are EURADA members.

 EURADA has a large experience of bringing together and disseminating good practice in economic development and organizing events related to EU policies. It runs conferences and seminars and has an extensive publications programme. It keeps its members up to date with EU policy developments and provides briefing on critical issues such as state aid rules. It alerts members to funding and contract opportunities and helps with forming and running partnerships. EURADA also lobbies and briefs the European Commission on behalf of members and maintains a highly effective communications network there. EURADA has also developed strong relationships with similar organizations in countries such as the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Japan in order to scan new practices in the field of regional development and entrepreneurship support in those countries.









Regional Agency for Innovation and Internationalization of SMEs

22, rue Sainte Barbe, CS 30394, 13217 Marseille Cedex 02, FR


Contact person: Emilie Calmes - Laure Avignon

E-mail: ecalmes@arii-paca.fr, lavignon@arii-paca.fr

Region Description

Region: Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur

Country: France


With a unique geo-strategic position in the arch of the Mediterranean, Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur is the third region in France in terms of population and GDP, and is respectively the 13th and 14th in Europe.

Two of the largest metropolitan centres in France are situated in PACA, Marseilles/Aix-en-Provence and Nice, bipolarising the local economic activities.

PACA economy is a rather mosaic one with a number of different economic sectors ranging from the Aeronautics and microelectronics to chemical, energy and health industries, to agriculture and service sector, which alone accounts for 80% of the regional economy.

PACA has a high level of Very Small Enterprises (98% of total companies); companies’ growth constitutes a major issue, mainly due to the availability of seed capital, the weak companies’ capital structure and a weakness in entrepreneurial culture.

As far as the research capacity is concerned, PACA with its universities and a wide range of laboratories (INSERM, CNRS, INRA, CEA, etc.) is the 3rd region in France for R&D staff and the 4th for public-private expenditure. The region faces the tough challenge of translating its potential into new products and services, which is essential for the future competitiveness of the region.

On the Regional Innovation Scoreboard, PACA sets in 2011 among the innovation followers, in the national average.


Partner Description

ARII PACA is a non-profit organization set up in march 2014 from the merging of Méditerranée Technologies and the Regional Mission for Economic Development.

Founded by the Regional Council of Provence Alpes Côte d’Azur, the Central Government, the Regional Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the French Public Investment Bank and Caisse des Dépots Public Group long-term investor serving the economic development of the country), ARII’s main missions focuse on the:

  • Design, monitoring and implementation of regional innovation policy
  • Management of the Regional Innovation Observatory
  • Coordination of the network of the regional innovation support organizations
  • Dissemination and support of innovation and technology transfer
  • International development (export, partnership and business cooperation…)
  • Support, follow-up and promotion of the major regional integration projects
  • Attractiveness of the region and its main territories











Lower Austrian Government, Dept. Economic Affairs, Tourism, Technology

Landhausplatz 1, Haus 14, 3109 St. Pölten, AT


Contact person: Irma Priedl

E-mail: irma.priedl@noel.gv.at


Region Description


Region: Lower Austria

Country: Austria


Niederösterreich (Lower Austria) is one of nine Austrian federal provinces and is located in the country’s Northeast with about 1.6 mio inhabitants (2nd in Austria), covering an area of 19,178 km2 (1st in Austria) and bordering the Czech Republic and Slovakia, A comparable low population density of some 84 inhabitants per km2 and the lack of own metropolitan areas – the capital St. Pölten has some 50.000 inhabitants as largest city in Lower Austria – requires a smart specialisation approach in economic and innovation policy as well as a strong cooperation with the neighbour regions as formulated in Lower Austria’s Economic Strategy 2015.


Therefore Lower Austria forms the Vienna Region together with Austria's capital Vienna, a separate federal province located in the centre of Lower Austria, and the federal province of Burgenland. The Vienna Region characterised by formidable economic dynamism and shows the strongest concentration of RTO Research Technology Organisations and universities in Austria. Lower Austria is also member of CENTROPE, the Central European Region, covering regions from 4 countries.


The economic welfare of Lower Austria is reflected by a low unemployment rate of 4,2 % (2011, source: Arbeitsmarktstatistik 2011 u 2009, statistik.at) and a GDP per Capita of some 21.200 (2010, source: statistik.at) with an annual growth rate of + 1,1 % (forecast for 2012, source NÖ Wirtschaftsdaten Okt 2012) Lower Austria’s main economic sectors are mechanical engineering, metal processing, wood, food, chemistry and oil industry, as well as rubber and plastic. The key technologies (biotechnology and regenerative medicine, agricultural and environmental technologies as well as new materials, process technologies, medical technologies, sensor technologies, surface technologies) enjoy great importance in the regional innovation policy and are intensively developed by the dedicated Technopol Programme.


Due to the Austrian federal system Lower Austria has a very high degree of political and financial autonomy.


Partner Description


The department for Economic Affairs, Tourism and Technology (WST3) of the Government of Lower Austria is responsible for coordination and improvement of the Regional Innovation System. WST3 is the implementing body of the Regional Operational Programm Lower Austria for economic, innovation and technology measures in very close collaboration with the ROP managing authority RU2, the department for Economic Development of the Government of Lower Austria.

As regional innovation is of utmost importance for the competitiveness of the whole region of Lower Austria WST3 has started the Continuous Improvement Process of the Regional Innovation System (CIP RIS NÖ) with development and implementation of the regional innovation strategy already more than 15 years ago. The Continuous Improvement includes also Smart Specialisation issues like focus on key technologies, clear policy priorities, need oriented policy mix and a strong RIS network as well as long-term and result orientation. For this CIP RIS NÖ Lower Austria was awarded by the Assembly of European Regions (AER) as most innovative region in Europe in 2008 in terms of its innovation policy.

Mrs. Irma Priedl, head of area “Innovation and Technology” within WST3, is member of the S3-platform.

The Lower Austrian Government considers inter-regional exchange and collaboration as crucial success factors for the improvement of its own innovation system. Thus WST3 is strongly engaged in European projects like KNOW-HUB and is coordinating the thematic component C3 of KNOW-HUB with substantial external support.







Association of Counties and Cities in the Weser-Ems, represented by the District Ammerland

Ammerlandallee 12, 26655 Westerstede, DE


Contact person: Michael Strebel

E-mail: strebel@ammerland.de


Region Description

Weser-Ems is a predominantly rural region (NUTS II), located in the Northwest of Lower Saxony at the border of the Netherlands. It has 2.4 million inhabitants - still growing in many parts. With a surface of about 15,000 km2, Weser-Ems has half the size of the Kingdom of Belgium. Twelve districts and five independent cities of different size, population density and economic structure characterise the spatial aspect of the region. Due to an administrative reform in Lower Saxony in 2005 there is no legal representative on NUTS II-Level any more. Anyway, as practised since the late 90s already, the 12 districts and 5 independent cities of this region (each NUTS III) have joined forced and nominated a speaker to promote regional development.

 Actually, the development of a knowledge economy is a central aspect of development within the region. The aims and contents of KNOW-HUB project with “Enhancing the regional competences in strategic management of innovation policies” is fully matching the present development process in the region. The central motivation for project participation is to share experiences with European partners. On the other hand Weser-Ems will “learn” from regions with more experiences in this context. The project results will directly be used for the evolution and enhancement of regional and local policies.

 As one of the first regions in Europe Weser-Ems implemented a Regional Innovation Strategy in 1996-99. In the follow up Weser-Ems region participated in several EU funded projects concerning Innovation issues, e.g. “PARTNER”; “CRESCENDO”, “IASMINE”, “YOUTH FOR INNOVATION”. These projects were funded under “ERDF Innovating Actions”, FP 6 and INTERREG A/B/C. The districts of Weser-Ems have in depth experiences as partner and lead partner in cooperation projects.

Weser-Ems map






Banská Bystrica Self-governing Region

Námestie SNP 23, 974 01 Banská Bystrica, SK


Contact person: Elena Stierankova

E-mail: elena.stierankova@vucbb.sk

Region Description

 Region: Banska Bystrica

Country: Slovakia


The Banská Bystrica Region is the largest among 8 Slovak regions.

  • area 9.455 sq km (19 % of Slovak territory; 1st in Slovakia);
  • population 660 th (12 % of Slovak population; 3rd in Slovakia),
  • GDP of the Banska Bystrica Region makes 8,75% of national GDP (7th in Slovakia)


The Banska Bystrica Region is one of the less developed regions of Slovakia. It shows great development disparities between the northern part, with industrial tradition, good communications and links to the most dynamic part of Slovakia, and the southern part, more isolated, with structural unemployment and dependent on agriculture in crisis after the transformation of economy in 1990s.


Economic performance of the region has been declining during recent years. Only 5,4 % of all Slovak companies are to be found in Banska Bystrica Region. The basis of the region’s economy is industry and business services. The most important industry branches are metallurgy (29 %), machinery (26 %), and chemical (11 %), wood (10 %) a food processing (7 %) industries. 99 % of companies are SMEs, 89 % of them have up to 20 employees. The region have not benefited from important foreign investments in Slovakia in the last years (mainly car manufacturing) and its share on all foreign investments in Slovakia reaches only 2,8 %.


Forests cover approximately 49 % of the region’s territory and create excellent conditions for forestry, wood-processing and use of wood biomass. There are also many natural, historical and cultural sights and a number of mineral and geothermal springs that can be used for tourism development as well as renewable energy sources.


The seat of the regional government is Banska Bystrica with 85 thousand inhabitants. It is administrative, cultural and academic centre. Another important town of the region is Zvolen, industrial centre and R&D and educational hub in the area of forestry. The town of Žiar nad Hronom is important centre of aluminium metallurgy with great innovation potential. The historical old towns Kremnica and Banska Štiavnica have been added to the UNESCO World Heritage List.


Partner Description

 The Banská Bystrica Self – governing region (hereinafter BBSK) has been created according the Act of the National Council of the Slovak Republic No. 302/2001 Col. on self – government of upper territorial units in 2001. The region has self-administration (original) competences but also perform certain duties transferred from state administration (e.g. part of competences in education, health-care sector, road transportation). Original competences of region include: roads of class II and III, area planning, regional development, own investment ventures, secondary schools, hospitals, some social service facilities (retirements homes, social services for children, crises centre, orphanages, etc.), cultural facilities (galleries, museums, theatres, some libraries, etc.), participation in civil defence, licenses for pharmacies and private physicians, etc.


BBSK is responsible for coordination of economic, industrial, cultural and social policy within its territory and for creation and implementation of supportive programmes and policies. The most important one is the Programme of social, economic and cultural development of Banská Bystrica Self-governing Region.


BBSK similarly to all Slovak regions have no competences on research, development and innovation as they lie on the State. Therefore the capacities of BBSK to implement innovation policies are very low. Despite the region adopted its Regional Innovation Strategy in 2007 the financial sources for its implementation are very limited and the region has to compete for innovation policy schemes lunched by the national government and supported by the Structural Funds. 










Castilla y León Regional Government – Universities and Higher Education Foundation of Castilla y León

C/ Constitución 10, 3º I., 47001 Valladolid, ES


Contact person: Gregorio Muñoz Abad

E-mail: munabagr@jcyl.es


Region Description

Castilla y León

With a regional territorial area of 94,224 km2 (the most extensive Spanish region) Castilla y León is structured in nine provinces and 2,249 city and town councils (almost the 30% of the existing ones in Spain).

Location of Castilla y León and territorial division in its 9 provinces.
 map Europe
Castylia y Leon

 The extension of the region and its geographic situation (Castilla y León borders on nine regions in Spain and Portugal) make Castilla y León an important communication hub at the Spanish and European level in the central axis of the Continental Diagonal. This strategic location endorses the regional policy of development of infrastructures that Castilla y León is undertaking.


Castilla y León had a population of 2.558.463 inhabitants in 2010. During the 90´s the region has lost population, however, this trend has changed in the last few years (since 2000, the population has increased in 73,860 inhabitants).


During the last decades, an important transformation of the economic structure of Castilla y León has taken place, with a continuous modernization and an increasing convergence to the European Union. According to the data published by EUROSTAT, Castilla y León has reduced in 17.8 percentage points the gap in GDP with the European Union since the incorporation of Spain to the European Union in 1986. In 2008, the GDP per inhabitant of Castilla y León was equivalent to 100% of the UE‐27.



Partner Description 

FUESCyL – The Universities and Higher Education Foundation of Castilla y León


The Universities and Higher Education Foundation of Castilla y León (FUESCyL) is a Public Body belonging to the Ministry of Education of the Regional Government of Castilla y León. This Foundation provides technical support to the Commissioner for Science and Technology of Castilla y León, which is the main regional body for coordination of R&D+I policies. The Commissioner for Sience & Technology is, in fact, the responsible for developing and monitoring the Research and Innovation Strategy.


FUESCyL has a Department for coordination of regional R&D+I and knowledge transfer policies. Among its current running activities, the development of a regional knowledge base for university – business knowledge transfer is included. In addition, the Foundation is involved in the monitoring of several key regional policies, including the Regional R&D+I Strategy and the regional University – Business Strategy. 




ARC Fund





Applied Research and Communications Fund

5, Alexander Zhendov Street, 1113 Sofia, BG


Contact person: Daniela Tchonkova

E-mail: daniela.tchonkova@online.bg

Partner Description

Applied Research and Communications Fund (ARC Fund) was established in 1991 in Sofia, and today is the leading non-for-profit organisation in Bulgaria in the innovation, technology transfer and policy domain.  


ARC Fund has good contacts with the most relevant research organisations and enterprises in Bulgaria in key areas like Environment, Energy, ICT, Food, Agriculture and Biotechnology, Textiles, Transport. ARC Fund is actively involved in initiatives for shaping regional policies, smart specialisation and developments towards information society and knowledge economy in national and international contexts.


Over the past few years ARC Fund initiated and implemented two Regional Innovation Strategy (RIS) actions - for the South Central and the South West Regions of Bulgariathat brought together the key actors in government, industry, academia and civil society towards public policy consensus and forming local partnerships.


Since 2004 ARC Fund develops annually the Innovation.bg report with its SME index, which makes an overview of the Bulgarian innovation performance and provides a reliable annual assessment of the country’s innovation potential. ARC Fund coordinates the Enterprise Europe Network in Bulgaria; it is involved in the EU Regional Innovation Monitor project, and is acting as the country correspondent for ERAWATCH initiative.











Municipality of Gabrovo

3, Vazrazhdane Sq., 5300 Gabrovo, BG


Contact person: Desislava Koleva

E-mail: desislava@gabrovo.bg

Description of the Region 

Gabrovo - map

Gabrovo municipality is situated in North Central region of Bulgaria. Its central geographic location is a very important factor for development of key strategic transport, economic and cultural activities. In addition in Gabrovo are crossing two of the main national roads, parts of the European Road system – Road E-85, which is part of  the Trans European Transport Corridor N:9 (Helsinki - St. Petersburg - Kiev - Bucharest - Ruse - Veliko Tarnovo - Gabrovo - Dimitrovgrad with diversions to Greece and Turkey) and highway Hemus Sofia-Varna. Its favorable geographical location makes it
possible for Gabrovo to provide fast connection to airports, river ports and seaports. Convenient roads connect Gabrovo municipality to the surrounding municipalities and towns in northern and southern Bulgaria.

 Gabrovo municipality has a well-developed technical infrastructure in terms of road transport and railway transport.

Gabrovo is the municipality with the higher number of settlements in Bulgaria – 134, but half of them are with population less than 20 people. On the other hand, rural depopulation is a problem for the municipality, because the maintenance costs of infrastructure per capita are increasing and this raises questions about the effectiveness of public investments. On the other hand there is a significant potential for attracting new residents (including from abroad) and labor hand.

Partner Description

Gabrovo has valuable experience and traditions in the development of the industry. Leading industries in the economy are: machinery, chemical, textile, leather and footwear industry and others. The city is divided in three industrial zones.

Top priority for the Municipality of Gabrovo is the development of "green economy" through the preservation of local businesses and attracting new investments to create a high gross domestic product based on knowledge and high technology, in terms of ecological environment with good quality of life.

Gabrovo Municipality is one of the most pro-active municipalities in Bulgaria in regards to acquisition of EU funds.

In Gabrovo operates Technical University – prestigious educational and scientific center, which provides quality education in according with the needs of the local labor market.

In Technical University (TU) are studying more than 5100 students. TU town has three faculties - Electrical and Electronic Engineering, Manufacturing Engineering and Economics. Qualifications Master's degree can be obtained in 24 majors and the Bachelor degree - in 16 majors including Automation, Information and Control Engineering, Communication Engineering, Engineering, Textiles, Precision machinery and technology, Hydraulics, Business management, Public administration and others.

Key factors for reinforcement of innovation policy is to create an active network between the key stakeholders in the region in the field of innovations and to facilitate local companies to apply for structural funds – for technological renovations and for improvement of competitiveness, based on innovations.