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Central Alpine Research Audits



Lead Partner

ITG - Salzburg, Innovation- and Technologytransfer Salzburg GmbH

Lead Partner Country


Project Website

The project is finalised and you can download the results


09/2003 - 08/2006

Date of Approval


Approx. Total Budget in €

506.750 €

ERDF in €

216.089 €

Project Summary

The structure of the alpine economy is largely dominated by SMEs and national and international surveys indicate that it is mainly these SMEs that are creating employment. The CARA project is a SME tailored, commercially orientated audit methodology to enable institutions and SMEs to access professional consultancy support for research and innovation-transfer projects and to encourage participation in EU research and innovation projects. This strategy will enhance the competitiveness of alpine SMEs in Europe and contribute toward an increase of R&D activities in the alpine region. Consequently, it is the dynamism of these RTD operators, which conditions the geographical distribution of resources and the resulting knock-on effects on the economy. In addition, the project will enhance the sustainability of innovation, quality control and development that are the key factors to successful new products and customer satisfaction. The project supports the ESDP aims for economic and social cohesion of the EU, sustainable development and a balanced competitiveness for the European territory the freedom of movement of goods, services, people and capital within the EU by removing barriers to R&D and innovation in the alpine region. This economic support will have an effect on the geographical distribution of economic activities and will be affected by changes in patterns of future R&D specialisation and help to respond to shifting patterns of opportunities and constraints in the alpine region.

Project Objectives

- to promote strategic management and networking techniques to SMEs and support participation in European R&D projects, technological and product development;
- to promote a higher level of integration of the regions for sustainable and balanced economic development and job security;
- to implement a tool (standard audit and benchmarking procedure) to visualise the potential of a SME for transnational co-operation and innovation potential incorporating analysis, assessment and testing of new incentives tools for boosting innovation;
- to join forces and establish long-lasting partnerships for joint, cross-border alliances, actions and initiatives;
- to support cross-boarder competitiveness of the region and encourage equal access to the employment;
- to encourage SME integration and participation in other EU, national and regional programmes and projects.

Project Achievements

- Transnational Steering group and implementation plan established;
- training and formalisation of the audit procedure undertaken at transnational level to ensure the same quality of benchmarking implemented by each participating partner;
- comparison and analyse the procedural implementation of the benchmarking audits;
- standardised questions and output sheets;
- contact and dissemination of results at local community level. Publication of results for the alpine region;
- common understanding of methodology and how best to serve the client;- first development of audit models and trial implementation;
- qualitative analysis;
- assessment of target groups;
- networking and partner searches, support activities for SMEs;
- CARA Audit implementation leading to Innovation and knowledge transfer, economic competitiveness and growth and employment security;
- initial Website established.

Project Result Files


EU Project Partners

Agenzia per lo Sviluppo S.p.A. (Italy)
Anvar Rhône-Alpes (France)
BEP – Büro für Europäische Programme (Austria)
CATT Innovation Management GmbH (Austria)
CIMRS Univerze v Mariboru (Slovenia)
Regione Veneto (Italy)

Non-EU Project Partners

Euresearch (Switzerland)

Contact Person

Huber, Sebastian

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© 2001-2006 INTERREG IIIB Alpine Space Programme
Community Initiative Programme funded by the European Regional Development Fund