Barcelona, 2 April – The Secretariat of the Union for the Mediterranean held the second advisory board meeting of the Mediterranean initiative for jobs (Med4Jobs), a flagship initiative of the UfM to help increase the employability of youth and women, close the gap between labour demand and supply, and foster a culture of entrepreneurship and private sector development.
More than 20 experienced participants from European institutions, international organizations, private sector, technological centers, industrial clusters, financial institutions, universities such as the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC), International Labour Organization (ILO), European Bank for Reconstructions and Development (EBRD), OCEMO, La Caixa Banking Foundation and ESADE, among many others, discussed the ways to promote innovation and technology in enterprises.
During the meeting participants exchanged views on existing initiatives that support innovation and knowledge transfer and discussed the financial instruments and tools to improve the access to finance for innovative SMEs. Food security, agro-industry and e-health were identified by participants as areas that feature high on the agenda of the region in terms of its need for innovative solutions.
Acknowledging that innovation has always been at the heart of economic and social development and a means of re-launching economic activities, experts agreed to constitute a network to advocate the importance of promoting innovative enterprises and to mobilize authorities and stakeholders to increase the level of integration of SMEs in networks and clusters supporting the introduction of new technologies, products as well as financial services.
Launched at the Mediterranean Economic Conference on Employment and Territorial Development (Tunis, 17-18 September 2013), 5 projects have been labelled within the framework of this initiative: Generation Entrepreneur, Mediterranean Entrepreneurship Network, HOMERe – High Opportunity for Mediterranean Executives Recruitment, MedNC – New Chance Mediterranean Network and Maharat Med – Developing Youth Employability and Entrepreneurship Skills.