Smart SME's

Shared by: 
Action Group 5
Lead organization: 
Schweizerische Arbeitsgemeinschaft für die Berggebiete (SAB)


The aim of the Smart SMEs project is to understand to what extent SMEs that produce, process and apply natural fibres use digitalization tools and approaches. The project will also evaluate obstacles that prevent SMEs from exploiting the full potential of digital solutions. Digitalization measures are only successful when company managers want and support them. SMEs, however, tend to have small management teams that are overwhelmed by other tasks, leaving them little time to identify and use the potential offered by digitalization. Businesses in rural areas have the additional problem of often unreliable internet connections. The Smart SMEs project - cofinanced by the European Parliament through the Alpine Region Preparatory Action Fund (ARPAF) - will contribute to finding solutions to overcome existing barriers. The SAB led project will be specifically focusing on enterprises in biobased value chains that produce, process and apply natural fibre-based materials, both cultivated and recycled from biological waste. The project is therefore tackling the idea of sustainable transformation in the Alpine region through the bioeconomy concept. This will involve gathering existing digitalization knowledge from research institutions, clusters, digital innovation hubs and other service providers, evaluating the digitalization level of SMEs, pinpointing issues that hamper the implementation of digitalization as well as demonstrating precise measures (technical and non-technical) to overcome existing barriers.

A Synthesis Report, mapping the actual state of play and needs is available HERE

A collection of good practices and existing tools is available HERE

A list with tools for SMEs that help to organise their flows, communication and production in a smarter way is available HERE

The promotional video of the project is available HERE

Corner stones

• Project duration: 01.08.2019 – 31.05.2021

• Total budget: € 309.833

• Cofinancing by the European Parliament through the Alpine Region Preparatory Action Fund (ARPAF): EU € 278.850



• Schweizerische Arbeitsgemeinschaft für die Berggebiete (SAB) (Lead Partner)

• ecoplus. The Business Agency of Lower Austria Ltd. / Clusters, Austria

• BIOPRO Baden-Württemberg GmbH, Germany

• Poly4EmI  hosts by Anteja ECG d.o.o., Slovenia

• University of Maribor, Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Slovenia

• Hub Innovazione Trentino – Fondazione, Italy

• Autonomous Province of Trento, Italy



Peter Niederer, SAB,

Start and closure dates: 
August 2019 to May 2021