FRIEND CCI and EU RURAL TOURISM – Two European projects fostering innovation and digitalization in the cultural and tourism sector

FRIEND CCI and EU RURAL TOURISM – Two European projects fostering innovation and digitalization in the cultural and tourism sector



More than 2,000,000.00 euros in funding made available for CREATIVE, CULTURAL, AND TOURISM companies.


The project FRIEND CCI, funded by the European Union under the COSME program, has the primary goal of creating strong economic and social relationships among operators in the Cultural and Creative Industries, both within the industry and with operators from other sectors, particularly the tourism sector.

The project, with Venetian Cluster as the lead partner, aims to establish a European cluster for Creative and Cultural companies and consists of three calls for proposals: the first call, which is already open, is directed towards service providers for innovation, digitalization, and internationalization. The second and third calls will target operators in the culture and creativity sector, who, in collaboration with companies from other sectors, will have access to the funds.

The call specifically for cultural and creative enterprises will be launched by June 2023 and will make 538,000.00 euros available, while the second call will start in November 2023.

The project involves the participation of 5 European partners: Venetian Cluster – ITA, France Clusters – FR, IDiA Cluster – SP, ITALCAM – DE, Open Hub Creative Cluster – RO, and 11 associated partners who support and promote the project, including the Veneto Region, European universities, and Chambers of Commerce. The total value of the project is 1,442,542.36 euros.

Link to the project:



The EU Rural Tourism project, funded by the European Union’s COSME program, aims to support rural tourism businesses by undertaking initiatives aimed at promoting knowledge, expanding the market, extending the tourist seasons, and enhancing service quality. Its objective is to cultivate both tourism ad the resident’s needs, offering innovative and attractive products, promoting environmental protection, and creating job opportunities.

To attain these goals, the project employs a set of strategies, including the establishment of a Eurocluster dedicated to ‘rural tourism’ and the launch of a funding initiative scheduled for June, offering 5,000.00 euros to small and medium-sized enterprises for the execution of their proposed projects. In total, 950,000.00 euros have been allocated for this purpose.

The ERT Eurocluster will initially be formed by the project partners: VENETIAN CLUSTER srl (lead partner), together with the Romanian ASOCIATIA DE DEZVOLTARE INTERCOMUNITARA HARGHITA, the Czech NARODNI KLASTROVA ASOCIACE, the French RURALTOUR, the Spanish ASOCIACION CLUSTER DE TURISMO SOSTENIBLE DE ARAGON, the Greek EURACADEMY, and associated partners LONGARONE FIERE DOLOMITI and EKOCLUB. After the project concludes, it will also be open to other organizations.

The total project value is 1,299,644.47 euros.


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