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Home    Projects

SMITE - Improving Competitiveness of SMEs through IT-based Environmental business planning - 421

Eumedis Project number: 421

EC Project code: 421

Contract "signature" date: 2002-01-07

Planned start date: 2002-04-01

Planned duration: 36 months

Planned end date: 2005-03-31

Actual start date: 2002-04-01

Total Budget: 1.622.997,40 ?

EC Contribution: 

1.298.397,90 €

Sector: Industry, research and innovation


The overall objective of SMITE is the development of a Mediterranean web information node for the SMEs in the food, textile and hotel sectors. An interactive, multimedia and multilingual informational system via the Internet will support SMEs in improving their competitiveness by adopting the prevailing environmental policies and practices.
In the current competitive environment of the international markets, the new development policies incorporate the environmental protection requirements and present the environmental dimension as an incentive to increase efficiency and competitiveness. The SMEs are called to re–orient production processes, products and services towards new and already successful schemes, to ensure and consolidate efficiency, quality–hygiene–safety and environmental performance on the basis of new standards, to simultaneously achieve reduction of environmental burdening and increase of productive efficiency.
The access to the global information, knowledge, technology and experience required is nowadays being a component of the rapidly expanding information society, and is strongly based on the successful application of information technology (IT) based solutions. The internet provides a unique environment for this process and the ground for developing the global marketplace for SMEs, thus creating a challenge for the Mediterranean SMEs to reduce their informational and technological gap vis-à-vis the northern countries.
SMITE presents a World Wide Web-based solution for the environmental business processes. It aims at enhancing the cooperative activity of an INCO project network, the Euro Info Centre (EIC) Network of Directorate General Enterprise, the European Environment Information & Observation Network (EIONET) of the European Environment Agency (EEA), the Mediterranean Observatory Network and other networks acting either as interconnected or as awareness/dissemination associates of the project network. The project partnership represents an integration of business oriented parties (like the EICs or EICCs, industrial associations or chambers or trade unions), Universities/Institutes or Science & Technology Academies/ Councils, social development bodies and IT & Environment experts, all with common long term businesslike environmental goals and policies. The major project mid-term objective is the development of an Internet-based solid environmental marketplace for SMEs, enhancing the north–south transfer of competencies and innovations. The foreseen cooperative informational structure will collect, analyse, classify, store and disseminate the required up to date global knowledge and experience, while providing a structure for monitoring the project progress and assessing the best practices employed.
Human networking receives equal importance to the technological one, as intensive awareness raising, demonstrations and training solutions are incorporated into the entire venture.
As the specific EUMEDIS objectives are concerned, the project bears an applied character being explicitly user-oriented and based on the needs of the targeted SMEs and the conditions of the local markets. It is cooperative and strongly extensible both in content and geographical coverage. It sticks to the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership and the EUMEDIS socio-economic objectives.


Overall Objectives
The creation of a unique Mediterranean information node for supporting SMEs in their environmental business.

Specific Objectives
Support SMEs to improve their competitiveness by adopting prevailing environmental policies and practices, using newly developed information technologies through the Internet.


SMITE will be implemented through 8 main activities:

A. Creation of awareness at all market levels
The project principle and concept should be made known and comprehensible to all market levels. The project activities and objectives will be disseminated and project results will be propagated by sub-contracting promotional tasks to local press or mass media, meeting promotional agreements with dissemination associates and organising awareness campaign at national level. In this respect, creation of awareness concerning environmental issues and information technology tools contributes in forming a critical mass of expertise in these disciplines and in achieving transfer of competencies and innovations between north and south Euro-Mediterranean regions.

B. Establishment of an information environment where the system will be incorporated and operate
An information environment will be established to promote and facilitate information and experiences exchange and knowledge transfer, to encourage participation in project activities, to give an impulse to novel communication practices and finally to enhance cooperation and networking among project participants and local market groups. The establishment of the information environment will be based on the Project Management Structure, on the engagement of proper communicational instruments, the setting up of local/market groups, and the interconnection of the project network to relative networks and similar initiatives at national and international level in the virtual world wide web community as well as in the actual business community.

C. Development of an Internet site/system
An Internet site will be developed to provide expert information and knowledge to targeted users along with training on integrated applications, in the field of environmental management. The web will contain applications in the form of modules comprising among others interactive diagnostic tools for SMEs (e.g. legislative and technological performance diagnosis), benchmarking tools, “good practice” guidelines, case studies and guides. It will form a powerful database containing environmental information and will have the appropriate structure to allow end-user interaction. The goal of setting up an effective informational structure allowing monitoring and assessment as well as enabling future sustainability of the web system is best served by well documented system design and engineering, extensive analysis, evaluation and classification of information and knowledge, integration of applications, case studies, guides, training material and simple – structured and functional end-user interface.

D. Promotion of the system and support to the potential users
Promotion of the system will be achieved by awareness activities (campaign, press releases, and mass media announcements). Support to the potential users will be provided on the basis of training workshops, on site demonstrations of system features and operations, and distance support by expert members of the project partnership. Special attention will be given to training and support of local consultants so as to enhance the knowledge transfer at professional level, promote the abilities of the local human capital and ensure the future system sustainability.

E. Creation of a market through networking of service receivers (mainly SMEs) with service providers (local consultants)
Powerful networking activities will be engaged at national level between local consultants and SMEs. Encouragement and promotion actions will be undertaken to create an interactive dialogue between SMEs and local consultants. SMEs will be encouraged to use the web system services and features for their environmental business, and ask for distance support or support by local consultants through the system. Local consultants will be prompted to register in a list of consultants, where their experience and abilities will be highlighted and participate in a protected local consultancy network. This network will be established to serve the SMEs-users of the web system which will provide consultant services through the network mainly on the basis of an on-line pre-tendering mechanism.

F. Impacts on the external environment
The project aims to have an impact also on its external environment and at the creation of the appropriate market conditions. Actions aiming at the mobilisation of financial bodies and investors, information to authorities and organisations, equipment providers and consumer associations are foreseen, so that they will ultimately be able to assist SMEs in their effort to improve environmental performance and business. The awareness actions are also expected to evoke the interest of such bodies in environmental issues and business and Information Technology oriented solutions.

G. Securing of sustainability
Securing sustainability and cost effectiveness is one of the main objectives of the project. These will be ensured by appropriate monitoring and evaluation procedures of project results and impacts, by identification of follow-up, updating and extension mechanisms/schemes as well as the commitment of future system operators. The aforementioned will be determined after extensive consultations of the project partnership. By the completion of the project the involved Mediterranean region will acquire the whole software and system infrastructure as well as the Results Implementation Plan for the future expansion.

H. Dissemination of results and perspectives
Extensive dissemination of project results and perspectives will take place in order to promote future system use and encourage similar initiatives and co-operative activities of other networks. All interested parties and potential beneficiaries from project results and achievements will be informed at national and Euro-Mediterranean level. The dissemination objective will be realised by the following actions:
• organisation of an International Conference in Cyprus,
• distribution of a brochure summarising the project achievements and results to EU communication instruments, EEA, MEDA, CEEC authorities, SMEs and EICs, to utilities, financial bodies, service and equipment providers,
• exhibition of a poster in international fairs, announcements and publications in local press, international journals and relative networks, presentation of project results in the web page.
The project is in line with the national policies and priorities of the participating countries, complements previous EC or international programmes and projects and is engineered with the aim of becoming self sustainable. A great emphasis, finally, has been given to multilevel training actions, addressed to all categories of actors directly or indirectly involved, as well as to the dissemination process, oriented to both the entire regional environment and the EU-CEE-MEDA one.


1. Creation of awareness at all market levels.

2. Establishment of an information environment.

3. Development of an Internet site/system.

4. Promotion of the system and support to the potential users.

5. Creation of a market through networking of service receivers (mainly SMEs) with service providers (local consultants).

6. Influence of the external environment.

7. Securing of sustainability.

8. Dissemination of results and perspectives.

Project Management: 

The roles of EU partners are well distributed, and assure that all are contributing to the project:
• DHI: Technical; Follow-up
• SPEED: Technical; Dissemination
• IT Consult: Dissemination; Follow-up
• IMO: Technical (involvement finished with the development of the first prototype web-portal)
• EOMMEX: Dissemination: Small involvement via the Euro Info Centre network.
All EU partners knew all the partners from previous projects, except the Turkish and the Tunisian ones.

Web site:

Project Coordinator: Dionysis, ASSIMACOPOULOS (more details ...)

Leading partner


National Technical University of Athens, Chemical Engineering Department Laboratory of Industrial & Energy Economics []

Participating Partners


Cyprus Chamber of Commerce and Industry []
Research and Development CenterUnit of Environmental Studies []


DHI Water & Environment []


M International Consultants
Social Fund for Development []


Hellenic Organisation of Small and Medium- sized Enterprises and Handicraft []


Higher Council for Science and Technology []
Royal Scientific Society []


Association of Lebanese Industrialists []
Conseil et Developpement s.a.l.


Malta External Trade Corporation (METCO)- Business Information and Technology Division []
Malta External Trade Corporation (METCO)- Euro Info Correspondence Centre []

Palestinian Authority

Palestinian Academy for Science and Technology []
Palestinian Polytechnic University []


International Chamber of Commerce Syria []
SI Consulting


Agence de Promotion de l'Industrie []
Genius International Consulting


BKP Applied Managememnt Consulting
Turkish Industrialists and Businessmen Association (TUSIAD) []