Kublai project helps innovators in southern Italy access development funds

The Kublai project aimed to reach out to creatives and innovators who, especially in certain geographical areas such as southern Italy, find it hard to access public resources to support their ideas and involve them in local development processes. To respond to this need, it created a web platform to engage with the wider creative community, many of whom had no previous experience with, or interest in making use of, public funding opportunities. Over the last seven years, the Kublai platform engaged with 586 different project proposals, more than half of which were successfully implemented.

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" Thanks to the support of the EU’s ERDF financing, the Kublai project has proved useful in transforming many good ideas into effective and sustainable entrepreneurial projects, capable of affecting and driving local development. "

Riccardo Monaco – Managing Authority

The ERDF-funded Kublai platform successfully reached out to creatives and innovators to foster the growth of design skills among them, to enable them to benefit from local development financing, including EU funding. Rather than providing traditional counselling services, Kublai used its web platform to promote self-help and peer-to-peer counselling within the community.

Ultimately, the Kublai project was implemented across three core themes with the following aims: promoting competition and fostering equality between proponents of local development projects; reducing barriers to accessing the application process; increasing help for applicants who needed it; improving assessments of project proposals, and reducing the cost and duration of the evaluation process.

Coaching services

Kublai employed a number of activities to achieve this. The project team offered innovative ‘coaching’ services, assessing and analysing projects, identifying needs for expertise and organising virtual meetings to discuss individual projects. It provided consultancy services for getting new products or services to market.

Implementation and institutional relations activities included providing help in developing fundraising strategies, identifying potential public/private partners, organising meetings with potential lenders and/or investors, and support in drafting cooperation agreements with those involved in the Kublai community.
Furthermore, as part of its animation and communication activities, Kublai set up a regularly updated blog on the website, helped organise small local events to stimulate interest and innovative ideas, developed and distributed promotional materials and provided web-streaming services to cover project events. 

Rewarding innovation

Finally, the project created the Kublai Awards for the most innovative project proposals. The scheme enables project promoters to establish new contacts on a global scale and secure new funding and participation.

Thanks to these actions, the Kublai project successfully helped those local actors with a strong capacity for innovation and high-quality project ideas access development funds and transform their ideas into real-life achievements. 

Over the last seven years, almost 4 000 users joined the Kublai platform and engaged with around 600 project proposals – over half of which were approved and implemented.

Total investment and EU funding

Total investment for the project “Kublai – online support to boost creative projects potentially eligible for Structural Funds funding” is EUR 408 313, with the EU’s European Regional Development Fund contributing EUR 306 234 through the “Governance and Technical Assistance” National Operational Programme for the 2007-2013 programming period. The investment falls under the priority “Actions to reinforce public administration”. 


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