e-CREATE brought together 13 partners from nine EU Member States and Norway. Together, we have identified shortcomings in public policies which promote tourism along cultural and historical routes and decided to bundle our resources to increase the competitiveness of enterprises in rural areas. We aim at jointly identifying and transferring good practices in order to improve regional and local policies. A particular focus is put on the uptake of new technologies among entrepreneurs in rural areas and along tourism routes. The project also aims at increasing public servants’ understanding of the potential of ICT and web tools. Being co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund and made possible by the INTERREG IVC programme, the project runs from January 2012 to December 2014.

The Interregional Cooperation Programme INTERREG IVC, financed by the European Union’s Regional Development Fund, helps Regions of Europe work together to share experience and good practice in the areas of innovation, the knowledge economy, the environment and risk prevention. EUR 302 million is available for project funding but, more than that, a wealth of knowledge and potential solutions are also on hand for regional policy-makers.

About e-CREATE
e-CREATE stands for “Cultural Routes Entrepreneurship and Technologies Enhancement”.
By promoting the use of new technologies the project aims at increasing the competitiveness of service-oriented tourism enterprises in rural areas along cultural routes. Based on the identification of good practices, the project elaborates policy recommendations.
In particular, these proposals will be addressing decision-makers on local and regional levels in order to provide a basis for the enhancement of supply-side oriented policies.

Facts and Figures
Project lifetime

  • January 2012 – December 2014

Project frame

  • Innovation and the Knowledge Economy – Entrepreneurship and SMEs


  • Total budget: € 1,917,546.00
  • ERDF funding: € 1,312,969.60
  • Norwegian funding: € 118,042.00

Targeting public policy-makers on regional and local levels, the following objective has been identified for the e-CREATE project:

  • improvement of public policies promoting the competitiveness of business activities in rural areas, especially service-oriented companies along tourism routes

In order to reach the main objective, several sub-objectives have been formulated:

  • building policy-makers capacities and increasing their understanding of the potentials of modern ICT and web tools
  • identifying, exchanging and transferring good practices in promotion of e-services and related public programmes
  • elaborating policy recommendations addressing decision-makers and key actors in order to diffuse the partners’ approaches and anchor them in post-2013 structural funds
  • raising awareness amongst stakeholders in tourism and SME along cultural routes and other key actors

Our main project activities include assessing and publishing good practices, organizing interregional capacity-building workshops and formulating policy recommendations.

In addition, a demonstration project is implemented. Here, we develop and test an open-source application for smart phones, tablets and laptops. This tool provides a framework, methodology and specifications for developing applications for tourists. A prototype will be presented at the final project conference and the source code will be made openly available.

Throughout the project, stakeholders and key actors in rural development and along cultural routes are involved in the interregional exchange and capacity-building process.

e-CREATE results in the political endorsement of implementation plans for each partner region, better access to good practices, improved public policies and funding schemes as well as mobilization of private investments.

The expected project results correspond with the main objective and can be summarized as follows:

  • a collection of identified good practices
  • 2 interregional capacity building workshops addressed at policy-makers and key actors from the partner regions
  • 1 set of policy recommendations that provide advice to policy-makers to transfer and integrate good practices in the post-2013 programming of structural funds
  • 12 implementation plans endorsed by relevant decision-makers on local and regional levels
  • 1 interregional demonstration project