EUSALP Transalp

Bringing the circular economy to farmers in the rural Alpine region for sustainable growth by establishing medicinal and aromatic plants value chains and supporting green infrastructure.

Duration: January 2018 – March 2019

Funding: The project is co-financed by the European Union (Alpine Region Preparatory Action Funds – ARPAF).


  • Cluster Agency Baden-Württemberg (DE, Lead)
  • Plastic Innovation Competence Center (CH)
  • Provincia autonoma di Trento (IT)
  • Poly4EmI hosted by Anteja ECG d.o.o. (SI)
  • Bavarian State Ministry for Environment and Consumer Protection (DE)

Medicinal and aromatic plants (MAPs) are botanical raw materials that are used for therapeutic, aromatic or culinary purposes as components of cosmetics, medicinal or food products. There is an increasing demand for medicinal and aromatic plants thanks to an increased production of healthcare formulations. MAP’s-based supplements have a market of $35 billion p. a.

The project aims to bring the circular economy approach to farmers in rural Alpine region for more sustainable growth by establishing medicinal and aromatic plants value chains and supporting green infrastructure networks by promoting sustainable practices and awareness raising.

The main results of the project are a strategic overview on how this cross-cutting topic can work in the Alpine Space, one fully developed medicinal and aromatic plants’ value chain, proposals for upgrading skills of actors and first experiences how green infrastructure networks can work in practice.

Project’s website

Achieving circularity of plastics in Ivory Coast

The aim of the project was to develop a competitiveness strategy and action plan for the circularity of plastics sectors in Ivory Coast.

The project addressed the fundamental challenge of the CDI manufacturing sector by facilitating the implementation of competitiveness initiatives and promoting investment in higher value-added products, and integration to global value chains. 

The main objective was to develop a competitiveness strategy and action plan for plastics sectors in Ivory Coast, embedding a circular thinking approach. This involved undertaking deep-dive analysis in the priority sectors to understand market needs and the CDI positioning towards competitors.

The project provides strategic opportunities informed by markets and a circular economy approach. The project includes the attractiveness assessment of the plastics sector’s market industry in applications, such as consumer goods, constructions, agriculture and options to build a circular economy ecosystem. This entails work with the recycling sector and the eco-friendly alternatives. It focused on the formulation of private sector initiatives dedicated to enabling recycling programs and procedures in the plastics sector with applications in consumer goods, agriculture, construction, and shoes industry. This includes investments in eco design, recycling, using plastic trash for building material, packaging and plastic culture.

Client: IFC, The World Bank Group

Date: 2019

Olive oil, medicinal and aromatic plants‘ value chain analysis in Tunisia

This value chain analysis was part of the analytical work program, aiming to increase employment and improve competitiveness in Tunisia.

This assignment was part of the analytical work program, aiming to increase employment and improve competitiveness in Tunisia. We conducted a value chain and employment study, focusing on the North-West region in Tunisia. The value chain and employment study enabled a thorough understanding of the targeted value chains while also quantifying the nature of jobs and skills requirements along the targeted value chains, as well as the network of relationships across the chain, the opportunities and challenges companies are facing, and their strategic responses. The project generated a full mapping of all critical components of the olive oil’s and medicinal and aromatic plants’ value chain. It provided a sampling strategy that ensures relevant, robust, and representative data collection. Qualitative and quantitative surveys were conducted.

Client: The World Bank Group

Date: 2017 – 2018

Analysing fruit and vegetable value chains in Albania

Identifying barriers and constraints that prevent the value chains of selected fruit and vegetable products from being more competitive in the international market.

The primary objective of the project was to conduct a competitiveness assessment for the fruit and vegetable value chains in Albania. The assignment encompassed a rapid analysis of the fruit and vegetable value chains along with the identification of three priority products, a detailed industry level competitive analysis of selected value chains and selection of the most competitive products. The main goal was to identify main barriers and constraints that prevent the value chains of selected products from being more competitive in the international market. This was followed by recommendations to overcome said barriers and constraints. The assignment consisted of desk research and mobilization of a range of sources. These include export and industrial statistics, market trend analysis, benchmarking to selected comparator countries, best practices and expert opinions. Additionally, the work involved qualitative individual interviews and focus groups.

The World Bank Group

Date: 2017

Project’s final publication

Competitive Fruit and Vegetable Products in Albania


INSPIRED, empowering SMEs in Bangladesh

Technical assistance for the capacity building of the national SME support infrastructure and the preparation of the Bangladeshi national SME development strategy as well as the management of the SME competitiveness grant scheme.

Reference: EuropeAid/130016/C/SER/BD, Programme Components 1 and 2b

This Technical Assistance (TA) program was aimed at ensuring, under the Component 1, that an adequate policy and strategy for the SME development is established and that that key institutions, such as the Small and Medium Enterprise Cell (SMEC) of the Ministry of Industries (MoI) and the Small and Medium Enterprise Foundation (SMEF), have adequate capacity and clear roles and responsibilities to support the SME development. Furthermore, under the Component 2, the program aimed at strengthening some of the Business Intermediary Organizations, thus, allowing them to better support their members, increase their membership and work upon behalf of their sector, and support private sector development, in particular facilitate the development of dynamic clusters with efficient backward and forward linkages.

The program included:

  • a multi-sectoral and inter-ministerial national strategy and action plan for theSME development, addressing all aspects of SME support, including improvements in the business environment in line with accepted international best practice
  • a strengthened national capacity to plan and implement SME development
  • an effective SME networking mechanisms aimed at sharing best practices
  • the SME Competitiveness Grant Scheme of €6.5m to business intermediary organisations in the following sectors: agro-processing, natural fibres, leather, plastics, light engineering, electronics, furniture and textiles
  • a support to clusters by using value chain development initiatives that seek to increase the SME competitiveness in agreed sectors and provide capacity building to business intermediary organisations (BIOs) in lobbying, advocacy, networking, public-private sector dialogue and the provision of business development services (BDS) to their members.

Anteja led the development of the SME Cluster Development Policy, promoting linkages, networks and clustering of SMEs on a sector-specific basis. This included advice on the value chain development, training for policymakers and the SME Foundation staff, benchmarking of cluster related organisations, institutional needs assessment analysis for cluster development, development of Cluster Strategy and financial support mechanisms.

INSPIRED was funded by the EU and the Government of The People’s Republic of Bangladesh. The contracting authority was the Ministry of Industries, the main beneficiary. Other beneficiaries were the SME Foundation and the Bangladesh Bank. The programme is aimed at supporting the development of SMEs (small and medium-sized enterprises) in Bangladesh.

Partners: BMB Mott McDonald BV (NL), Formaper, Agency of Milan Chamber of Commerce (IT), International Development Ireland Ltd (IE)

Client: European Commission

Date: 2012 – 2016

EU Interreg Clusterix 2.0

EU Interreg Clusterix 2.0

Contributing to the implementation of the Smart Specialization Strategies through clusters and value chains

EU Interreg Clusterix 2.0 addressed the improvement of regional innovation policies by making a better use of clusters. The evaluation was based on benchmarking that explored the role of the regional cluster excellence portfolio to provide inputs for development and testing innovation models. Assignment included documentary review and analysis of key features of Smart Specializations Strategies and cluster programs. It also involved analysis of the policy making process, the program development and the implementation process against regional economic objectives and benchmarking of selected clusters. Additional activities consisted of preparation and implementation of interviews, peer review workshops and identification of good practice and tools for the S3 implementation via clusters.

Date: 2016

Project’s website

Private sector development in Egypt

A project aimed to develop the Egyptian private sector and to link industry with academia.

The project identified tools and actions that can be implemented by innovation intermediaries to better support innovation and value chains. An initial appraisal of interactions between academia and industry in Egypt was conducted, followed by an overview of selected innovation intermediaries. It was followed by interviews with selected innovation intermediaries’ representatives to generate some of the patterns and intensity of interactions within the Egyptian ecosystem. The workshop with TICs and TICOs opened the discussion on the role of both in the Egyptian industry and innovation ecosystem. Attention was given to how to address new challenges (food security, health, and environment) since solutions for such challenges require new ways of collaborations among various actors and in particular cooperation between academia and industry.

Client: Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH

Date: 2015

Analysing horticulture products‘ value chains in Azerbaijan

As part of the IFC’s Azerbaijan Investment Climate Project, the project aimed to improve the business and investment environment in Azerbaijan’s high potential agribusiness sub-sectors.

The overall objective of the project was to contribute to the improvement of the business and investment environment in Azerbaijan’s high potential agribusiness sub-sectors in a manner that enhances development, competitiveness, employment and business opportunities in these sub-sectors. The approach involved  assessing present performance and revealing key binding constraints present along the value chains that prevent growth and further development of these sub-sectors. The project contributed to the overall objectives of the Azerbaijan Investment Climate Project (AZIC II), which broadly aims at supporting the diversification of the Azerbaijan economy and improvement of the regulatory framework, focusing on areas of strategic importance for both the government and the private sector.

Services provided:

  • Rapid analysis of the horticultural sector in Azerbaijan in order to assess the horticulture products or product groups and select two to three high-potential ones for a detailed exploration in the following stages of the project. Pomegranate, tomato and hazelnuts have been selected as the most promising products.
  • Value chain analysis of selected products: the main objective was to assess how well pomegranate, tomato and hazelnuts value chains perform in order to identify segments and activities where poor performance or inefficiencies severely undermine the competitiveness of the entire value chain.
  • Identification of key binding constraints, ranking the constraints and in-depth analysis of the binding constraints.
  • Recommendations for specific actions (first and high priority actions for short and mid-term period) to remove the identified binding (sector-specific) obstacles and enhance the value chains’ ability to improve performance, productivity and investment.

Client: The World Bank Group, IFC

Date: 2013 -2014