On 6 and 7 November, the third working meeting and the closing of the "II Binational Course Peru-Colombia Border: Innovation and Cross-Border Clusters" took place in Iquitos, Peru, as part of the project "INNOVACT EU - CELAC Platform: Innovation to promote Territorial Cohesion". This meeting was preceded by a working session on 5 November in Lima at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Peru, attended by officials of the Government of Peru and the representative of the European Union Delegation. In this session the INNOVACT team and the three European experts invited under the project made presentations and discussed with the attendees on the progress of the project, and on innovation in the framework of border integration, and the development of value chains for cocoa and fish farming.
The Iquitos workshop was attended by more than 40 representatives of organizations related to the development of native cocoa value chains for aroma and fish farming in the border integration zone, such as producer associations, chambers of commerce, research centers, technology transfer and technical assistance institutions, local and regional authorities and the ministries of foreign affairs of Colombia and Peru.
The first day's activities took place at the headquarters of the Peruvian Amazon Research Institute - IIAP. This session continued the activities to disseminate the good practices of European experience in cross-border cooperation and regional competitiveness. Presentations by the INNOVACT team focused on the activities and results of the project on the Peru-Colombia border; and on knowledge-based management in innovation strategies and cross-border cooperation.
As for the invited European experts, Gino Cormons, Senior Policy Officer for European Union Affairs of the Friuli-Venezia Giulia region, gave the presentation entitled: "Cooperation and innovation in cluster development in cross-border areas: The experience of the Friuli-Venezia Giulia region"; Anna Laven, senior advisor on Sustainable Economic Development at the Royal Tropical Institute of the Netherlands, made her presentation on "Creating value in the cocoa chain for sustainable development in the Amazon region"; and Yolanda Molares, founder and director of the Institute for Sustainable Enterprise Growth and Cluster Manager of ACUIPLUS, spoke on "Fish farming in the international market: opportunities for the integration of Amazonian fish farming into global value chains". In the afternoon of the first day, the action plans of the two selected value chains were presented, followed by a group exercise for their validation and enrichment in which all participants participated. Finally, the attendees were given certificates for their participation in the course.
On the second day of the workshop, a field visit was made to learn about experiences associated with the selected chains in the province of Maynas. The following were visited: the productive CITE Maynas; the El Dorado Experimental Station of INIA, where the Theobroma native cocoa germplasm bank is located; and the Fundo Tony Fish Farm.
Thus, the third INNOVAT meeting on the Peru-Colombia border fulfilled its objectives of advancing the dissemination of European experiences on the success factors of cross-border cooperation initiatives, of validating and enriching the action plans of the selected value chains, and of promoting spaces for the identification of potential joint projects for the development of value chains between the European Union and Latin America.