In the context of the INNOVACT project whose objective is "to disseminate in Latin America the experience of good practices in the regional policy of the European Union; as well as to develop greater cooperation between the regional authorities and the specialized bodies in the decision making process of innovation policy and the governance of the border regions of the European Union and Latin America ", a training workshop has been developed with the subject of "Introduction to the methodology of Competitive Reinforcement Initiatives (IRC) and strategic analysis tools".

The course was held in Quito, Ecuador from February 28 to March 1, 2018 with twenty-five participants from local governments, civil society and academia.The general objective of the training was to present theoretical and practical foundations for a better performance of the local industry, the strategic analysis required to develop innovation actions and support to facilitate the strategic change of companies in prioritized value chains (tourism or cocoa) of the border integration zone Colombia-Ecuador. 

The specific objectives of the training focused on three aspects:

1. Contribute to the strengthening of the institutional framework of the border integration area and the binational Plan by promoting the cooperation of Ecuadorian and Colombian actors.

2. Facilitate the exchange of information and lessons learned from the experience of the European Union in the promotion of cross-border cooperation and regional competitiveness through the improvement of the governance of regional cross-border innovation systems, value chains and clusters (Taught by Inés Sagrario, COMPETITIVINESS).

3. Facilitate the understanding of the European Union H2020 programs as financing opportunities in the implementation of projects in LATAM (Taught by Mikel Emaldi, TECNALIA).

4. Define the next steps to be taken within the framework of the INNOVACT project sequence, especially regarding the study visit to Europe and the internal methodology of the groups articulated in the territory for the preparation of the project profiles in the Cocoa and Tourism value chains.

The selection of two technical work groups was carried out, one per selected value chain. The cocoa group will be channeled by the Commonwealth of the North (Mancomunidad del Norte), the Prefecture of Esmeraldas (Prefectura de Esmeraldas) and CODESPA, the tourism group by the University of Carchi, the Government of Nariño and the Chamber of Tourism of Sucumbíos. The working groups will apply the IRC methodology and report the state of the art in both chains, using the parameters outlined during the case study.

A commission of eight people representing the trained group will participate in a mission to Europe where the project profiles of the Cocoa and Tourism chains will be strengthened based on other European border experiences.