ICCO (Cross-Border Network of Innovation and Competitiveness for Proximity Commerce) is a cross-border cooperation project between the Northern Portugal and Castile and Leon (ES). The objective of this project is to increase the competitiveness of the proximity commerce through the use of innovative and emerging technologies that allow for the recording, analysis and study of consumer behaviour. The targeted group for this project is proximity commerce in small towns at risk of depopulation. This European project falls within the 3rd call of the POCTEP 2021-2027 programme.

Retail businesses represent a key sector in the economies of both Spain and Portugal, as well as in social and territorial cohesion. However, these businesses face a consumer society where large shopping centres possess a broader competitive advantage due to their greater availability of resources. Therefore, retail businesses must modernize and adapt to consumers demands in order to compete with these large shopping centres.  

For this purpose, the project comprises several actions with the following objectives:

  • Analyse the consumers’ behaviour with the aim of drawing conclusions about the actual demands and consumption trends. In this context, innovative and emerging technologies will be used.
  • Identify and implement innovative solutions which are adapted to the consumption trends and demands. The impact of the solutions will be evaluated.
  • Creation of a Cross-Border Network of Innovation and Competitiveness for Proximity Commerce (ICCO Network), serving as a meeting point for retail businesses in both regions for the support and exchange of good practices that improve their competitiveness.
  • Promote and share the project´s results with a wide variety of audiences.

The following 12 towns with less than 20.000 inhabitants have been selected for the development of the project:

  • Province of Valladolid: Medina del Campo, Tordesillas y Tudela de Duero
  • Province of Zamora: Benavente, Toro y Puebla de Sanabria.
  • Region of Bragança: Carrazeda de Ansiães, Macedo de Cavaleiros, Mogadouro.
  • Region of Vila Real: Alijó, Santa Marta de Penaguião, Sabrosa.

Project code | 0173_ICCO_2_E_V3

Programme | POCTEP – Cross-Border Cooperation Spain-Portugal

Priority | (P1) Harness the potential of cooperation to consolidate the innovation, scientific, and technological ecosystem. Foster the creation of knowledge and business networks, promote digitalization, and improve business competitiveness, especially for SMEs and micro-SMEs.

Specific objective | Strengthen sustainable and smart growth, enhance competitiveness, and promote job creation, including through productive investments.

Political objective | A more competitive and smarter Europe by promoting innovative and smart economic transformation and regional ICT connectivity.

Region | Northern Portugal – Castile and Leon

Starting date | 01/01/2024

Completion date | 31/12/2026

Budget | 1.838.452,07 euros

Budget funded by ERDF | 1.378.839,05 euros

Partnership (beneficiary) |

Any person who has knowledge of facts that could be constitutive of fraud or irregularity in relation to projects or operations financed totally or partially with funds from the European Union within the framework of this call may bring said facts to the knowledge of the National Coordination Service. Anti-fraud of the General Intervention of the State Administration, by digital means through the channel enabled for this purpose by said Service at the web address indicated below and, in the terms, established in Communication 1/2017, of April 6, of the aforementioned Service: http://www.igae.pap.hacienda.gob.es/sitios/igae/es-ES/snca/Paginas/ComunicacionSNCA.aspx