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INNOVACOOP is an SME set in 2012 to promote innovation and internationalization processes of cooperatives associated to Legacoop Emilia-Romagna, a cooperative association representing 1,250 enterprises, 150,000 employees, 2.8 million shareholders and a total production value amounting to 32 billion Euro in 2016. INNOVACOOP shareholders are the associations belonging to Legacoop that operate at local level and with different sector competencies, namely: Legacoop Emilia-Romagna, Legacoop Romagna, Legacoop Emilia-Ovest, Legacoop Estense, Legacoop Bologna, ANCPL Legacoop (the National Association of Industrial and Workers Cooperatives, representing 1,810 cooperatives and 4 Consortia at national level operating in the construction, manufacturing, designing/engineering and cultural sectors) and Legacoop Agroalimentare Nord Italia (347 agrifood cooperatives, among which prominent players of the “Made in Italy” Food & Beverage sector (Granarolo, Parmareggio, Cantine Riunite&CIV, Apofruit, Alce Nero).


INNOVACOOP carries out promotion, information, dissemination, support to knowledge and technology transfer activities for the benefit of regional cooperatives associated to Legacoop. INNOVACOOP also supports the participation of cooperatives into public programmes sustaining research & innovation and internationalization processes. Activities consist in technical assistance for the development of the cooperative business model at international level (e.g. in Argentina, Brasil and Tunisia) and for the implementation of innovation and internationalization processes. More specifically, actions are developed in order to:

  • favour the access to public financing for project development and funding;

  • stimulate networking, research, technical/technological expertise and knowledge scouting and sharing;

  • promote Industry-Science relations and the development of innovation partnerships; cooperation with Universities, research centres, innovation clusters and platforms;

  • support cooperation among cooperatives;

  • foster the creation of innovative startups and spinoffs.


INNOVACOOP is fully integrated in the regional, national and European cooperative movement and operates through a widespread network consisting in the following organisations:

  • Legacoop European Offices in Brussels;

  • COOPERATIVES EUROPE, the European association promoting the cooperative business model in Europe, composed by 84 member organisations from 33 European countries across all business sectors;

  • CECOP-CICOPA EUROPE, the European confederation of industrial and service cooperatives which affiliates 27 members in 15 European countries, including organizations promoting cooperatives and national confederations or federations of cooperatives representing 50,000 enterprises employing 1.3 million workers;

  • COGECA, the General Confederation of Agricultural Cooperatives in the European Union, the main representative organization for the agricultural and fisheries cooperative sector. COGECA has currently 35 full members from the EU Member States, 4 affiliated members and 36 partner organisations, which include representatives of countries like Iceland, Norway, Switzerland and Turkey.

  • INNOVACOOP cooperates with the Emilia-Romagna Regional Office in Brussels, also for dissemination activities in the framework of EU funded projects.

This project has received funding from the Bio Based Industries Joint Undertaking under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 790157.

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