ANIMA Investment Network is a multi-country cooperation platform for economic development in the Mediterranean. The ANIMA network (www.anima.coop) gathers 65 governmental agencies and international business, innovation and financing networks. The objective of ANIMA is to contribute to a better investment and business climate and to the growth of capital flows into the Mediterranean region. The ANIMA network is operated from Marseille (France) by a team of 12 people and is chaired by Mr Noureddine Zekri, Director of the FIPA (Tunisia). The majority of its funding comes from the management of European Commission’s programmes.
ANIMA Investment Network is committed to favour a shared and sustainable economic development in the Mediterranean, particularly in relation with Europe and the neighbouring countries (Black Sea, Gulf States, etc.). ANIMA participates, in association with a network of public and private, national and international stakeholders, to the development of investments and business partnerships, of innovation and entrepreneurship, and to the internationalisation of enterprises, in order to contribute to the creation of added-value and jobs, to an increased awareness of the environmental and social stakes, to the balanced partnership between North and South and to the economic integration of the countries in the region.
Targeted sectors and themes
- Promotion of the territories: ANIMA produces several studies each year in addition to its Mediterranean Investment and Partnership Observatory (MIPO). Several seminars are organised for the different stakeholders of the economic development to be able to share their experiences and strengthen their skills;
- Contribution to a new industrial environment in the Mediterranean: ANIMA implements pilot actions, either directly or through its network, to strengthen the value created by investments and business partnerships in strategic sectors for the Mediterranean region. These initiatives generally imply a “clustering” process between the different countries (mapping of competences/ value chain, business partnerships, co-innovation) on major sectors for which the region can rely on historical expertise (agriculture and agri-food, energy, logistics, tourism) or future-oriented sectors (green economy, health, ICT);
- Promotion of innovation and entrepreneurship: ANIMA pilots several initiatives aiming to help Mediterranean innovators and start-ups in their internationalisation process. To do so, business plan competitions, business meetings with investors and strategic partners are organised for the start-ups. Networking between the intermediary organisations supporting innovative companies is also facilitated.
The ANIMA network has developed two key activities since mid-2002:
- A platform for linking economic actors from Europe and the Mediterranean around targeted sectors and themes. More than 5,000 SMEs, 500 finance professionals, 1,200 economic development actors have been involved to-date, particularly around the in the Invest in Med programme (2008-2011) of the European Commission and around the MedVentures initiative (2010).
- A resource centre, which is a set of tools to help actors interested in the development and financing of SMEs in the Mediterranean. The "ANIMA resource centre for investment in the Mediterranean" targets SMEs and large industrial groups, economic development agencies, financial actors and innovation networks wishing to develop activities in direction of the MED-13 (9 South and East-Mediterranean countries, plus Turkey, Libya, Malta and Cyprus).
It meets three key needs:
1. Perform an active and selective monitoring on countries and key sectors in the Mediterranean (qualified and continuous business intelligence using over 150 selected information sources)
2. Identify key stakeholders as well as investment and partnerships opportunities
3. Connect with stakeholders, business events or partnership projects
It consists of the following tools:
- MIPO www.anima.coop. The MIPO observatory (Mediterranean Investment Project Observatory) registers every foreign direct investment (FDI) and partnership project (JV, franchises, technological cooperation or commercial representative offices, stores etc.), which involve the Southern Mediterranean countries. Since 2003, it has identified more than 6,500 FDI and 2,000 partnerships.
- Med Maps www.medmaps.eu. Online mapping system that lets you view and position in real time the attractive economic activity zones in Mediterranean countries as well as all the FDI and partnership projects registered in the ANIMA-MIPO observatory.
- Document database, available on www.anima.coop. A series of 50 documents to help enterprises and business support organisations: sectors studies to identify opportunities, guides to facilitate the establishment in the South of the Mediterranean, economic data, directories of key actors, etc.
- Agenda Med www.agendamed.biz. The Mediterranean business events calendar (more than 1,800 registered events) is a free and unique tool which enables users to identify, plan and promote business events in the Mediterranean. Each event has a qualification allowing simple searches (by industry, type of event, country). Email alerts inform you of new events based on your selected criteria.
- Link in Med www.linkinmed.biz. Link in Med is the 1st online Mediterranean business community. It already counts 8,500 members, including 6,600 enterprises. This online directory brings together the companies registered in the ANIMA-MIPO observatory, companies involved in the Invest in Med programme and new candidates. Each organisation has a fact sheet that contains, in addition to its profile, its recent investments and its latest business opportunities.
Projects for the Euro-Med economic stakeholders
ANIMA administrates or participates in important European projects and programmes, and the most important ones are:
- Faro (www.faro-um.org), the seed capital, development and orientation fund, was launched on 27 May 2010 in the context of the Union for the Mediterranean to boost the development of innovation on both sides of the Mediterranean. With a budget of 1 million euros, the Faro fund enables European entrepreneurs to study the feasibility of innovative projects undertaken in collaboration with partners from the South of the Mediterranean. Each project backed by the Faro is allocated a subsidy of 20,000 euros maximum, to finance up to 50% of the total costs involved in the works. The project is operated by ANIMA, and led by a steering committee which gathers AFD, Caisse des Dépôts, the French Republic (Mediteranean inter-ministerial delegation) and OSEO.
- ANIMA is the leader of a consortium which has been selected by the European Commission to manage a pilot project on SME and Cluster internationalisation between Europe and 4 targeted Mediterranean countries (Egypt, Lebanon, Morocco and Tunisia). Business development actions, sector Euro-Med task forces (with talents, women entrepreneurs, clusters and investors) as well as supporting actions (such as IP trainings and softlanding actions) will be developed in 2013 and 2014. EuroMed@Change is implemented in partnership with 3 European organisations (the European Business Innovation Centre Network, INNO AG and the Fondation Sophia Antipolis) and will associate more than 45 associated business, finance and innovation networks, among which many members of ANIMA.
- The Lactimed project aims to foster the production and distribution of typical and innovative dairy products in the Mediterranean by organising local value chains, supporting producers and promoting their products in the local and international markets. Over 30 months, ANIMA and its 11 partners will implement around 100 activities targeting the various stakeholders of the dairy value chains of Alexandria (Egypt), the Bekaa (Lebanon), Bizerte (Tunisia), Sicily (Italy) and Thessaly (Greece). The project is co-financed at 90% by the ENPI CBC MED programme.
- The EDILE project is an initiative launched by ANIMA, aiming at increasing the economic spillovers of investment in the Mediterranean territories. This project focuses on improving the analysis frameworks for investment projects (implementation of a referential evaluating the inclusiveness of investment projects and the experimentation of pilot local governance to improve the public-private negotiation. This project associates Tunisia, Lebanon, Jordan and Palestine, along with international organisations (Caisse des dépôts, EIB, Union for the Mediterranean) and the OCEMO.
- DiaMed is a new project associating ANIMA and co-funded by the European Commission. It aims to support job creation in the South Mediterranean, through the mobilisation of expatriated talents from Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia. DiaMed focuses on supporting and mentoring projects promoters and entrepreneurs and fostering an investment-friendly environment for Diaspora. It associates the ADER and ACIM, 2 French partners and associates several Southern partners: CONECT (Tunisia), FBPCE (Morocco) and Medafco (Algeria, MedVentures partner).
- The MED-SPRING, co-financed by the European Commission and led by the CIHEAM via the Agronomic Institute of Bari, aims at developing the Euro-Mediterranean cooperation on research and innovation. ANIMA is a partner in this project and will mobilise its network in order to take part in the capacity building activities and brokerage events.
- The East Invest programme (www.eastinvest.eu) is a regional investment and trade facilitation project for the economic development of the Eastern Neighbourhood region: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine. Funded at 80% by the European Union over the 2011-2013 period, it is implemented by the East Alliance consortium, led by EUROCHAMBRES. East Alliance gathers CCIs, business federations, SME Agencies and other economic development organisations. ANIMA, along with Eurochambres, 5 other business organisations and the 6 EaP countries, is part of the Project Management Committee and is more specifically in charge of implementing the economic intelligence activities, including 6 country specific analyses on investment potential and sectoral strategies.