The Transnational Network for Exchange in Sustainable Hospitality (also referred as the HELIX network) is a non-formal, voluntary partnership among independent organisations. It is not an independent legal entity. It is formed as part of the supportive structures within each partner institutions.
Founders of the HELIX Transnational Network are the project partners or the following institutions:
- Varna University of Management (PP1) – Bulgaria
- University of Thessaly, Department of Planning and Regional Development (PP2) – Greece
- Aleksander Moisiu University of Durres (PP3) – Albania
- University of Shkodra “Luigj Gurakuqi” (PP4) – Albania
- Cyril and Methodius University in Skopje, Institute of Economics, (PP7) – FYROM
- Culinary Arts and Hospitality Association (CAHA) (PP6) – Bulgaria.
The HELIX Network has the mission to work for the increase and diversification of the competencies for sustainable business and innovation (especially among SMEs and entrepreneurs) in the hospitality sector of the Balkan-Med region, in particular by promoting and supporting the establishment and development of effective learning and practice communities, learning tools and joint educational offers aimed at strengthening sector-specific skills for sustainability and adoption of technological and managerial innovations.
The goals of the Transnational Network for Exchange in Sustainable Hospitality are in line with those of the above mentioned project. Meanwhile, they comply with the objectives laid into each partner` strategy for cooperation with business and other stakeholders. In particular, the HELIX Network aims to:
- Align the content and the effectiveness of the education and training offers in hospitality with regional needs (especially those related to sustainable development);
- Bring together research, training and umbrella organizations to devise interdisciplinary solutions and to provide expert support for effective SME development towards sustainability;
- Support and enable current and prospective professionals to manage innovations and benefit from knowledge transfer;
- Raise the awareness and involvement of all stakeholders regarding innovations and new-technological solutions that might be utilized in favour of the sustainable development of the hospitality SMEs, tourist destinations, the customers and other stakeholders;
- Develop and implement prospects for collaboration between educational institutions and business organizations that contribute to improved competitiveness, innovation potential and employment in the BalkanMed area.
The Transnational Network for Exchange in Sustainable Hospitality has 1 central unit and 5 contact points – established at the premises of each partner institution.
The operational activity of each contact point is managed by the relative responsible partner.
The overall management of the HELIX Network is done jointly by all six (6) partners. The functioning of the Network is supervised by a Joint Advisory Board, where each partner organization is represented by 1 expert.
The HELIX Network services and products are addressed to the main professional and business groups involved in the hospitality and tourism, directly connected to their development and improvement, as follows:
- Hospitality SMEs’ owners and managers from all partnering countries who will benefit from the increased mentorship and learning opportunities, professional contacts and experience exchange;
- Students and trainees in hospitality, restaurant and culinary schools who will get a better knowledge and training utilizing the Network services and improve their overall performance as professionals;
- VET trainers in hospitality management who can improve and update their theoretical and practical programmes and courses in order to meet the business requirements,
- Umbrella organizations in the sector who will get new tools to provide better services support.