– leading into the future
The Otto-von-Guericke University has been one of nine partners in the Interreg Project “Beyond EDP” an European framework to foster the Ideas of “Smart specialization”
Over the last seven years stakeholders from Saxony-Anhalt and European partners from nine countries such as the Netherlands, Spain, France, Poland, Italy, Sweden etc. came together to follow the advice of economic progress, sketched out by smart specialization. Territorial regions in the world are divided not only by the amount of GDP they revenue, but also by the potential they sport to change the way people operate to find new ways to compete in a global race for green, digital, and sustainable solutions. Since 2015 the Otto von Guericke University (OvGU), located in Magdeburg the capital of Saxony-Anhalt, has set sail as part of the Interreg Project “Beyond EDP” in the endeavor to use the Entrepreneurial Discovery Process (EDP) to identify regional strengths and potential gaps in Saxony-Anhalt, and ultimately to increase the potential of the implementation of subsidies from the EU Structural and Investment Funds. Now, in 2021, the project will come to a close.
The impact of the regional innovation strategies (RIS) trusted all over Europe was evaluated in the frame of this project in Saxony-Anhalt, based on the concept of "smart specialization". Additionally, regional assets were identified so that they could be promoted and expanded for the next funding period. The core of this stakeholder process is the EDP, a continuous process that promotes the regional development of new ideas and innovations through the interaction of business, science and other stakeholders. The EDP unites methods and practices that bring together policy makers, researchers, entrepreneurs, and society to identify new ideas and technologies and promote innovation.
There is an everlasting effort and advantage that promotes the unity of Europe and it is mainly the diversity and cultural heterogeneity that all the members of the European union have developed over the last centuries. In the framework of Beyond EDP the team of the OvGU has translated this historical advantage into an action plan that would bring progress to the establishment of smart socialization in Saxony-Anhalt.
The first achievement deals with the governance structures of the lead markets, which represent the five most important economic focal points in Saxony-Anhalt. It was a proposal for a review of the composition of the stakeholder groups in at least one chosen lead market and considers a combination of the lead markets among themselves and with the cross-sectional fields. One of the objectives of this action was to establish a transparent stakeholder process by systematically involving all stakeholders in the work process of the lead markets. Its aim was reached by organizing a lead market meeting called “Unternehmerbrunch”, where scientists, economists, entrepreneurs, politicians and other relevant stakeholders came together to discuss developments of the future in one lead market, specifically Energy, Engineering and Plant Construction, Resource Efficiency. By setting up this transparent stakeholder process, the team from the OvGU observed and analyzed potential benefits, but also identified obstacles. They hope that this process might be sustainable and becomes one of the “go to” initiatives that the responsible politicians will prefer in the future.