– leading into the future

part 2/2 - back to part 1

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”  

The second goal of the Action Plan was aimed at the identification of possibilities for the implementation of RIS3 Saxony-Anhalt in rural areas based on the LEADER/CLLD approach, which is well established in Saxony-Anhalt. The further development of the "Smart LEADER/CLLD" approach - as a tool to support the actions undertaken by the local population - is a combination of a new methodology to promote innovation and project ideas for local development. Here the OvGU team showed its strength by closely monitoring the LEADER/CLLD approach. First of all, some team members participated in meetings that then were further researched by interviewing different responsible persons in the approach. By looking closely at most of the dynamics that developed in the meetings and beyond it was possible to detect a missing link to a successful implementation of the RIS in rural areas. What Saxony-Anhalt is lacking is a structural institution like a think tank focusing on smart specialization in the region and beyond. Starting with this insight, the OvGU understood that this small vision actually opened doors to a much broader picture as the aforementioned think tank could not only help fostering the perception of smart specialization in rural areas. No, it could be the main vehicle to bring the ideas to all fields of successful economic decision making in the region.

The Interreg project “Beyond EDP” was at least in Saxony-Anhalt an intelligent way to perpetuate the development and acceptance of the ideas of smart specialization. The broad network with organizations from all over Europe attempting the same objectives gave the OvGU team a great opportunity to exchange opinions and compare strategies. The OvGU team is thankful for the great chance to work side by side with bright Europeans from other regions in an important effort to secure our successful European future.

What the OvGU team will propound as a result will be a policy recommendation for the decision makers in Saxony-Anhalt, namely that they should try to establish a think tank that will unite and structure future efforts of smart specialization and the focus on lead markets in the region.