On 21-23 November 2017 in Kozani, Greece, BRIDGES project held, as it was planned, its fifth interregional policy learning meeting. It was hosted by ANKO – the Regional Development Agency of Western Macedonia. The meeting was attended by all the partners, including a stakeholder representation.

The first day of the meeting was dedicated to the internal peer review. It was coordinated by the external expert Frank Trepte. Each regional partner made a two-minute pitch presenting their action plan priorities. The session was supported by the external peer reviewer and the project advisory team through questions, explanatory comments and finally by discussion among all the project partners. What has come out of this process is that most of the regional partners have mature action plan concepts and expectations. The fields have been more or less confirmed as already introduced during the 4th IPL in Helsinki.

The second day of the meeting was dedicated to good practice review and transfer process.
GP theme 1 (innovation infrastructures) has been in further processing through bilateral mentoring sessions between the advisory partner CEEI Burgos and the regional partners. The results are the confirmation or specification of GPs. Within the GP theme 2 (research-to-industry partnerships) and GP theme 3 (multilevel synergies) the good practice selections was confirmed/adjusted during the mentoring process coordinated by advisory partners.The GPs transfer can either be the key focus of action plan or an important part of it.

The updated “BRIDGES good practice capitalisation report” is to be found here.

During the second day, we also had the synergy session with the JRC. Two JRC representatives - Mark Boden and Dimitris Pontikakis - presented activities and themes that are relevant to a number of regions through reference to two projects - “Lagging Regions” and “Stairway to Excellence”. There was also a presentation on approaches on ensuring RIS3 implementation on the ground. The discussed issues were apparently shared by most of us, like related variety (and its potential impact), the entrepreneurial discovery  process (EDP) in the RIS3 context, how to get businesses more involved, role of research and HEIs, governance of RIS3 including the role of regional development companies, and also linkages between structural and innovation funds and how such linkages could become more accessible to all regions.

The three-day meeting in Kozani ended with the  action plan training.  The key issues of the action plan formulation, hints, and the endorsement approach can be found in the presentation “Action plan and endorsement plan” .

Kozani meeting deliverables are available in the library