This month we talk with our DIGITAL REGIONS project partners from University of Ljubljana (Slovenia) and Hof University of Applied Sciences (Germany) about their thoughts for their Regional Action Plans and the inspiration obtained from the good practices shared by the partnership.

Commenting on the plans for the RAPs that each project partner will be developing during the next months, Jure Verhovnik, University of Ljubljana, explains that in Slovenia, they have been working intensively on the Action Plan during the year. "The next steps include presenting selected good practices from the project partners to the stakeholders. The proposals received will form the basis for the first version of the document", he mentions. According to Jure, a presentation to a wider range of stakeholders is planned for January 2022, followed by a presentation to decision-makers and the finalised document is planned for February 2022.

In the context of the good practices presented, Jure says that they have identified a series of good practices in relation to the objectives and approaches, which will be used in the formulation of the Action Plan and in the actual implementation of the planned activities. "The good practices we plan to use are:

Chatting with our German partner Katrin Müller from Hof University of Applied Sciences, we find out that their RAP will feature a feasible way to consolidate their Regional Stakeholder Group. "The Upper Franconian group greatly appreciates the exchange and feedback between the DIGITAL REGIONS team’s input, the university of applied sciences, and each other, and would like to continue the cooperation. Furthermore, we are looking forward to innovation projects in the making which were inspired by our good practice exchange", states Katrin.

Asked about the inspiration obtained from partners, Katrin adds: "the good practices which are the most interesting to Upper Franconia are practices that inspired us for:

  • Facing the same challenges as we do: The Portuguese SAMT project set its goal towards incorporating innovations in the region and helping develop a skilled workforce. Our Swiss partners got similar feedback from their regional stakeholders as we did: There is plenty of funding programs, but SMEs still feel overwhelmed. We want to help navigating through the programs, transfer innovation more efficiently, and foster a culture of innovation in SMEs and to be to be their extended R&D facility like Technology Gateways did.
  • Their networking and cooperation achievements. We at HAW Hof know that a cohesive, animated network can be the central factor to a technology transfer project’s sustainability. The  IOTEC project by our Portuguese partner inspired some attempts at new synergies in the region. Another interesting best practice is SAMT (Portugal) with its synergies between a remarkable and diverse net of partners. New emerging projects at Hof University also aim at disseminating existing technologies and promoting investment and funding.