The key action of the Centre-Val de Loire Regional Council: "Fostering the dialogue between the public laboratories and companies in order to induce projects with a higher economic impact: Implementation of SPARK Initiative in RCVL".

Brief description of the action: 

SCAN PLAN ACT REVOLUTIONARY KIT (SPARK) is a method of Open Innovation or collective intelligence and a tool to foster the dialogue between companies and research by empowering researchers to think about research results from a market point of view based on the Business Model Canvas (BMC) to improve the marketability of research based products and services. It is a method which should be considered as a very powerful tool to enhance business relationship between companies and research.

Regarding the results obtained by ART-ER in Emilia-Romagna, we are very excited to experiment this method in RCVL. The project started in January 2020 and is still going on until December 2020.

Progress on the implementation of the action plan

Spark implementation has several stages:

SCAN: analyse, and selection of topics (field of Life Sciences) and people to be involved . It was performed from January to June 2020.  

PLAN: selection of projects (ARD Biopharmaceuticals project and also to a greater extent Life sciences project) by involving regional partners, and a preparatory meeting : to define specific challenges to be addressed, to train researchers to pitch their project and also to write Business Model Canvas (BMC) . It was performed from June to October 2020.

ACT: Implementation of workshops stage to provide selected project BMC, sharing results and exchanges with “Resource Groups”. Act is planned on the 18th of November 2020.

After the 18th of November e result of the experimentation will be shared by opening it to a larger public. This event is an opportunity to make RCVL research centers, companies, innovation centers, aware of how SPARK method could be an advantage for building future projects.

Main change perfomed by the action plan implementation

It’s really a new way for many researchers to approach their research projects, to think about research results from a market point of view, and also to think about their applications as a use for society (“in the real world” !).

 The direct benefits of SPARK are anticipated on Centre´s own program through the emulation of new research and innovation projects answering to crucial economic issues.  Considering the COVID pandemic situation, applying Spark Method to Life science project is up to date.   

How COVID-19 crisis influenced your action plan implementation?

The influence of COVID-19 crisis is weak, meetings were organised by using online tools during pandemic breakdown.  Plan Day was organized using all social distancing criteria and we are going to organize ACT day with the same criteria.  All partners involved in SPARK methodology implementation were very happy to share, to meet, to participate. It is also their reply to the stressful pandemic situation we are living.