On November 17th, partners from the TraCS3 Interreg Europe project met to discuss the status and outcomes of the project with each other. The joint goal of the TraCS3 project is: Fostering Interregional Collaboration and Support for Innovation Infrastructure in S3 key priority areas through the Improvement of Regional Innovation Eco-systems. Almost all partners of the various project partners were either physically or online present at the meeting.

Main project findings, presentations and panel discussion

During the meeting in Brussels, the main findings were presented by Albert Haan (Project Manager at Hanze University of Applied Sciences Groningen, Netherlands). Albert Haan explained that as many as 30 good practices have been shared with partners during the duration of the project. These include examples on infrastructure, physical locations for innovation, providing services and sharing knowledge. But also network examples and education examples that foster innovation in SMEs. Of course, policy examples were also shared.

This was followed by a video message from Joyce Walstra (director Oranjewoud Export Academy, chairman MKB Noord-Nederland and board member MKB Nederland). Joyce Walstra was also a panelist in the final panel discussion of the day.

This was followed by a presentation by Gunter Warsewa (Dr; Dipl.Sozw.; Hon. Prof. for Urban Sociology at University of Applied Sciences Bremen) of lessons learned in TraCS3 in relation to the Innovation Strategy 2030 for Bremen and conclusions for EU-RIS.

After the break, Johanna Vannes (Senior Specialist International Projects and Financing at the Baltic Institute) and Harri Kuusela, (Principal Scientist at VTT, Regional and International Cooperation for Manufacturing and Renewable Energies) presented their findings and latest developments in the Tampere Innovation Ecosystem, and linking innovation ecosystems.

Following this presentation, Michael Berz (Project Adviser, European Innovation Council and SMEs Executive Agency, European Commission) gave a wonderful presentation on the I3 Instrument (the I3 Interregional Innovation Investments Instrument provides advisory and financial support to innovation projects in joint smart specialization areas on the road towards commercialization and scale-up). The day ended with a panel discussion and possible ways of continuation for the project were discussed.

Next partner meeting March 2023

The next meeting may take place in Albacete, Spain around March 22 2023. Albert Haan and Anja Bos will check what the budget is for this meeting. Angel will review the program. It would be of great help if each project partner could give a presentation on the evaluation of the regional work that has been done by then. Furthermore, we will evaluate the status of the action plans.