The idea is to create occasions for technology and application sectors to meet and better understand each other (application needs and technology offer).
-It is well known that the connection between end-users/system integrators and technology providers is currently a barrier which slow down the deployment of innovation. It is usually quite tricky to create link and trust between the providers of technologies and the end-users. One way to foster such connection is to organise focused events with plenty of time to exchange (both with formal presentation of technology providers and end-users need) but also informal talks during the breaks). BtoB meeting, that can be organised at the end of the day, are also quite effective to start the connection right away.
-Photonics Bretagne routinely organises such events to promote technology (if possible local) to the local ecosystem. It is usually not easy to quantify the impact but we know that this kind of initiative has a strong added value through our surveys. This type of initiative needs to be more widespread across Europe.
-The main beneficiaries are the local provider of technology who find new customers/applications and also the local end-users who bring innovation in their system. They become more competitive.

Resources needed

The budget for organising such events can be relatively small (for the room, the food and communication materials) but with quite some effort in terms of time spent. We can estimate the cost for such event to 25k€. If one is organised every 3 months, that means 100k€/year per region involved.

Evidence of success

It is always difficult to quantify the success of such actions as the outcome can be reached after few months and sometimes few years. However, the usually large attendance proves by itself that the participants have a clear interest in such event. Surveys at the end of the event and 6 months later are also a good way to monitor the success but the participation is usually quite low after the event.

Difficulties encountered

To build a successful event, the topic should be broad enough to have a critical mass but narrow enough to be focused. To always easy to find the right compromise.
Inviting one or 2 “special guest(s)” (large group/research center) can be a good way to attract interest from SMEs

Potential for learning or transfer

Such events have been routinely organised across Europe during the recent years. However, we have a specific experience on the specific field of photonics and have found a quite successful formula after several tries & errors. What is important is some high level guests to open the day, some presentations of end-users need and technology offering, plenty of time for networking (coffee break) and organisation of optional BtoB meetings to close the day.
It is important to involve 2 or 3 cluster organisations (both focused on technology/application) so reach all the relevant participants.
Main institution
Bretagne, France
Start Date
June 2013
End Date


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