11 Interreg Europe project partners and 10 European regions were present at Otto Von Guericke University’s Peer Review Meeting on 6 and 7 March in Saxony Anhalt (Germany).

Interreg Europe’s Beyond EDP Project met in Germany where practitioners of regional economic development and their stakeholders, as well as regional policy makers and policy ‘implementers, conducted a Peer Review meeting of Magdeburg’s Otto Von Guericke University (a project partner).   

Launched in 2016, Beyond EDP seeks to improve regional innovation smart specialisation strategies (RIS3) implementation, specifically it’s entrepreneurial discovery process (EDP) by concentrating on good management practices. The project extracts and disseminates experiences of European regions vis-à-vis their EDP, which forms a key pillar of their RIS3 – a strategy of the European Union’s Cohesion Policy. This instrument is part of a wider policy that reduces disparities in economic development levels across the EU.

Looking at Saxony Anhalt region’s RIS3 and EDP from the project partner, Otto Von Guericke University, the meeting introduced the cyclical nature of EDP with presentations and discussion on topics from designing and governing EDP in the region to examples of EDP in practice. Across the three stages of the Peer Review meeting strategic information was shared to enhance EDP frameworks, good practices and new opportunities for EDP’s enhancement were discovered.

The first day introduced project partners and their stakeholders to Saxony Anhalt’s approach to EDP in preparation for practical examples of EDP taking place in Otto Von Guericke’s campus. Following the presentations of Saxony Anhalt’s EDP, the second day concentrated on Peer Review actions giving an opportunity to stakeholders and project partners to offer their observations and recommendations to the host project partner – Otto Von Guericke University.

Saxony Anhalt’s presentations dealing with the design and governance of EDP were lead by Dr Jurgen Ude, State Secretary of the Ministry Of Economy, Science and Digitalisation. Dr Ude highlighted the region’s specific, historical context and offered the background of RIS3 in Saxony Anhalt and their definition of priorities focused on the region’s five lead markets and clusters. The Mahreg Automotive cluster was offered and showed as an example of what can been done when public and private spheres come together in a region with stimulating associations. This initiative has developed over many years and is playing a role in fostering an entrepreneurial mindset, which implies the critical role of quality education provided by Otto Von Guericke University. The university showcased the region’s initiatives and contribution to EDP with an introduction to a Transfer and Start-Up Centre where people can share ideas and create synergies.

During the second day and preceding the exchange which took place between host project partner, project partners and their stakeholders, a representative from the European Commission’s Joint Research Council, Elisabetta Marinelli, stressed that EDP is continuous for policy makers and its monitoring should fit the overall EDP process.

Concluding the project meeting in Saxony Anhalt, project partners discussed the next steps of the project and their the next peer review meeting in Bourgogne France-Come, France.