After identifying regional good practices, project partners have started the exchange of experience process in the DEVISE project.

As part of it, a staff exchange has been organised by project partner Voka – Chamber of Commerce West Flanders in Belgium, on the 5th and 6th of November. First of all, partners and stakeholders from Spain, France, Ireland, Northern Ireland and Finland got the opportunity to visit Howest University of Applied Sciences. They enjoyed a very interesting experience in the Howest University Industrial Design Centre, where they turn ideas into real and viable products. Partners could also learn about ‘MyMachine methodology’, a process based on co-creation, collaboration between children and students of all educational levels who work together as equals to realize "dream machines" during one academic year.

The second visit took DEVISE project partners and stakeholders to Barco’s premises, including their co-working space. Barco is an impressive high-tech company worldwide with headquarters in Kortrijk (Belgium) where they “use technology to transform the quality of life: from improving health outcomes to changing the way people work and creating compelling experiences”.

During the second day of the staff exchange, attendees visited Hangar-K, a space for companies to work together and co-create design-based products. Hangar-K is “a co-creation hub where starters, growers and established companies are brought together under one roof with a clear mission: to strengthen entrepreneurship”.

Finally, participants could find out more about the IMEC.ICON programme, which is led by West Flanders and aims to transfer research and innovation to the industry. This research programme provides access to the knowledge of 4000 researchers under the following domains: smart cities, smart mobility, smart industries, smart infotaintment, smart health, smart energy and smart education. It offers interdisciplinary cooperative research tailored to the needs of the industry and a route for valorization in viable services and products.

This is the second of a series of staff exchanges that commenced at the beginning of October in Seinäjoki (Finland), where project partner Seinäjoki University of Applied Sciences organised some site visits to share their expertise in IoT, Robotics, Food Technology, Construction and Manufacturing.

Next staff exchange is planned to take place in Cantabria (Spain) on 20th – 21st November 2019.