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Creating spaces for innovation

By Platform
Two people standing in a lab

On 1 June 2023, the Policy Learning Platform organised a matchmaking on creating spaces for innovation.

Our experts Laura Varisco, Arnault Morisson, and Marc Pattinson moderated the session which was organised at the request of the Municipality of Keratsini-Drapetsona to meet and exchange with peers from other cities and regions who could share their experiences on the same problem.


The main challenge

How to build efficient and sustainable spaces for innovation and how to:

  • Strengthen existing support structures for vulnerable groups
  • Respect the environment
  • Create recreational, cultural and sport areas to strengthen the identity of the Municipality
  • Use new technologies
Host and participants

Main beneficiary

Peer experts

Policy learning platform experts

Key insights

The peers discussed the importance of creating a strong starting point analysis before engaging the building construction and renovation.

  • Building spaces for innovation is a long-term process. The Valletta Design Cluster conception took almost 10 years, starting from informal consultations. It is of extreme importance to start engaging the community at the early stages of the design process.
  • Designing the spaces is a bottom-up and comprehensive approach, where all relevant city actors should be involved, from city administrators to companies and citizens.
  • Political support is important to secure funds but also to discuss how to build a coherent long-term strategy on how to use the spaces.
  • Mapping what already exists is fundamental to better define the needs and the target groups. The City of Lisbon did a complete mapping also to identify potential partners and make connections. In Malta, the Hatchery Initiative helped to identify the users.
  • Testing and scalability is also useful: start small to adapt to further developments.
  • Another suggestion is to make the spaces unique to stand out and become a reference for the city, contributing to improving the territorial attractiveness.


Relevant good practices

The peers and moderators discussed good practices coming from Interreg Europe projects (see also the Interreg Europe good practice database), namely