19th February 2019 Paja Congress hall was gathering together over 60 people interested in the improvement of R&D commencialisation. Being a very wide field of development, InnoBridge Interim Conference was able to build the agenda from different perspectives, but with a clear focus on knowledge transfer and interregional collaboration and exchange of expertise.

After the welcoming words by the Lead partner, Martina Ebner from the Office of the Regional Government of Lower Austria and by the host region Petri Räsänen from the Council of Tampere Region, the audience had a chance to witness a historical moment. This was the Innovation panel discussion that brought together the newly nominated innovation directors of the new regional universities for the first time ever.

The panel discussion gave a good start for the conference by bringing up the importance of the active and collaborative new role of the universities in innovation ecosystems.

InnoBridge project and its goals were introduced before the actual project outputs and results were presented in two moderated talk sessions. These sessions included six partner regions and gave an insight to what had been done in the regions, what findings had been made and how the interregional cooperation had benefited to all of this during the project. Audience took active part in the discussions concerning the new role of public sector in innovation ecosystems, which was one of the findings of InnoBridge.

Professor Marko Seppänen from the Tampere University challenged the audience with his presentation to think about the future of ecosystem policies and the new possibilities of platform economy that might appear in the near future.

The afternoon of the conference was dedicated to the regional good examples and findings for the next funding period. The four presentations from the Regional Government of Castilla y León, Ministry for Innovation and Technology of Hungary, Autonomous Province of Bolzano and Tampere Region EU Office gave us a good understanding of how the innovation policy and support for R&D commercialization is developed for the next funding period, what should be learned from this period and what are the key elements of improvement.

InnoBridge Interim Conference was a success, gathering together the key players and organizations from the regional innovation ecosystems. It was a useful forum to have the discussions about the future of R&D commercialization and how InnoBridge as an Interreg project had contributed to the development. We want to thank all the participants for the active role and contributions.