Partners of the INNO INFRA SHARE project have made the first steps to shape their local Action Plans to improve policy instruments that will positively affect Research and Innovation infrastructures (RIIs) and improve their accessibility by SMEs. First Peer Review meetings have taken place in Brno (Czech Republic) and Eindhoven (The Netherlands) where partners divided into two groups to share experiences regarding regional policy instruments and Good Practices.

Peer Review meeting in Brno included partners from Brno University of Technology (Czech Republic), Vidzeme Planning Region (Latvia), Tartu City Government (Estonia) and Chemnitz University of Technology (Germany). Partners were accompanied by their regional stakeholders – representatives of Universities, Science parks and companies. The meeting started with a visit to Nano CT research LAB and CEITEC Nano Research Infrastructure which provides complex equipment, expertise and methods for nanotechnology and advanced materials. This group chose to focus on particular issues of each region’s policy instrument and discussed partners’ ideas for solving these issues to be included in the Action Plan. The solutions were ranging from a need to specialise and build excellence in a specific research & innovation area to ideas on attracting or retaining the human capital and talent in the region. Common interests between regions were identified and first steps were taken to enhance future collaboration.

The other Peer Review meeting in Eindhoven gathered partners and stakeholders from Brainport (The Netherlands), Flanders (Belgium), Emilia Romagna (Italy) and Skåne (Sweden). A good inspiration was the visit to Automotive Campus in Helmond where partners had a chance to see the concept and partnership model of the campus. This group discussed the eco-system approach, the need to ensure long term sustainability of RIIs and the importance of “soft” costs – the costs related to management, marketing and communication of the RII. After this visit, still 1,5 days were left to discuss the regional policy instruments. Each region presented its policy instrument and how it is embedded in the smart specialization strategy for the region. Concrete questions were formulated on which the experts from the other regions commented, bringing in their ideas and experiences.

The next Peer Review meetings between partners will take place in Skåne (Sweden) and Chemnitz (Germany) in February - March 2018 when the groups will be changed, and partners will get a chance to discuss their challenges with other partners and stakeholders.