The last peer review meetings between INNO INFRA SHARE partners have provided important insights into future actions that will help to improve the accessibility of the local Research and Innovation infrastructure (RII). Peer review meetings were held in two groups in two different locations, both facilitated by experts from Institute of Baltic Studies (IBS) who are coordinating on the project level the methodology of developing the local Action Plans. Partners from ASTER (Italy), Tartu City Government (Estonia), Flanders Make (Belgium) and Chemnitz University of Technology (Germany) met in Dresden, Germany. In the other group partners from Brainport Development (The Netherlands), Brno University of Technology (Czech Republic), Vidzeme Planning Region (Latvia), Tartu City Government (Estonia) and Region Skåne (Sweden) met in Malmö, Sweden.
During the peer review meetings each partner presented their draft Action Plan ideas for discussions and input from partners. Discussions covered time plan, work structure, indicators to measure results and common actions. Common international actions is something that can connect RII assets in different partner regions in the consortium. Experts from IBS have developed a matrix identifying possible common action ideas under several thematic areas:
- Evaluation and mapping – mapping of the use of infrastructure, evaluation of existing action plans, existing RIIs to make better use of existing technology transfer
- Training, knowledge transfer for infrastructure managers and mindset change to encourage cooperation between companies and researchers
- Promotion activities for increasing the attractiveness of the regional ecosystem
- Matchmaking activities and inter regional cooperation i.e. cooperation pilot projects.
Peer review meeting in Dresden
Each peer review meeting also included a visit to facilities that show a good example of RII accessibility by SMEs. In Dresden partners visited the Volkswagen ideation hub – the first "competence centre" for e-mobility of Volkswagen and a good example, how the industrial development concepts and subsequently the infrastructure has been transformed according to new needs and requirements (from big, environmentally not very favorable luxury cars to e-cars for mass market, linked with new business that get a chance to grow in the environment).
Peer review meeting in Skane
In Malmö partners visited Open Lab Skåne – one of the good practices identified within the INNO INFRA SHARE project. It is an effective collaborative model that is implemented by Lund and Malmö universities and SmiLe Life Science Incubator. It helps to maximise the existing RII in the region and ensure exchange of knowledge and utilisation of research results, creates an entrepreneurial environment thus leading to more market-friendly innovations. During its first year 15 SMEs have developed new products.
These two peer review meetings served as the next step towards developing local Action Plans that will be launched in the INNO INFRA SHARE Final conference in Brussels in November 2018.