Flanders Make Action plan is being implemented in the framework of Interreg Europe 2014-2020 project “Sharing Strategies for European Research and Innovation Infrastructures (INNO INFRA SHARE)”, aiming at contribution to a more efficient use of funds in order to support not only the actual investment in RII, but also the management and long-term exploitation of the targeted RII. Furthermore, this Action plan addresses opportunities for interregional collaboration in the scope of the Inno Infra Share project. Three main actions have been nominated and, during the project’s implementation, progress has been made.
To make a sustainable business models for RII exploitation, a survey has been developed and is in progress on regional RII to address different business models and accessibility options for companies, keeping the focus on SMEs. This survey builds on the Study Visits from the project and the mapping process which has been started. The survey is supported by the Management Authority and the results and conclusions will be discussed once the input is processed.
In order to increase accessibility of RII for companies, several – mainly bottom-up – initiatives have been initiated either from Flanders Make or with Flanders Make as a prominent partner, including:
• four different open field labs, which are started and facilitated with regional innovation players to set-up innovation “playgrounds” for companies;
• different infrastructure projects at Flanders Make have been started with easy SME access and supporting business models (e.g. the mobile Make Lab, open test lab for predictive maintenance, Smart Factory BNL)
For interregional collaboration enhancement, a first discussion and information exchange between the Management Authorities of Flanders (Flemish Agency for Innovation and Entrepreneurship) and South Netherlands (Stimulus Programme Management) has been set-up with positive feedback. A start of the co-ordination of regional RIIs has been made by comparing the infrastructures financed within both ERDF programmes in both regions. Next meeting is planned for January 2020 with the aim to align regional policies related to Industry 4.0 and business models to support SME access to infrastructures.
The first “Flemish – Netherlands Science and Innovation Day” has been held on October 28th. The goal of it was to bring together the triple helix stakeholders on both sides of the border around the themes Life Sciences, Healthcare, Artificial Intelligence, Industry 4.0 and Sustainable Energy.
The policy instrument for Flanders, which is targeted in this project, is the ERDF Flanders program (2014 – 2020), Priority Axis 1: Stimulating Research, Technological Development and Innovation.
The efforts of the program are oriented towards the expansion of the Flemish R&D instruments covering some missing links, namely living labs and demonstration projects, to stimulate product development and market introduction of innovative products and services.
More information about the Action plan for the Flanders Make can be found here:
All partners forming the INNO INFRA SHARE project consortium have successfully completed Phase 1 of the project which culminated in the development of the Action plans for each region involved, and are currently implementing the Phase 2 of the project during which these action plans are impelled and their implementation progress is being regularly monitored. The Phase 2 of the project will end in December 2020. The main results of the project will be showcased during the final conference which will take place in Bologna, Italy next year.