Innovation in the Regional Innovation Strategies can be accelerated by creating stronger connections between clusters, larger companies and social innovative SMEs and initiatives.
This was one of the key points that ITHACA project leader Astrid Kaag brought home from the policy learning event on research & innovation and SME competitiveness in Milan in October.
Another important conclusion for the ITHACA project is that clusters are the most important instrument to support SMEs in their research and development activities and internationalisation.
Creation and maintenance of clusters or ecosystems are already an important focus of the ITHACA project. The conclusions of the policy learning event thus goes hand in hand with the direction and core focus of the ITHACA project. During the 3rd semester of the ITHACA project we will focus on techniques and organisational tools that strenghten and maintiane clusters/eco-system active.
It was also very clear that it is relevant to bring together people from both the research and innovation as well from the SME competiveness side. Through the interaction between these different perspectives and networks we can stimulate real learning resulting in improvements of the policy instruments in the different regions.
The Policy Learning Platform is a means to connect policy makers and influencers from all over Europe. The platform gives the possibility to share experiences, learn from each other by sharing practices and to tap into contact with experts and peers. Which is of course also very important for the learning loop of the ITHACA project.