The Düsseldorf May-weather was brilliant and within the 3 days of the KISS ME interregional meeting - and so was the mood of the participants!
From 7 May to 9 May the KISS ME Project Partners gathered for their second interregional meeting and site visit in the Dutch-German border region in Düsseldorf, bringing along their local stakeholders.
On the first day, the KISS ME partnership paid a visit to the IDE - Competence Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship at the University Duisburg / Essen. Mr Thomas Nußbruch, one of the Heads of the IDE, gave the participants many interesting insights in the Competence Center and its approches to promote start-ups and entrepreneurship. Among others, he presented the newly established study programme Master of Arts in Innopreneurship, uniquely combining Innovation and Entrepreneurship.
The second day started with a reception at the Ministry of Economy, Innovation, Digitalisation and Energy NRW , the Managing Authority for INTERREG Europe Projects in North Rhine-Westphalia. Mr Dr. Traupel, Head of Division "Location Marketing & Development", welcomed the KISS ME Partners and their stakeholders high above the Rhine bank with a great view over the citiy of Düsseldorf. Dr. Traupel gave insights into NRW's role as a location of industry and commerce, also with regard to SMEs, and highlighted the great importance of cross-border cooperation - not only for North Rhine-Westphalia, but for Europe in general.
Following their visit at the Ministry, the partners and stakeholders started their workshop session - at a location in the heart of the Düsseldorf media harbour, famous for its spectacular architecture. The present stakeholdes from each region mainly had their professional background in the field of development agencies, Business promotion and Clusters. Thus, there was a great basis for fruitful exchange of experience! Their presentations all illustrated the benefits of CBC within the framework of INTERREG A but also identified the challenges they were facing - some of them similar in each Region, some of them related to a particular situation in their respective region.
Thanks to the informative presentations, the Project partners gained many important insights for the KISS ME Project and there was a big amount of interregional policy learning done!
In the evening the partnership and their stakeholders enjoyed their well-deserved dinner leaving room for networking and teambuilding.
At the third and last day of the meeting, the Project partners and their stakeholders were invited to the Cluster NanoMicroMaterialsPhotonics. Here, for the first time, the 3 INTERREG Europe Projects with involvement of NRW were present - KISS ME, STEPHANIE & NMP-REG (read the press release in German here). On this occasion, Mr Balázs Szegner, Consul General of Hungary, and Ms Ilka Meisel from the NRW Ministry of Economy, Innovation, Digitalisation and Energy NRW participated in the meeting.
The second interregional meeting with site visit and steering group meeting of the KISS ME Project was a big success! The stakeholder presentations provided a great basis for exchange of experience and policy learning. Also the site visits showed some very interesting approaches from the Dutch-German border Region. The lessons learned in the meeting are great input to the project and contribute strongly to the envisaged outcomes of the KISS ME project!