Good practices keep on transferring between partner regions

During this fall the Regional Council of Ostrobothnia tested elements of the Innovation Loop methodology, a good practice of Region Västerbotten. A one day co-creative idea workshop on optical measurement techniques and digitalization was organized in the region of South Ostrobothnia.

The workshop began with pointing out why and how optical measurement techniques are important enablers of digitalization. In fact, optical measurement techniques belong to the field of photonics which the European Commission foresees as a key enabling technology for industrial modernization and, at the end of the day, for creating innovation and growth. The introductory presentations consisted of a good mix of concrete company examples and technical information. Also, the participants got to the opportunity to observe and try out the technology in small groups.

After this, it was time for the participants to start generating and co-creating ideas on how optical measurement techniques could be used to increase the level of automation in existing production processes or to create completely new products and services.

The ideas generated during the workshop all evolved around key areas of business in the region of Sydösterbotten such as greenhouse farming of tomatoes and cucumbers, food processing and manufacturing of machinery and metal products. Within these fields, the participants came up a number of possible applications one of which was an automatic detection of ripeness. All of the groups consisted of a set-up of different actors such as citizens, development organizations, companies and people from the public and higher education sector resulting in creative discussions and hopefully new contacts and networks.

The workshop and the testing initial elements of this good practice was very fruitful for the development of the regional action plan. The workshop enhanced local stakeholders’ knowledge by showing in a very concrete way one method of open, social innovation. Also, by testing the good practice, several insights were given on how the methodology needs to be customized in order to meet the regional context and needs.