SPARK Demo is a business support structure in South-Estonia that brings together different stakeholders to spark collaboration and new ideas.
RELOS3 focuses on implementing RIS3 in a local context. By actively involving innovation actors and companies withing the field of RIS3, Spark Demo acts as a showroom to the regional companies, but also to increase the entrepreneurial activities in the region and help existing companies (not only those in the field of smart specialisation) to increase their competitiveness.
SPARK Demo is a showroom dedicated to companies based in southern Estonia. Successful and ambitious companies from various business sectors (especially from the smart specialisation areas) can showcase their strengths and uniqueness. The exhibition and additional information provided by the hosts of the centre help international and local visitors to get to know more about the work and achievements of companies located in the city of Tartu and in the region.

SPARK Demo brings together successful manufacturers and exporters, the brightest start-ups, business support organisations, and educational and R&D institutions of the region. The demo area is also a place for entrepreneurship workshops, seminars and networking events. The meeting rooms on-site are designed for business meetings and for product demonstrations.

SPARK Demo was created in 2016 under the leadership of Tartu Science Park and with the support of the city of Tartu. Tartu Science Park is the oldest science park in the Baltics and it was established by the local government and univer

Resources needed

The design and setting up process required 9 months work by 2 full-time employees. Running SPARK Demo requires 2 full-time employees and part-time support for marketing. The annual budget of the structure is around 110 000 Euros and half of that is covered by the companies represented in SPARK Demo.

Evidence of success

SPARK Demo has played an integral role in supporting regional business visibility and by providing an international networking hub for local enterprises. In 2019 we have hosted more than 6000 visitors from 46 different countries to whom we presented more than 40 companies and their awesome solutions from South- Estonia. We organised or co-organised more than 100 events (workshop, seminar, networking, etc.) for
entrepreneurs.

Difficulties encountered

Funding - there is a need to increase revenue earned by Spark Demo services.
Content – need to find fresh speakers, topics, approaches for workshops, trainings, seminars etc.
To find interested companies and being valuable to them requires personal approach and man-hours.

Potential for learning or transfer

The decision and process to set up SPARK Demo to support regional business networking and to provide a demo hall for products and services available in the region could be successfully transferred to other regions.

While considering the transfer some points that are important to keep in mind:
- A single point of contact is provided that is uniquely suitable to reach out for companies that are active in the fields of smart specialisation.
- International and cross-regional contacts are encouraged through the structure.
- Demo hall also functions as a business training centre, holds business networking events and meetings.
- The business model encourages diverse participation from the stakeholders and it is largely self-funded through private company members.

Further information: Ms Liina Helstein, [email protected]

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Project
Main institution
Tartu Science Park
Location
Eesti, Estonia (Eesti)
Start Date
January 2016
End Date
Ongoing

Contact

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