This encounter brings together many actors of the Castilla-La Mancha (CLM) R&D&I ecosystem to intensify collaborative agreements and clusterization processes.
The Metal Technological Center of CLM (ITECAM) organises this encounter aims to increase regional cooperation through the creation of a unique networking space. The main goal is to promote collaboration between the quadruple helix (Q4) actors of the CLM R&D&I framework, such as SMEs demanding/offering products and services from the industrial sector, research, and technological centers, government representatives, public organisations, university research groups from the regional university (UCLM)… among other independent consultants and experts. Besides, the presence of international companies promotes interregional agreements and widen the opportunities to be part of global value chains. The event is structured in four main zones: (1) a workspace where the face to face (F2F) encounters (15 min) between organisations take place, aiming to foster collaborations that could be materialized in strategic partnerships and joint projects at European, national or regional level, (2) the Innova+ Area as a meeting point for companies and a selection of research groups of the UCLM, this space is intended to close the gap between academia and industry and promote the transfer of knowledge and, (3) a demonstration area where companies show their advanced technologies, products, and prototypes and, (4) a conference area, where some keynote speakers explain to the participants relevant topics such as KETs, business digitalization, internationalization, CLM-S3, clusters, and network…
It is financed with internal funds by ITECAM. In addition, it is funding by the CLM Regional Government, sponsors, and a participant’s fee. 10 persons are needed to organise and support the event. Besides, the organiser subcontracts some services (i.e. catering, space, and promotional issues).
Evidence of success
This event dynamism regional cooperation intensifying the R&D&I ecosystem. The regional government claim that this is a perfect tool to achieve regional challenges. Since its creation, the event has had an exponential amount in terms of participation year by year:
• 2014 – 70 companies, 120 actors – 200 F2F encounters
• 2016 – 150 companies, 255 actors – 320 F2F encounters
• 2017 – 175 companies, 310 actors – 485 F2F encounters
• 2018 – 210 companies, 350 actors - 590 F2F encounters
The main difficulties were mainly two (at first editions): problems to obtain the necessary economic resources through public investment and sponsors, and, to convince some actors about the potential opportunities that could arise thanks to this kind of events.
Potential for learning or transfer
This event promotes regional cooperation because it provides a perfect atmosphere to support collaborative agreements among R&D&I regional actors in order to achieve common goals and encourage clusterization processes. Thanks to this event many projects are constantly coming up at all levels and sectors. It is a good practice because it offers the companies the opportunity to have face to face meetings to expound their capabilities in order to collaborate with other companies to be more competitive and sustainable. For example, it is so valuable for SMEs because they do not have the same visibility as the big ones, so this event gives them the same opportunities as others. Furthermore, it is a meeting point to build a bridge between basic research (university) and applied research (industry), in order to set out common objectives and achieve them to make the region more innovative to solve current industrial problems.