Service of “one stop shop” aiming to play a catalytic role as a single contact point for innovation development and mediation between academia and businesses.
The One Stop Liaison Office agency (OSLO) of the Region of Central Macedonia (RCM), Greece, is an important intervention at the regional innovation ecosystem towards the establishment of strong links between research producers and businesses coming from various fields, among which, transport and mobility. It operates as a contact point that brings closer and interconnects directly the academia, qualified personnel and innovation generators with the real market (industry and businesses), reducing time-consuming bureaucracy. That way both sides can benefit, their competencies/competitiveness can be developed, and finally, regional development can be achieved. Transport actors can benefit significantly through this practice since their activities have a multi-disciplinary and cross-sector dimension.
In addition, the “one stop shop” acts as a point of information provision and support of potential investors and entrepreneurs to grow and proceed with any procedure. Under this support mechanism, a. personalized consultation can be provided, or b. the completion of procedures can be undertaken until the final financing of a business plan. Through this mechanism, the Region creates an innovation and entrepreneurship friendly environment which will enhance the regional relevant ecosystem. Transport stakeholders missing a special structure or agency that could facilitate the cooperation among them, can now take advantage of this digital platform to promote their collaboration.
The total budget dedicated was 1,357,000 euros derived from the Regional Operational Programme 2014-2020 of the Region of Central Macedonia, co-funded by the ERDF.
Evidence of success
Expected benefits: increased R&D expenditures funded by businesses, more agreements of technology transfer of all kinds (funded research, assignment, consulting, etc.) between academic institutions and enterprises, immediate exploitation of the results of the studies/surveys/projects carried out, facilitation of cooperation through direct links, capacity building, cultivation of culture of “continuous innovation” and growth, efficient research mapping and status control on behalf of the Region.
Potential for learning or transfer
The transferability is already proven, as OSLO was identified as a GP in Catalonia, Spain, within the PURE COSMOS Interreg EUproject. It was transferred and adopted by RCM, Greece.
OSLO is an innovation/entrepreneurship support agency aiming to ensure networking among stakeholders and to facilitate and promote collaboration between academia and real market, as well as the process of accessing all the necessary specialist support under one roof and with one visit. Any region can adopt and adapt the concept of “one stop shop” to reduce the administration costs and achieve better coordination.
This practice could be rather useful for the field of transport, in which various and multi-sector actors coming from business, governance and academia, have to collaborate. Although an OSLO agency focused exclusively on transport would tend to be closer to the concept of a digital ‘cluster’, such an agency can still dedicate some of its functions and services to selected domains, e.g. transport.
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