University, companies and local government cooperation to foster regional development and innovation in a region-specific small craft building sector.
The practice addresses creating, accumulating and transferring competence from university to companies in the regionally traditional and important small craft building sector. The companies building leisure and workboats voiced the need for innovative development activities and services to sustain competitiveness.
SCC was created in cooperation of university, businesses and local government and was established as a R&D unit of Tallinn University of Technology on the island of Saaremaa, Estonia. SCC provides services to industries in model testing (experimental towing tank tests, simulated digital tests), design and engineering, materials testing. SCC also provides training to companies, supports the marine engineering study programme and carries out research activity focused on hydrodynamics. For its high-level performance, SCC has established a domestic and international cooperation network. The main stakeholders and beneficiaries are companies and their organisations (innovation and development-oriented services), local community and local government (creation of smart and high-quality jobs). Companies and Saaremaa Municipality are involved in the strategic management of SCC.
The target group of SCC comprises boat building, marine engineering and associated companies as well as a wider range of manufacturing companies to whom SCC is able to provide services and solutions. SCC renders services to and carries out joint development projects with companies all over Estonia.
Premises and equipment - depending on what is available and on additional needs, funded step-by-step. Setting up and running sources: ERDF, national and local public funds, private (companies) funding, own revenue.
Human resources: initial development team, staff of specialists, researchers.
Evidence of success
Input in the competitiveness of and development support to regional economy: services to companies 60 times and in-kind support to 30 companies a year in average in 2016-2018;
Smart jobs: 13 high added value jobs created for high skilled professionals, 6 jobs have been manned with young people who have returned to the island after having studied and worked elsewhere;
Input in the development of local and national policies.
*Developing a competence centre is a long-term process, no quick ready outcomes should be anticipated.
*Still, such centre is a rewarding asset to economic and social development of a region.
*Constant communication and cooperation between university and industries is essential.
Potential for learning or transfer
*The model can be utilised to support the development of peripheral (e.g. insular) regions in particular. The field of competence may differ in regions, depending on its traditions or economy.
*An increased cooperation established between university, local government and companies with the vested interest of each party.
*Input in the competitiveness of and development support to regional economy.
*Attracting well educated and skillful (young) people to the region.
*Contribution to the quality of the living environment, attractiveness of the region and the vitality of local community.