Under the title “S3P-Industry and Interreg Europe working for industrial modernisation”, Interreg Europe together with the European Commission and the Lapland region organised an interactive 1-day event on 11 April in Rovaniemi, Finland. The event served as an opportunity for partners from Interreg Europe projects and the partnerships working under the S3 Platform for Industrial Modernisation (S3P-Industry) to meet, explore possible synergies and identify new concrete ways to develop cooperation between the communities.

After an opening presentation from Mr Åge Mariussen, Research Manager, University of Vaasa, on the benefits of interregional synergies, Mr. Nikos Pantalos (European Commission, DG Grow) and Mr. Erwin Siweris (Programme Director, Interreg Europe) provided insights into the current S3P-Industry and Interreg Europe project priorities.

Then, a roundtable discussion facilitated by Fatime Barbara Hegyi of the S3 Platform JRC, gave the floor to European regions involved in both Interreg Europe and S3P-Industry. Reflecting on the experience gained by the regions of Kainuu (Finland), South Netherland and Basque Country (Spain), the panelists set the scene for the breakout sessions in the afternoon by discussing the value of interregional cooperation for industrial modernisation.  Some of the key messages shared by the panel included:

  • Working together, requires trust, but it allows each region to go faster by sharing and combining complementary strengths and building long term relationships;
  • Developing joint projects heightens the critical mass of actions, notably through pilot projects, and can reduce the time to market;
  • Projects should construct local stakeholder groups to ensure “local buy in” to project activities;
  • Newer partnerships are encouraged to access the available resources and learn from the “older” Vanguard partnerships;
  • Various benchmarking materials have been successfully used by many partnerships.

As an overall conclusion, the panelists stressed that interregional cooperation can facilitate “life” for industry actors, for instance through policy instruments that help companies accessing test and demonstration infrastructure in other regions.

Supported by the thematic experts of Interreg Europe’s Policy Learning Platform, the two breakout sessions in the afternoon then allowed for first steps from theory to practice, encouraging S3P partnerships and Interreg Europe projects to share their ideas on how to cooperate and achieve synergies.

Among others, the following opportunities were highlighted by the participants:

  • Joint activities such as project workshops to involve policy-makers and other stakeholders;
  • Making use of the communities’ respective strengths;
  • Sharing project assets (studies/reports);
  • Identifying commonalities in challenges. 

Requested services from the Policy Learning Platform included mapping of different actors and project results and facilitating meetings and dialogue between partners and helping to reach new target groups such as SMEs. Additionally, “cascade type” or “voucher systems” were proposed to encourage interregional cooperation. 

Hence, the team of the Policy Learning Platform will continue supporting the creation of synergies between Interreg Europe projects and S3P-Industry. Drawing on the lessons learnt in Lapland, a policy brief on the topic will thus be published soon in the knowledge hub of the Policy Learning Platform.

Altogether, 18 Interreg Europe projects and 11 S3P-Industry partnerships used the possibility to explore synergies for future collaboration:

  • 18 IR-E projects represented
  • Bridges
  • ClusterFY
  • Clusterix 2.0 / Inno provement
  • Helium
  • Inkrease
  • Inno Infra share
  • Inno4Sports
  • Ithaca
  • Medtech4Europe
  • Remix
  • S34Growth
  • S3Chem
  • SmartPilots
  • Stephanie
  • Tittan

11 S3P Industry partnerships represented

  • Medical Technology
  • ADMA Energy Application
  • High Performance Production Through 3D Printing
  • Digitalisation and Safety in Tourism
  • Efficient and Sustainable Manufacturing
  • High Performance Production Through 3D Printing
  • Incorporation of SMEs to the Industry 4.0 Paradigm
  • New Nano Enable Products Pilot
  • Photonics
  • Smart Regional Investments in Textile Innovation
  • Sport