Northern Netherlands is home to partners engaged in more than ten Interreg Europe projects. On 19 September, the four projects Beyond EDP, ClusterFY, RELOS3 and TraCS3 (all from the TO1 research and innovation topic) held a joint stakeholder event called Smart Up!, in Emmen. The event attracted around 100 participants and served as an opportunity to gather lessons and ideas on how the Northern Netherlands can become smarter.

Following keynotes by professor Ron Boschma of Utrecht University and Merete Daniel Nielsen, director of Cluster Excellence Denmark, three case studies with relevance for a number of Interreg projects were presented. The studies showcased three themes: how to involve the local level in innovation strategies (Basque Country, Spain); how to unlock innovation potential through cross-sector collaboration (Denmark); and how to coordinate innovation processes bottom-up (Östergötland region, Sweden).

The engagement of Northern Netherlands in Interreg Europe projects has demonstrated the benefits of learning from others and seeking support from regional and interregional partners to help them create the best innovation ecosystem possible. The Smart Up! event was one step on the journey towards that goal. All the presentations and a video from the event are available here.

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