Regional Innovation Stakeholder Group Meeting in Limburg

On 10th of July 2018, partners from Limburg carried out their Regional Innovation Stakeholder Group Meeting in Maastricht. The project team from the Province of Limburg invited regional stakeholders from science and research to discuss the thematic work of the S3Chem project. First, the main results and findings of the 4th thematic analysis of the ERDF funding instruments were presented by the project partner. The interviews of representatives of beneficiaries and managing authorities of ERDF funds, carried out in the course of the 4th Analysis, revealed that the OP Zuid and Interreg Programmes generally are regarded as an effective tool bringing regional actors together and projects connecting SMEs with academia as well as with large companies can lower the threshold for innovation of the SME's. In turn, the complexity and level of detailing in the application process as well as in the reporting often impose a big administrative burden. This presentation was followed by a discussion on ideas for improvement of the funding instruments. Here, stakeholders stressed the need to open them up for project partners from outside of the dedicated regions. The recently by the EU published factsheets for the next generation of structural funds seem to be moving in this direction.

The second focus of the meeting was on the thematic analysis of the 5th Semester, in which S3Chem partners analyse the monitoring and steering process of ERDF innovation funding.

In addition, the ECRN Smart Specialisation Platform for Industrial Modernisation on Chemistry was presented. The idea of that kind of platform originated from the Vanguard Initiative and was adopted by the European Commission. After a recent call for proposals, the regions Lombardy and Limburg have taken the initiative for a S3 Platform on Chemistry with the objective to strive for major interregional cooperation projects. Also other regions have already joined and the interest in this platform is very high.