On the 12th-14th of September all TraCS3 project partners have met in Groningen. The Lead Partner Hanze University of Applied Sciences had organized a three day kick off meeting to start sharing and learning, to present good practice examples and discuss the state of the art of the innovation infrastructure regional policies, to highlight the project milestones and agree on the project implementation procedures.    

Rob Verhofstad , vice-president of Hanze University Executive Board has opened the kick off meeting. R. Verhofstad greeted partners and emphasized the importance of TraCS3 for development of regional innovation eco-systems looking for solutions to improve the performance of innovation infrastructure, building innovation capacities in partner regions.    

Partners had the possibility to explore the Northern Netherlands good practice examples in-depth. On Wednesday the 13th we shared knowledge and showed good practices visiting the Health Hub Roden. Hub manager Jan Degenhart delivered a very interesting presentation introducing the Health Hub. Also, partners had possibility to discuss the activities of the Hub with representatives of companies, clients of this Hub. We ended this part of the day with a tour through the Health hub. Partners were able to ask questions of the employees and the students working in the Hub.    

In the afternoon we visited the Innovation Cluster Drachten. Joost Krebbekx, manager of Innovation Cluster Drachten presented members, activities and infrastructure of cluster. Representatives of cluster members Binne Visser (Philips Research Centre Drachten)and Jos Stoit (Neopost Technologies) also presented activities and development of their companies, shared their thoughts about innovation infrastructure and development of innovative products. The day ended with a tour in Neopost Technologies manufacturing premises.      

The last day of the kick off meeting was dedicated to discussing the scope of the project and to get know better the partner regions. The Round Table discussions have been organized in the EnTranCe building   Jaan-Jaap Aue, Dean of  the Centre of Expertise Energy has presented EnTranCe - the hotspot of applied sciences for businesses and innovations. the best possible network to develop plans into the energy products and services the energy market demands. Partners had a tour exploring the centre’s facilities, technologies and located companies.   

All partners delivered very informative and interesting presentations about the innovation infrastructure, innovation capacities and interregional cooperation in their regions. After these presentations we had a n interactive Workshop discussing what is innovation infrastructure, innovation capacity and how we can reach the TraCS3 goals aiming to enhance innovation performance in partner regions.   A conclusion has been made after discussions: to make this project successful, it is important to share knowledge, good practices and make the learning process involving and interactive.