Innovation Hubs for Edge Cities
Date du début: 31 déc. 2009,
Date de fin: 30 déc. 2012
The Edge Cities Network (ECN) brings together cities on the edge of the major capitals of Europe. They have in common economic, cultural and social challenges derived of this geographic situation.Around February 2008 it was decided to carry a joint project about business development and internationalisation as a way to study and exchange new ways of promoting employment and improving their living conditions. The idea was to use as a springboard the experience of the City of Nacka, one of ECNs members, about the Innovation Hub, an open counseling, advising and mentoring resource staffed by local experts from the academia and business environment, available for private persons as well as businessmen and other entrepreneurs, for commercializing ideas from an invention to an innovation. Other cities joined until reaching the current composition of the Consortium: Nacka (Stockholm), Getafe (Madrid), Ballerup (Copenhagen), North Down (Belfast), Loures (Lisbon) and Pernik (Sofia).The general objective of this project is to identify and exchange Good Practices about support and promotion of local entrepreneurship and innovative SMEs among the partner Edge Cities, taking into account their specific framework and existing Innovation Support Systems, as a way to maintain their integrity as living environments and contribute through local competencies to the Lisbon objectives. In this context, specific focus will be given to the Swedish Innovation Hub experience currently active in the Municipality of Nacka. This includes the following sub-objectives• Joint development of a methodology to describe and benchmark local good practices in the field of policies to support innovative SMEs and entrepreneurs• Identification and benchmark of the different local good practices at the partner Edge Cities, using the Innovation Hub experience as a yardstick.• Production of a Good Practice Guide to be used by experts and stakeholders in order to study the different experiences and select the most adequate to be transferred locally.• Analysis of the success factors of the different experiences and creation of a generic transregional Innovation Hub model applicable across the Edge Cities Network. • Production of a Roadmap to be used by the political collective as a tool for the local implementation of the Innovation Hub model in an Edge City framework• Limited pilot implementation in some of the Edge Cities following the Roadmap in order to test its validity.• Wide dissemination of the transregional Innovation Hub experience across the collective of EU Edge Cities.The Edge Cities Network will incorporate the results of the project as a permanent toolkit to be improved and updated by the members beyond the administrative end of the project. Achievements: The objective of InnoHubs is the identification and exchange among the partner cities - cities living at the edge of European capitals - of good practices in promotion of local entrepreneurship and innovative SMEs with the ultimate goal of creating Innovation Hubs. In this moment, with only 6 more months to run, InnoHubs has made the whole transition from theory to practice, from Good Practice identification and model designing to activities on the field, study visits and pilot experiences. After a short consolidation phase to establish the project as an operational entity with an organizational, administrative, management, control and communication infrastructure, the main activity during the first year consisted in the identification, description, categorization and selection of good practices. The six partners worked jointly in the design and tuning of the methodology and tools needed for this activity, then individually at their sites collecting the information. The resulting 28 Good Practices, structured into six pillars: Promoting Mindset, Training, Start-up, Operation, Growth and Collaboration, are included in the InnoHubs Good Practice Guide and Catalog, the "Guidebook to Designing the Future", published at the end of the first year. Based on the study and documentation work done during the first year, the first half of the second year was devoted to the preparation of the theoretical foundations of InnoHubs: the InnoHubs Model and the Roadmap to the Innovation Hub. For both items, a complete blueprint was prepared and ready to be validated at mid-project (month 18). The Innohubs Model gives municipalities a generic framework to think about how they can stimulate innovation and entrepreneurship in a city, while the Roadmap provides guidelines on how the Innohubs model can be implemented in practice and which steps are important to take in the implementation process This activity was completed with a mutual exchange of knowledge among partners along the full second year through two rounds of study visits. Nacka, Ballerup and Loures in spring and Pernik, Getafe and North Down in autumn, received representatives of the InnoHubs partnership that visited good practices sites and met with their local counterparts, stakeholders and beneficiaries. The impact has been very positive, and both the visited and the visiting parties have shown their interest in continuing these exchanges in the future within collaboration frameworks even outside the scope of the project. The crucial moment for InnoHhubs arrived in the middle of 2011 with the starting of bilateral pilot experiences at Nacka-Getafe and Loures-Ballerup, addressing the need to establish the seeds of an Innovation Hub by applying the InnoHubs Model and following the Roadmap. Both Model and Roadmap will be updated and improved thanks to those experiences. The pilots will be in the future integrated into a model to support innovation, starting with developing an innovation platform and mindset, training students in innovation and making them collaborate with companies, then training companies in the innovation process from generating ideas to launching products and services on the market. The sequence is:1) Ballerup: Creates a platform for innovation and develops a collaboration platform that brings together teachers, students, companies, experts, and municipality staff and politicians 2) Loures: Transfer of innovation knowledge from universities to companies, by matching students previously trained in innovation at the university to do internships and projects in companies. 3) Getafe: Generating and selecting ideas for innovative business opportunities in companies by involving their staff in innovation initiatives, 4) Nacka: Training companies on how to translate innovative ideas into business models and launch them on the market
pl. Sv. Ivan Rilski 1, Pernik, Bulgaria
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