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S3-4AlpClusters

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General Information
Programme: 
2014-2020 INTERREG VB Alpine Space
Project duration: 
Tuesday, 1 November, 2016 to Tuesday, 30 April, 2019
Total budget: 
€2.521.964
EU Contribution: 
€1.929.500
Partnership Composition: 
Organisation nameFunctionCountryECCP linkIs Cluster Organisation ?
HES-SO//FR Haute école d'ingénierie et d'architecture Fribourg
Coordinator
Switzerland
No
Business Upper Austria - OÖ Wirtschaftsagentur Ltd.
Partner
Austria
No
VDI/VDE Innovation + Technik GmbH Cluster Agentur
Partner
Germany
No
Veneto Region - Research Clusters and Networks Unit
Partner
Italy
No
Poly4EmI hosts by Anteja ECG d.o.o.
Partner
Slovenia
No
Innovation and Technology Transfer Salzburg GmbH
Partner
Austria
No
University of Franche-Comte
Partner
France
No
PROPLAST - consortium for the plastic culture promotion
Partner
Italy
Yes
Cluster Technologies for Smart Cities & Communities Lombardy Foundation
Partner
Italy
Yes
Autonomous Province of Trento
Partner
Italy
No
Trentino Innovation Hub
Partner
Italy
No
Lombardy Region Government
Partner
Italy
No
Bavarian Research Alliance Ltd.
Partner
Germany
No
Government Office for Development and European Cohesion Policy
Partner
Slovenia
No
Veneto Innovazione
Communication
Italy
No

Smart Specialization Strategies (S3) are a common policy lever at regional level within the EU. They aim at supporting regions in achieving structural change in order to generate the innovation and growth needed to harness globalization. However, recent experiences show that the identification and development of transformative activities - i.e. the innovation capacities and actions that have the potential to lead to this structural change - remain a significant challenge in the practical implementation of S3. S3-4AlpClusters tackles the two identified roots of this challenge. Firstly, there is a lack of experience among regions on how to use clusters to implement S3. Secondly, real transformative activities could often be developed more successfully in a joint effort across regional borders. The activities of the project are structured in 3 phases and driven by stakeholders from 11 regions. All relevant actors of an interactive innovation process are taking part: academic researchers, industry professionals, authorities and customers. The first phase spanned from 2016 to 2017 and aimed at analysing the challenges of S3-related policymaking and the current role of clusters in that process, as well as identifying potentials for complementarity and synergy between regions. The identified challenges were addressed in a second phase, in 2017 and 2018, through the elaboration of a systematic process for the identification and development of transformative activities. The partnership also developed practical tools for process implementation, and for the facilitation of need-based interregional cooperation through cluster initiatives. In the third phase (currently running) the tools and processes are applied and tested in 30 pilot clusters across the Alpine Space, contributing to the identification of new transformative activities and significantly facilitating their joint development across regions.

For now (october 2018) we have two main outputs: a cluster action plan and a S3-Innovation model

Cluster Action Plan

The ALPINE SPACE CLUSTER ACTION PLAN (CAP) is the result of the activities and new insights gained within the S3-4AlpCluster project. The CAP systemic thinking allows for exploration on the micro-regional as well as on the macro-regional level at which meaningful economic development initiatives take place. It is shifting linear models to impact where transformative activities match scale of economic activities in terms of critical mass and threshold of transactions. It strives to articulate transformative activities informed by market forces and a focus on business areas with the largest economic and innovation potential based on strengths and comparative advantages of the regions. See Cluster Action Plan

S3-Innovation Model

The project specifically aims at facilitating innovation through cluster initiatives and initiating interregional cooperation for the implementation of S3. It introduces a systematic process, the S3-Innovation model, which relies on the involvement of clusters for the identification and development of transformative activities. Tools are provided for each phase of the process: StressTests and Synergy-Diamonds are used as an innovative way of depicting existing capacities and detecting opportunities for structural transformation, both within and across regions. Entrepreneurial discovery workshops (EDW) build on this base of evidence in order to identify real transformative activities. Next, action development workshops (ADW) allow working out concrete actions - such as R&D projects, networking or development of critical skills – in order to gain critical mass for the identified transformative activities. The implementation of these actions is supported by a collection of best practices of cluster services covering transversal fields such as education, technology, growth, research or collaboration. The partnership puts particular focus on facilitating the cross-regional implementation of actions, with the initiation of an interregional cooperation scheme (Alpine Cluster Innovation Express – ACIE). It is funded via existing regional programmes. The intent is aligning those existing funds and launching joint calls for the implementation of cross-regional actions. Finally, the S3- Innovation model also includes a methodology for evaluation and monitoring of the process. Hitherto, the project has generated a solid knowledge base on S3 and identified more than 100 transformative activities in the 11 participating regions. The running third phase will further develop the most promising of the identified transformative activities. The entire process will be tested in pilot clusters and result in a full training kit for cluster managers and regions by the end of the project. See S3-Innovation Model