On 19-20th April, the representatives of the Industrial Research Centers (IReCs) gathered for a capacity building workshop in Copenhagen. The workshop was organized by the University of Turku with the support by the Foundation of Innovative Initiatives and Baltic Development Forum who hosted the event. The workshop was based on the earlier raised discussion points in Helsinki and the follow-up publications, namely the Review on Regional resources and further development of Analytical Research Infrastructures – Regional maps of science and business collaboration networks and Review on regional resources and further development of Analytical Research Infrastructures – The Needs and potential for macro-regional co-operation in the BSR. The workshop was primarily planned as a platform for sharing best marketing practices among the IReCs, for exchanging challenges on reaching out to the main target groups and for exploring a joint marketing approach for the upcoming 3rd Call for company applications. The workshop included discussions on what industries the IReCs should primarily focus on, what other regional organisations they should team up to jointly develop the collaborative actions aimed at business outreach, and how to improve a dialogue with the multipliers and their networks at regional level. As an outcome of the discussions, the partners should try out to apply a joint marketing approach during the third call. The University of Turku will develop a plan for this approach that will be duly shared among the partners for piloting. The joint marketing strategy pilot should be seen as part of the network development work which still is going on. In addition, there is an intention to develop a leaflet providing the information about the Network of IReCs with the complementary business cases. Besides the dynamic discussions on marketing strategies, IReCs had a chance to discuss how the Network of IReCs could sustain in the future, how to keep the existing network and its accumulated competence and network stock beyond the projects end. The business modelling dimension of the IReCs dialogue has a solid basis but requires further upgrade and the joining of forces. The discussions also covered financial issues, the cost and the revenue structure of the Network of IReCs, funding mechanisms and pricing policies of the network. As a practical outcome from the second day the Network of IReCs now has an early estimate on the yearly budget for the Network activities and also a draft plan on the funding mechanisms and pricing policies of the Network. One concrete aspect of the funding mechanisms is the suggested Baltic TRAM Innovation Voucher Scheme, which could be used to support product development in SMEs and large businesses during the extended operational phase of the Network. The work on these will still continue and aspects (among all other network aspects as well) will be finalised in the Terms of Reference for the Network of IReCs. During the two working days Vaeksthus Copenhagen and the LINX Association joined the discussions and inspired the participants by sharing their valuable experiences on business outreach and insightful ideas on the Network of IReC’s future. For more information, please contact Sari Stenvall-Virtanen,sari.stenvall@utu.fi or Viktoria Nilsson, vn@bdforum.org

Programme_IReCs Capacity Building Workshop.pdf
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