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INNOVATIVE MAINSTREAMING

DEVELOPMENT INSTRUMENTS

FOR SME

IN

EUROPE

Good practices exchange


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The views expressed in this document, as well as the information included in it, do not necessary reflect the opinion or position of the Managing Authority and in no way commits the institution. MINI EUROPE is a project co-financed by the ERDF Made possible by the INTERREG IVC

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The project

Good practices

The project, financed by INTERREG IVC, aims

The overall objective of MINI EUROPE is to create or improve

to exchange and improve regional policies

the political instruments and the strategies to sustain the

in SME development, focusing on the main

development of small and medium enterprises and put

themes of promoting entrepreneurship and

these supporting schemes into concrete practice. The

providing infrastructure for innovation to

way MINI EUROPE pursued this goal is through networking:

SMEs. In particular, it addresses the issues of

bringing together experts, stakeholders, practitioners

increasing involvement of under-represented

who shared information, meeting each other virtually

groups (like minorities, disabled people,

(via videoconferences) or physically (via study visits),

women) in entrepreneurship.

supporting as “coacher” the importing regions to capitalise methods and experiences or fine-tuning and adapting in

innovation competitiveness

cooperation

methodology foresaw a first phase during which Mini

clusters

promoting entrepreneurship

networking

their context the practices of the exporting regions. The

good practice

financial instruments

Europe partners collected already existing and transferable good practices in a Catalogue of experience.

Afterwards, the partners were strongly engaged in bilateral or even multilateral practices transfers, matching a partner ‘exporting’ a specific good practise with a partner ‘importing’ it. Visits, training, video conferences have been the instruments for the partner regions to deepen the practices and mainstreaming innovative instruments for SMEs development. The outcomes are quite different, according to the starting needs, the experience and the specific context as well as the way each partner has finetuned and adapted the practice.

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The regions

The MINIEUROPE partnership combines the experience of 8 organisations. All partners of Mini Europe are local or regional authorities or regional bodies responsible for supporting SME development in their Region. Each of them brings relevant experiences and practices in this field of action to be shared with the other partners. All partners have the competence and authority to implement the good practices identified and developed throughout the project, and they are in the position to involve the relevant network of actors in their region in this field.

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The timeline 2006

2008

2009

MAR

SEP

MAR

JUN

The idea for MINI EUROPE was born at a regional Innovative Actions conference in Brussels, when leading politicians from Flevoland, the North West of England and ÉszakAlfÜld signed a letter of intent.

MINI EUROPE was officially launched. The 8 Partner Regions started to deepen their respective economic context, resources and needs. The methodology to collect and transfer best practices was set up.

The first stakeholders conference took place at the Provincial Parliament in Lelystad, the Netherlands. Participants discussed how to build a sound and lasting innovative infrastructure for entrepreneurs by transferring good practices.

The first creative workshop took place in Sundsvall, Sweden. Its focus was creative dialogue which provided participants with just the right blend of inspiration to progress the development of regional enterprises.

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SEP

More than 60 participants attended the first thematic MINIEUROPE conference in Venice.


2010

2011

MAR

JUN

SEP

DEC

APR

The mid-term conference was held in Baia Mare, Romania. Participants deepened with the local stakeholders in particular the topic of cluster development, the needs of young and female entrepreneurs and how to involve entrepreneurs in the policy development process.

The second Creative Workshop took place in Debrecen, Hungary. Presentations and round table discussions were focused on the good practices of cluster development, women entrepreneurs and knowledge transfer.

The Mini Europe project representatives of European regions came back to Hungary to the second Thematic Conference of the project. It was an excellent opportunity to recognise the best practices and to review the work done.

70 delegates from across the partner regions attended the 3rd Creative Workshop held in Manchester, North West of England. In order to ensure that the aims of the project could be met, the focus of the Workshop was on Mainstreaming.

The outcomes of the good practices exchange, the concrete results and experiences of the MINIEUROPE partners were presented and shared with the public in the final conference in Valencia.

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Clusters

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Several partners offered practices focused on clusters and consisting in supporting scheme and specific programmes to foster the setting up of clusters, to create the proper framework and to promote their development.

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TransMecha World

2

A bottom-up programme

MARAMURES

1

Innovation action plan

VENETO

3

Sparkling business exchange

MID SWEDEN

Business exchange 10


Pole Programme

5 ÉSZAK-ALFÖLD

Cluster Support Environment Model

4

6

NORTH WEST OF ENGLAND

FLEVOLAND BENCHMARKING

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A BOTTOM-UP PROGRAMME The Veneto development model is characterised mainly by the wide presence of small to medium-sized companies often interconnected with each other in networks and productive clusters. The small dimension of such companies although, on one side, guarantees flexibility as well as quick market reactions, represents on the other side a possible barrier that prevents innovation, as relevant and consistent investments are often not affordable for small companies. This is the reason why since 2003 the Veneto Region has launched a specific programme for the innovative development of productive clusters. The programme has been designed to take into account and strengthen the spontaneous trend of companies to aggregate together (bottom-up approach), formalise such clusters and provide funding not for their governance itself but for common initiatives focusing in particular on research and innovation. On July 29th 2010 Veneto Innovazione organised for the Maramures Region a study visit. The Maramures delegation included representatives of the academic and the business community who were interested not only to deepen the programme from the political point of view but moreover to compare and discuss the issue from the pragmatic point of view. That was the reason why, after a general overview of the programme, Veneto Innovazione involved some clusters to bring their experiences: the Footwear Cluster, the Heating and Cooling Technology Cluster and the Nanotech Cluster. The cluster managers presented their different cases and moreover they provided their insights on the weaknesses and the strengths of such programme.

A bottom-up programme

EXPORT

MARAMURES

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SPARKLING BUSINESS EXCHANGE In the case of Mid Sweden, it was asked to Veneto Innovazione to transfer the Veneto region experience in developing clusters through testimonials and a case study. In Mid Sweden in fact an embryonic cluster (an aggregation of small scale food producers) was willing to be sustained in their strategy setting up, in order to create a well defined brand positioning. Once discussed the strategic model (e.g. how to sustain clusters, the administrations involved, the bottom-up approach vs. the top-down approach, the monitoring ecc.), the Venetian cluster of Prosecco (aggregation of wine producers) was chosen as “study case” it has been facing an interesting development path: from a traditional manufacture cluster to a recognised “brand”, working on the certification, the marketing and the vision and moreover linking together wine-tourism-wellness-culture (involving together wine producers, restaurants, spa-resorts, hotels, municipalities). A delegation from Veneto (with the cluster representatives) visited then Mid Sweden and met the Swedish small scale producers. During the visit, Almi organized focused workshops (with public presentations), face to face business meetings and in-loco visits. The added value for the two clusters (apart the exchange of experiences and models) was the establishment of concrete cooperation among the stakeholders involved (the cluster representatives and the companies) in order to set up possible joint initiatives such as fairs, twinnings, commercial exchanges.

Sparkling business exchange

EXPORT

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MID SWEDEN


DECISION MAKING ACCELERATOR Maramures faced, during the last twenty years, a severe decline of the mining and related industries, and this generated economic and social problems that must now be solved by the regional authorities. A solution to these problems is to support the development of SMEs, particularly innovative ones, as they can boost economic growth and create more development and jobs. Thus, the participation in MINI EUROPE gave to the region the opportunity to learn successful best practices that could be transferred. After consulting the stakeholders, the best practices related to cluster development were selected to be imported from three offering partners: North West region-UK, Eszak Alfold-HU and Veneto-IT. The transfer of best practices started with two video conferences.The first with Eszak Alfold region gave useful information about the Hungarian POLE Program and during the second one with North West of England region a model for physical infrastructure needed by a cluster was presented, together with overviews of European Cluster development. The next step was a study visit organized in Eszak Alfold Region and Veneto in July 2010, giving us the possibility to meet several cluster representatives from the two regions and also see how they develop successful clusters. In December 2010 we have organized another study visit in North West region UK and with this occasion we have visited Media City facilities for ICT/media sector developed in Salford near Manchester. The possibility to compare the different approaches of cluster development in these 3 regions was very useful and led to the creation of an association TransMechaWorld - the core of the first cluster developed in Maramures by two of our stakeholders together with other companies from neighbouring counties in Romania Satu Mare and Cluj. Also within MINI EUROPE we are currently developing an innovation action plan that will be integrated in the medium and long term development strategy of Maramures county.

VENETO TransMecha World IMPORT Innovation action plan

NORTH WEST OF ENGLAND

ÉSZAK-ALFÖLD 14


BUSINESS EXCHANGE What has the Veneto region in Italy to learn from the Nordic Mid Sweden region - and vice versa? Two regions in Europe with more in common than one might expect. Both regions have focus on transforming from large to small scale industries and meeting the increasing potential and demand in tourism, outdoor, environmental technology and small scale food production. In the beginning of September a delegation from Veneto visited the Mid Sweden region. The visit was a follow up from last year when the Mid Sweden region visited Venice. Mutual interest in business exchange and cluster development was established in the above mentioned sectors. Participants that now visited Mid Sweden and took part in a 2-day scheduled visit were representatives from Veneto Innovazione and the District of Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore. Business exchange meetings were scheduled with environmental sites, the outdoor industry and small scale food producers along with prospering round-table discussions. Sweden’s largest daily business newspaper also picked up on the visit and wrote about the progress of the business exchange developing between the regions, thanks to the MINIEUROPE Project.

Business exchange

IMPORT

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VENETO


CLUSTER SUPPORT ENVIRONMENT MODEL The North West of England, through the work of the Cluster Strategy Manager, Bill Greenhalgh of the North West Development Agency, supported by the Cluster Development Organisations, Envirolink (Jackie Seddon) and BioNow (Ben Cliff) has worked with the regions of Észak-Alföld and Maramures to identify the support that could be practically given to each of the regions in driving forward a cluster development programme. This has involved an initial Video Conference with both regions in early 2010, followed by a study visit by both Maramures and Észak-Alföld representatives to Manchester in December 2010, to meet the Cluster Development Organisations to fine tune the support that can be offered. The regional representatives met several industries including the Food Sector, Environmental Technologies in particular Renewal Energy, and Bio Medical/Pharmaceuticals. Mainstreaming of the good practice will take place in each region in different ways, according to the regional situation in each country before the project ends. Maramures County has worked with Envirolink to develop an action plan to identify where they currently stand and what they need to do to formalise their own cluster development strategy. Észak-Alföld will adopt the ‘handbook’ of Cluster Development, developed by the NW of England region, but which has also been influenced by comments made by the Hungarian partner, and will use the framework to develop their strategy to internationalise their existing local clusters.

MARAMURES Cluster support environment model

EXPORT ÉSZAK-ALFÖLD

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CLUSTER SUPPORT ENVIRONMENT MODEL Észak-Alföld chose to import the good practice of North West of England dealing with the Cluster Support Environment Model which assures that, according to the different cluster development stages, the right combination of the premises and support is available in the right locations within the boundaries of the cluster. This will enable businesses to remain within the cluster as they grow and expand.

One video conference was organized in Észak-Alföld region with the involvement of regional clusters in March 2010 in order to get a deepen knowledge about Northwest England’s good practice on cluster development. 3 clusters dealing with innovative food, IT and thermal healthcare were particularly interested in the model, as well as the possible implementation in their daily work. A study visit was organized in Manchester, connected to the 3rd Mini Europe Creative Workshop in December 2010. The interested clusters participated in this event and defined the process of “internationalization” as their special interest. Clusters stated that they would make much use of a “handbook” about how to get the cluster to international level. Észak-Alföld were asked for comments of the handbook and have now been part of its development. A meeting of clusters was held in Észak-Alföld on the 20th January in order to discuss the draft. Clusters and other stakeholders involved in cluster development (Regional Development Agency, Regional Innovation Agency) provided comments on the handbook, which was sent to Mr. Greenhalgh.

ENRICH NORTH WEST OF ENGLAND

IMPORT

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Cluster support environment model


POLE PROGRAMME The Hungarian Pole Programme is a comprehensive economic development program funded by Structural Fund sources with strong focus on the 8 pole cities in Hungary (Budapest, Miskolc, Debrecen, Szeged, Pécs, Székesfehérvár, Veszprém, Gyor) and cluster development. The programme is structured into two pillars, an horizontal one focusing on the evolvement of competitive business environment in pole cities and the cluster development pillar, whose goal is the enhancement of competitiveness of domestic companies and clusters mainly in export oriented, innovative industrial fields with high added value. According to each development phase (START-UP INITIATIVES, DEVELOPING CLUSTERS, ACCREDITED CLUSTERS, POLE INNOVATION CLUSTERS) tailored measures have been set up. Before the 3rd phase clusters have to get through a rigorous expert evaluation system with the aim of selecting the most promising initiatives. The aim of the accreditation is to select and classify the clusters that are able to reach significant international and domestic performance; have further potential; and are not rent-seekers. The accreditation entitles for sole right to apply for dedicated pole programme sources; provides advantages in many call for tenders (extra points in the selection process); and new members of the cluster that join the cluster after the accreditation can benefit from the above mentioned advantages as well. Clusters going successfully through the accreditation process receive a certificate. Two Mini Europe regions were interested in importing this good practice – that was also presented in the Creative Workshop (June 2010) in Debrecen. Two videoconferences were organized in order to export Pole Programme – to Flevoland as well as to Maramures. In addition, the Romanian partners visited clusters of Észak-Alföld Region in July 2010 in order to discuss personally the strengths and weaknesses of the Pole Programme.

MARAMURES Pole programme

EXPORT FLEVOLAND

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Extending entrepreneurship

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The objective of this group of good practices is exchanging and developing methods to attract more people to entrepreneurship, especially from under represented groups. The Partners offer integrated support to socially less favoured groups, foster entrepreneurial attitudes and skills for young people, encourage local people and residents in deprived areas to create their own business or help different types of business starters to start up their own businesses or to expand their already existing companies.

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High level skills partnership

High level skills pathfinder

2 WESTERN GREECE

Summer entrepreneur programme

1 NORTH WEST OF ENGLAND

Summer entrepreneur programme

Tameside business family

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5

Summer entrepreneur programme

VENETO

4 FLEVOLAND

Summer entrepeneur programme

3 MID SWEDEN

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Summer entrepreneur programme


TAMESIDE BUSINESS FAMILY The Tameside Business Family is a model for supporting SMEs and also to encourage individuals to start up a business. Recognising that people are more likely to set up in business if they already have a family member or friend in business is the starting point for this model. The problem encountered in areas where there is a low rate of new business start ups, such as Tameside, is that less people have family or friends in business and the Tameside Business Family was established to replicate the role of the traditional family, by offering an informal network of support to individuals and SMEs to go to for help. The programme has had great success in Tameside and now boasts over 1,200 members in only 3 years. Survival rates of SMEs have significantly improved as a result of the Business Family model. A Video Conference was held with the region of Mid Sweden in February 2011 to export the Good Practice and it is expected that the follow up study visit will take place in the Spring.

Tameside business family

MID SWEDEN

EXPORT

HIGHER LEVEL SKILLS PARTNERSHIP The Higher Level Skills Partnership (HLSP) programme, managed in the North West of England by the North West Universities Association (NWUA), has delivered a Video Conference with representatives from Patras University and Patras Science Park in Greece. Experts involved in the delivery of the programme in the UK explained the process in some detail to the Greek Partners. This was followed in December 2010 by a visit with representatives from Greece to meet the NWUA and the Sector co-ordinators to discuss how the programme could be implemented in Greece to assist in developing the higher level skills required by businesses and to engage the businesses in the higher level skills programme.

Higher level skills partnership

WESTERN GREECE

EXPORT

24


SUMMER ENTREPRENEUR PROGRAMME Following Video Conferences and a Study Visit, Tameside MBC has now signed a licence agreement with the Municipality of Sundsvall to deliver the first pilot of the Summer Entrepreneur programme in the UK in the Summer of 2011 to work with 35 young people in Tameside to mentor them through the summer months as they create a business as an alternative to a summer job. The programme will receive ₏30,000 funding from Tameside MBC’s Local Innovation Award and will work in partnership with Manchester City Football Club, and a number of local businesses through the Tameside Business Family to give young people their first taste of establishing a business. This programme is an extremely welcome addition to the work that is being carried out locally and in the region to significantly increase the number of businesses created each year. Tameside MBC has adapted the programme slightly to include formal accreditation for the individual participant and is also now working with Sundsvall to bring accreditation to the Swedish model as the Swedish partners has found this adaptation to be of interest also for future implementation in Sweden. The Tameside Business Family now hopes to become the national agency for the Summer Entrepreneur programme in the UK.

NORTH WEST OF ENGLAND

IMPORT

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Summer entrepeneur programme


HIGHER LEVEL SKILLS PARTNERSHIP A successful mediation of Patras Science Park (PSP), between the North West Universities Association (NWUA) and the University of Patras, led to the adaptation and future implementation of the “Higher Level Skills Pathfinder’ good practice form. The aim of this particular good practice is the identification of higher level skill needs of employers (of Small Medium Enterprises) and the provisions of tailored programs in order to meet those needs. All started at early 2010, with an initial approach of the Patras Science Park representatives to Professor Vasilis Anastasopoulos, Vice-Rector of Strategic Research Planning and Development of the University of Patras. It was analysed how the particular good practice was utilized in the North-west of England, how it could be adjusted to the needs and peculiarities of Western Greece and implemented by the University of Patras. The interest of the Vice Rector, as well as the support of the PSP, paved the way for an official expression of interest. A video conference and insite visit were then performed. Representatives of Patras Science Park and Patras University visited the NWUA in order to have the opportunity to speak face to face with HLSP project managers in terms of various sectors, including Creative, Digital & ICT, Construction, Bio-medical, Energy & Environmental. Then it was finally decided to implement a similar programme in their region. The outcome of the above mentioned efforts is that, pending the Senate’s approval, a new body will be established, under the aims and scope of the Vice Chancellor’s office for Research and Strategic Development of the University of Patras, the sole purpose of which will be the implementation of the “Higher level Skills Pathfinder” good practice in the Region of Western Greece.

WESTERN GREECE

IMPORT

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Higher level skills partnership


SUMMER ENTREPRENEUR PROGRAMME The good practice “Summer Entrepreneur” has as an objective to unleash the entrepreneurial spirit of young people and train their mindset and skills for enhanced entrepreneurship. Moreover, it is aimed at giving to young people the opportunity to understand, learn and create, in the spirit of entrepreneurship, their own “summer job” based on the combination of their own talents, interests and qualities and the local societies’ needs of services and products. Patras Science Park staff sent informative material to many local authorities which could be interested to the adaption and implementation of the good practice: Chamber of Commerce of Achaia & Chamber of Commerce of Ileia, Chamber of Commerce of Arta, Region of Western Greece, Development Enterprise of Achaia Prefecture, Development Enterprise of Municipality of Patras and Rio city, Prefecture of Kefallonia, Regional Development Fund of Achaia, Municipality of Menidi, Municipality of Rion, Business Innovation Center of Western Greece, Federation of Peloponnese & Western Greece Industries of Achaia, Center of Education and Science, Technological Research Center (T.R.C.) of Epirus & Ionian Islands established in the Technological Educational Institute (T.E.I.) of Epirus. On May 2010, representatives of Patras Science Park attended a training programme at Lelystad, Netherlands, where they were informed about how the “Summer Entrepreneur” can be successfully implemented in order to transfer this knowledge to Western Greece. On 24th June 2010, a workshop on the good practices of MINI Europe took place at PSP. The audience was composed by representatives of the research and business world of the area as well as of the regional authorities. There was presented the good practice of “Summer Entrepreneur” to the audience consisting of young people, researchers and mainly by Professors of the regional Universities who explicitly expressed their interest in adopting the “Summer Entrepreneur” through the students of the University. The Technological Research Center (T.R.C.) of Epirus & Ionian Islands expressed its interest in “Summer Entrepreneur” and representatives of PSP have visited TEI of Epirus and discussed with students (about 70) and professors of the Institution on how the good practice could be implemented.

WESTERN GREECE

IMPORT

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Summer entrepreneur programme


SUMMER ENTREPRENEUR PROGRAMME As summer entrepreneurs students are given the opportunity to create their own business, their own summer job, their own summer company, based on their ideas and needs. It’s an opportunity to put enterprise into practise and challenge their entrepreneur attitude. More than 2 000 students aged 14-20 have so far run their own micro enterprise during the summer vacation, supported and inspired by locally organised Summer Entrepreneur programmes. Apart from the flying start that the methodology and certified facilitators gave them, they also were rewarded with a peering network, company insurance, mentors and a small startup capital. The programme is there for them for a period of 4-8 weeks and the involvement in the local enterprising society gives them wings, skills and experiences that most of them never expected. The specially designed methodology is powerful and energetic. Any local/regional partnership of dedicated entrepreneurship promoters and youth supporters can easily gain access to years of experience and knowledge by signing up for the concept. Every spring a number of certifying training sessions for aspiring organizations and potential facilitators are organized. The concept and programme has been tested in more than 50 different locations and gives the local enterprising community an incentive for development and involvement. Along with the certification comes manuals, marketing materials and support. This concept has also been tested under the name of FUTURE ENTREPRENEUR as a development tool for adults with very good results.

Summer entrepreneur programme

VENETO

NORTH WEST OF ENGLAND

WESTERN GREECE

FLEVOLAND

EXPORT

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SUMMER ENTREPRENEUR PROGRAMME In 2009 the Province of Flevoland and Mid Sweden agreed on the transfer of the project Summer Entrepreneur. In 2010 the project was implemented in the regional policy on entrepreneurship and the first pilot of Summer Entrepreneur was executed in the summer of that year. The project was financed by a Christian Trade organization (CCHO), a cooperative bank (Rabo Bank) and the Province of Flevoland.

In the first week of the project 35 participants, aged between 15 and 22, took part in the training week. After the training they started their own business with a small start up capital, assurance and guidance. It enabled them to start their own IT - consultancy, event agency, promotion agency by using seg-ways (electronic scooter), production companies and more. Summer Entrepreneur opened a door for many young people that wanted to experience what it would be like to be an entrepreneur. After the project ended, 16 out of 35 participants continued with their enterprise that was started during the Summer Entrepreneur project and created their own job. The Province of Flevoland considers the transfer of Summer Entrepreneur a project with added value and is currently working on rolling out the project in the whole of the Netherlands. In succession of Summer Entrepreneur, the Province of Flevoland imported Future Entrepreneur from Mid Sweden in the end of February 2011. This project enables adults to orientate on entrepreneurship in six weeks with the same benefits as in the Summer Entrepreneur programme.

FLEVOLAND

IMPORT

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Summer entrepreneur programme


SUMMER ENTREPRENEUR PROGRAMME Concerning the good practice “Summer Entrepreneur” that the Veneto Region decided to import from the partner Almi Företagspartner Mitt AB, we got in touch with consultant Ulla Gredemyr in order to organize 3 training days which, presumably, will take place between end of May and early June. In view of this last meeting, we are elaborating on the documentation to get further considerations, useful for the practice’ implementation phase in the Venetian territory.

VENETO

IMPORT

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Summer entrepreneur programme


Financial instruments

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There are not enough resources to carry out innovative activities and to develop new services and businesses. This is the reason why some partners’ purpose is supporting micro and small sized enterprises in innovative initiatives and motivating supply and demand in the field of innovation services, decreasing the cost of innovative investements, enhancing the access to the credit system for SMEs and launching a venture capital fund for start-ups and companies at an early stage.

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3 VALENCIA

Financial engineering tools

1

2

VENETO

ÉSZAK-ALFÖLD

34


FINANCIAL ENGINEERING TOOLS Even though in Veneto there is a very high level of entrepreneurial propensity, private funds (and also private venture capitalists), which companies or moreover starts-ups can apply to, are still lacking. The credit system is often far from the SMEs needs and, especially now because of the credit crunch, it is rather reluctant to give loans without the proper guarantees. On the other side, SMEs asking to fund innovative ideas or start-ups working in hightech sectors like biotech, nanotech and ICT, are not always able to provide guarantees as their value is more based on intangible assets. Public funds for innovation and research are usually connected to periodic calls which are not always in line with the company’s timescale and needs. That is the reason why, beside the financial support, in the ‘80s in the Veneto Region the interest rate subsidies appeared, then from the millennium a complex and integrated support system was developed, that is the synthesis of several kinds of support, called financial engineering. The Financial Engineering actions includes three integrated tools: 1 - System of guarantee for innovative investments 2 - Revolving Fund for SMEs innovative investment 3 - Venture Capital and private equity Fund The revolving funds in particular, have been increased over time both in number and in financial availability; today the managed financial account is over EUR 600 million. In addiction to the revolving funds, the operations in the guarantee field are quite a lot and relevant for the financial point of view as the credit crunch can be mitigated by an efficient guarantee system that can facilitate the access to the credit system, possibly at lower rates than those applied to standard funding (without guarantees). The Veneto Region and the system of Consorzio Fidi (industrial, craft and trade companies representative system) made a partnership model to finance enterprises. The third tool, that represents the cutting edge of public financial engineering tools, consist in temporary and minority holdings in the private capital of selected innovative companies.

ÉSZAK-ALFÖLD Financial engineering tools

EXPORT VALENCIA 35


FINANCIAL ENGINEERING TOOLS Észak-Alföld region chose to import this good practice, as Észak-Alföld is willing to find new ways of providing support for regional SMEs besides grants. The first step of the importing process was the organisation of a video conference – in order to decide if it is worth investing more resources in dealing with this good practice. The video conference was a big success. On 13 May 2010 six colleagues of the different departments of the Regional Development Agency listened to the presentations of Veneto region’s experts as well as took part in the discussion about this possible new tool. As the tool seemed to be interesting and worth for studying it more deeply, a study visit was organised in Venice in November 2010. The two colleagues of Észak-Alföld Regional Development Agency participating in this study visit arrived with concrete questions to the event, and had a more specific conversation as well as field visit about financial engineering. After coming home, together with the Mini Europe project team in Észak-Alföld RDA, a draft was prepared in order to adopt this system to Észak-Alföld Region. The “revolving fund” as experimental introduction of the good practice would be useful during the period of 2011-2013, as during these three years we can collect the experiences, which can be built in the planning of the period of 2014-2020. The “revolving fund” might then be used already in bigger-scale in the financing of the enterprises of the region and in economic development. As the central MA (Managing Authority) is responsible for the implementation of the NGPOP (North-Plain OP), the decisions associated with the use of resources born at central level. The Intermediate Body can propose to the MA the use of separated experimental development resources. As a first step, the proposal needs the brief introduction of the good practice, personal reconciliation of the good practice with the MA. Then in the case of meeting with a warm response, the second step is preparing the detailed promoting construction (call for tender), which contains the selection process of the handler of the “revolving fund”, schematic introduction of institutional system and the method of resource-outplacement. The final decision about the launch of the construction will be made by the MA.

Financial engineering tools

IMPORT

36

VENETO


FINANCIAL ENGINEERING TOOLS The development of financial services for innovation in enterprises is a priority for the Valencia Region, particularly nowadays with the lack of liquidity in the market and furthermore in the concrete phase of the region that, after 2013, will fully become a competitiveness region, with the changes in European funding that means. In order to deepen the good practices presented by the Veneto Region, a visit and a specific meeting were organised in Venice on December 3rd and 4th among the Venetian partners and a delegation coming from Valencia (represented by IMPIVA). The aim of the discussion was to deepen the contents of the two good practices in order for Valencia partners to analyse how to implement the “import”. “The moment is good” said Ismael Abel Vallés, expert in Innovation and Entrepreneurship, as “the actual crisis and economic situation forces everyone to find out new solutions” and moreover “ the commitment of our policy makers is very high”. Valencia region is in fact planning on one hand to structure a fund to sustain innovative enterprises and, on the other, to assess the ongoing industrial partners in order to select the new regional priorities.

Financial engineering tools

IMPORT

37

VENETO


Internationalisation

38


It is important to exploit economic relations between different countries at national and local level, in order to encourage and promote the inclusion of SMEs in the trade relations between different countries. For instance initiatives have been developed to support networking, within the cross-border regions bringing together chambers of commerce (representing the business environment), public regional authorities (representing the public environment) and universities (representing the academic environment) to boost international relationship.

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1

2

VALENCIA

WESTERN GREECE

I-Creo network

40


I-CREO NETWORK The I-Creo network is a pioneer initiative set by the Regional Ministry of Industry of the Valencia Region in 2006 to assist the most representative sectors of the region hiring innovation experts in order to seek, propose and mature new business opportunities. The Regional Ministry has invested 5,6 million Euro in this initiative that has grown in presence since 2006 from the initial 15 to 23 sectors today. The I-Creo network has been able to generate 650 innovation opportunities for SMEs of the region, which in their turn have articulated the participation of enterprises in 900 national and international projects after 2.500 direct contacts. This practice was presented to the Patras Science Park for its import. There was a meeting in Valencia in July 2010 with the participation of three representatives of Patras Science Park, four members of the i-Creo network and the Head of the International Programs Department of IMPIVA. The Patras Science and Technology Park showed its interest for this practice because it is a consolidated proof (it is present in the sectors that represent over 70% of the employment of the region) that has demonstrated the input that innovation experts may have to boost the participation of enterprises in innovation projects and also in actions of internationalization, both commercial and technological.

I-Creo network

EXPORT

41

WESTERN GREECE


I-CREO NETWORK The good practice I-Creo comes from Valencia and it has attracted the interest of the Aitoloakarnania Chamber of Commerce, as its main objective is to give support for business associations (clusters) formed by SMEs, aiming to innovation and knowledge exchange. Furthermore, it aims to detect innovation opportunities in the main fields of economic activities of the region through a network of professionals working as a think tank. Patras Science Park staff prepared and sent informative material about this good practice to all regional stakeholders of the Region of Western Greece who could participate and implement I-Creo such as: Chamber of Aitoloakarnania, Chamber of Commerce of Achaia, Chamber of Commerce of Ileia, Chamber of Commerce of Arta, Development Enterprise of Achaia and Aitoloakarnania, Regional Development Fund of Achaia, Development Enterprise of Achaia Prefecture, Cooperative Bank of Achaia. A web conference took place on April 23rd 2010, between the IMPIVA representatives who is the exporting partner, and PSP, who is the importing partner in order to present the I-creo project in more detail. On July 27th 2010, PSP representatives visited IMPIVA organization in Valencia to thoroughly understand and observe the structure of the I-creo network. After the visit to IMPIVA, PSP partners (Dr. Chrysostomos Stylios and Ms Eleni Arvaniti) visited the Chamber of Commerce of Achaia and Aitoloakarnania and fully presented the I-creo project and its objectives. Moreover, during the greek Forum for Regional Development 2010, the 13th Money Show which took place in Patras, I-creo was presented to the public. The forum was attended by representatives of regional authorities and research institutes as well as by local businessmen. Patras Science Park, Chamber of Commerce of Achaia and Eitoloakarania have agreed to collaborate in order to implement the good practice I-creo and have already prepared a full proposal and are going to submit it to the Region of Western Greece.

I-Creo network

IMPORT

42

VALENCIA


Knowledge transfer

44


In order to generate innovation, developing and exchanging instruments for coooperation between SMEs and knowledge institutes is fundamental. At this purpose the subsidisation of innovation oriented R&D at universities and the commercialisation of these R&D results were experienced. This allows a better cooperation between universities and SME’s in order to utilize the research results and transfer them to business and industry, increasing the regional and national competitiveness of the country. Besides, other practices are targeted to promote innovation among the SMEs by acquiring knowledge and by creating links between SMEs and technological research centres, service providers of innovation and technology services. 45


Knowledge center

Evaluation system

1

2

ÉSZAK-ALFÖLD

VENETO

46


KNOWLEDGE CENTER The Genomnanotech Debrecen Regional University Knowledge Center efficiently fosters, protects and, more importantly, promotes the locally born intellectual property towards commercialization. It is a novel and streamlined infrastructure created with commercial spirit to protect intellectual property and to promote spin-off and start-up companies, and a seamless data management system for easy accessibility with University-wide, global and versatile integration potentials. The first step to implement technology exploitation was the establishment of an office on the premises of the University of Debrecen that is active in protection of intellectual property, technology transfer and other tasks. These tasks include: a) the creation of a biotechnology incubation facility, b) the management of legal and economic affairs related to technology transfer, c) to attract risk capital for exploitation, and d) to attract ’seed’ capital and to establish long-term contacts. Since 2007 the new unit of the University was set, now it is operating under a new name: Technology Transfer Office of the University of Debrecen. Észak-Alföld region’s good practice about technology transfer was introduced to Veneto region via video conference as well as presented at the Mini Europe Creative Workshop in June 2010.

Knowledge center

EXPORT

VENETO

47


KNOWLEDGE CENTER The Innovation and Research Regional Act of the Veneto Region foresee the establishment of a Regional Technology Transfer Office (RTTO) to support the commercialisation of public research results. Within this framework Veneto Innovazione, thanks to its experience in Technology Transfer obtained in several years of membership in the major national and international networks, has been charged of developing the model to be implemented. Since the new experience settled up by the University of Debrecen was partially in line with the aims of the Veneto Region initiative, Veneto Innovazione acquired more information about this practice and afterwards involved the Technology Transfer experts in one of the four local Universities in the process. Together with the MiniEurope team in Eszak-Alfold a video conference was then organised in order to deepen the knowledge and to better identify which parts of the Genomnanotech Knowledge Center model were possible to integrate in the Veneto model. During the video conference a thorough attention was devoted to the Innovation Management System developed by the Knowledge Center, which includes a project evaluation system. This system, allowing to rank the research projects taking into account the market potential of the results, was considered very interesting by the Venetian counterpart. After the video conference the output was reported to the Veneto Region which is now in assessing all the different options available to implement the RTTO.

Evaluation system

IMPORT

48

ÉSZAK-ALFÖLD


Support for innovation

50


Several practices aim to support innovation in various way: from specific schemes fostering the access of SMEs to added value services to the introduction of the design in traditional companies, from on line training for SMEs to innovative financial schemes to fund businesses.

51


2 NORTH WEST OF ENGLAND

3 VALENCIA

University speaking with designers

4 FLEVOLAND

Summer design office

1 MID SWEDEN

52


SUMMER DESIGN OFFICE There was also a lot of interest in the Summer Design Office (SDO) project. This project matches design students with companies. During the summer holiday (between semesters) students are working on brief projects, up to conceptual level of design, to involve the students closer to companies. By mixing the students from different disciplines higher results can be achieved. Companies participate in the SDO project to get inspiration. Many companies must put a lot of money and hours in a new project, SDO is a cheap way to bring creativity into the company. Especially product improvement can be very profitable. The province of Flevoland is keen on bringing the Summer Design Office project to its region and invited the trainers from SVID (the executing organization of the SDO) to the Netherlands for a symposium in January 2010. The objectives are to introduce companies that are not familiar with what design can offer a possibility via the design process offered by the Summer design office. Today we have carried out Summer design offices in more than 130 municipalities with approx. 800 companies.

NORTH WEST OF ENGLAND

Summer design office

EXPORT

VALENCIA

FLEVOLAND

53


SUMMER DESIGN OFFICE Tameside Metropolitan Borough Council has been working with Salford University to bring about the successful implementation of the Summer Design Office (SDO) in the North West of England. The pilot programme to be delivered in the Summer of 2011 will bring local companies in Tameside into contact with designers and the concept of design, with the aim of improving products, increasing sales and creating more jobs in the area. The first pilot will focus on manufacturing businesses. The implementation of the SDO in the UK will, whilst retaining the fundamental principles of the SDO, be adapted to fit the local situation. This will be the first time that the SDO has been led by a university and will be linked to accredited courses offered by the Design School at Salford University. It will also be offered 3 times per year, to make it more cost effective for the British market and to fit with the delivery of the university programmes. The implementation of the first pilot programme will receive grant funding from Tameside MBC of â‚Ź40,000 as well as Salford University and the regional ERDF programme.

NORTH WEST OF ENGLAND

IMPORT

54

Summer design office


NUMBERS from MINI EUROPE

56


714

GOOD PRACTICES

26

PARTICIPANTS

IDENTIFIED IN PARTNER’S REGIONS

INVOLVED INTO

16

34 INTERREGIONAL EVENTS

10

13 VIDEO CONFERENCES

TO EXCHANGE EXPERIENCES

REPORTS FROM BILATERAL EXPERIENCE TRANSFERS

SUCCESSFULLY TRANSFERED

ORGANIZED

06

15 FIELDS VISITS

MORE TRANSFERS BEING REALISED

38

WEBSITE

YOUNG PEOPLE

1.800 DAYS ONLINE 5.867 VISITS 3.722 UNIQUE VISITORS 21.513 PAGEVIEWS 114 COUNTRIES REACHED

FROM FLEVOLAND

SUCCESSFULLY STARTED THEIR OWN COMPANY

IN THE SUMMER OF 2010

57


CONTACTS

58


Mini Europe is coordinated by:

Province of Flevoland Programme Management Europe P.O.Box 55 -8200 AB Lelystad The Netherlands For details about the Mini Europe project contact :

Bob Pels Programme Manager European Territorial Cooperation Phone: +31 (0) 320 265 474 e-mail: bob.pels@flevoland.nl or

Karin Maatje Project Manager Interreg Phone: +31 (0) 320 265 745 e-mail: karin.maatje@flevoland.nl

59


INTERREG IVC

60


Interregional Cooperation Programme INTERREG IVC, financed by the European Union’s Regional The

Development Fund, helps Regions of Europe work together to share experience and good practice in the areas of innovation, the knowledge economy, the enviroment and risk prevention. EUR 302 million is available for project funding but, more than that, a wealth of knowledge and potential solutions are also on hand for regional policy-makers. For more info about the programme: www.interreg4c.eu

61


Made by


THANKS MINI EUROPE! http://interreg-minieurope.com

MINI EUROPE - Good practices exchange  

Good practices exchange

MINI EUROPE - Good practices exchange  

Good practices exchange

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