User-driven Innovation in the Danube Macro-Region Strategy Christian Kittl
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  • 1. Dr. Christian KittlUser-driven Innovation in the Danube Macro-RegionStrategy –The EU Danube Strategy Knowledge Agenda and the Roleof Living LabsENoLL Launch Event for the 5th wave of Living Labs on 16 May 2011
  • 2. The ALADIN network represents18 universities in the Danube Region. 2
  • 3. Open InnovationOpen innovation is about trading innovation components intoand out of an organisation across its semi-permeable boundary. 3
  • 4. Open Innovation to Improve the Competitive Position of the RegionA transition from closed to open innovation models is needed toimprove cooperation and collaboration in the region.- Competitive positions of both organisations in the region’s countries andthe region as a whole are increasingly determined by their competenciesand skills at learning and developing in a continuous process.- In order to increase the competitiveness of the Danube Region,cooperation and collaboration capacity especially of SMEs has to beimproved.- From a regional strategy point of view, cross-border collaboration is amust, hence cross-border innovation is a significant enabler.- A transformation to open innovation, characterised by the use ofpurposive inflows and outflows of knowledge to accelerate internalinnovation, and expand the markets for external use of innovation,respectively, is needed.- Open innovation practices have been promoted by economic trends suchas the increased cost of R&D, escalating technological complexity, theincreased tendency for valuable inventive steps to occur at the interfacebetween fields of knowledge (such as bio-informatics or materials-electronics) and enhanced communication via ICT. 4
  • 5. Open Innovation – The Role of Universities and Policy MakersCross-border collaboration of enterprises, universities and policymakers is necessary in order to enable the transition process.While the European Commission considers the universities as motors of thenew, knowledge-based paradigm it also clearly states that they are not in aposition to deliver their full potential contribution to the re-launched LisbonStrategy yet. The main conclusion is that “Europe must strengthen the three polesof its knowledge triangle: education, research and innovation. Universities areessential in all three. Investing more and better in the modernisation and quality ofuniversities is a direct investment in the future of Europe and Europeans.” (EC, 2005)Policy makers should engage in new business-administration-academiapartnerships. Special focus is needed with respect to cross-borderpartnerships in the region and the changing roles of central/local government,business, universities, and other research organizations. Properly constructed,operated, and evaluated partnerships can provide effective means for accelerating theprogress of technology and knowledge sharing. Building trust among all stakeholders,especially in the context of cross-border cooperation, is a central prerequisite to thisend. 5
  • 6. Pillars of the EU Strategy for the Danube RegionThe Action Plan for the EU Strategy for the Danube Region is basedupon 4 pillars.The ‘EU Strategy for the Danube Region’ is described in two documents:(1) a Communication from the European Commission to the other EU Institutions, and(2) an accompanying Action Plan which complements the Communication: A) Connecting the Danube Region 1) To improve mobility and multimodality 2) To encourage more sustainable energy 3) To promote culture and tourism, people to people contacts B) Protecting the Environment in the Danube Region 4) To restore and maintain the quality of waters 5) To manage environmental risks 6) To preserve biodiversity, landscapes and the quality of air and soils C) Building Prosperity in the Danube Region 7) To develop the Knowledge Society through research, education and information technologies 8) To support the competitiveness of enterprises, including cluster development 9) To invest in people and skills D) Strengthening the Danube Region 10) To step up institutional capacity and cooperation 11) To work together to promote security and tackle organised and serious crime 6
  • 7. Proposed actions to implement the EU Strategy for the Danube RegionProposed actions for action point 7) To develop the KnowledgeSociety through research, education and information technologies:Action - “To strengthen cooperation among universities and research facilities andto upgrade research and education outcomes by focusing on unique selling points”.Action - “To develop and implement strategies to improve the provision and uptake ofInformation and Communication Technologies in the Danube Region”.Action - “To use e-content and e-services to improve the efficiency andeffectiveness of public and private services”. Information and CommunicationTechnologies in general, and more specifically e-government, e-education, e-culture, e-health, e-business and e-inclusion, addressing active and healthy aging as well asindependent living, can make public services faster, more effective, more efficient andmore accessible thus saving resources on the side of the provider and user. [..]Action - “To stimulate the emergence of innovative ideas for products and servicesand their wide validation in the field of the Information Society, using the concept ofLiving Labs”. Through Living Labs, businesses, universities and public administration are jointly developing new products by involving customers/users from very early stages, including design. Openness to new research and market developments in a public and people oriented approach could be targeted initially at parts of the Region with similar needs or characteristics, and later employed more widely as appropriate. 7
  • 8. Proposed actions to implement the EU Strategy for the Danube RegionProposed actions for action point 8) To support the competitivenessof enterprises, including cluster development:Action - “To improve business support to strengthen the capacities of SMEs forcooperation and trade”. The cooperation should link relevant business support agencies, cluster organisations, chambers of commerce or industry associations in the Danube Region to develop business support services related to cross border R&D cooperation, trade and internationalisation. A key element of the cooperation should be the strengthening of the institutional capacity of the involved business support agencies through targeted support and the exchange of experiences and best practice. Best use should be made of existing forums and institutions, like the Enterprise Europe Network or already established networks of chambers of commerce, such as the Danube Chambers of Commerce Association. Where possible and appropriate, the special situation of SMEs in candidate countries regarding financing should be considered. Example of project - “To hold annual business forums bringing together Danube Region businesses, governments, regional organisations and the academia”. The aim is to enhance cooperation and business opportunities for SMEs in the Danube Region within the private sector, but also with academia and the public sector, to stimulate growth, innovation and competitiveness in the Danube Region. Existing initiatives upon which to build include those of Chambers of Commerce, the Central Europe Initiative, Enterprise Europe Network or the Vienna Economic Forum. Where appropriate, best practices could be exchanged with e.g. the Baltic Development Forum. (Lead: Austrian Chamber of Commerce, IEDC-Bled School of Management) 8
  • 9. Open Innovation - The Living Labs ApproachEspecially in the eastern part of the Danube Region more LivingLabs are needed. 9
  • 10. Open Innovation - The Living Labs ApproachThe European Network of Living Labs (ENoLL). 3 new Hungarian LLs joined in the 5th Wave! 10
  • 11. Open Innovation for a Smart RegionIt is suggested to at embrace the Living Lab concept andmethodology on a regional level in order to facilitate thetransformation into a Smart Region.> Currently, applying the Living Lab approach to build „Smart Cities“ isstrongly promoted on EU level> Proceeding to the level of „Smart Regions“ is a logical next step> ALADIN aims at applying the Living Lab concept and methodology on aregional level to the Danube Region> We invite governments and enterprises, especially SMEs, to join thisinitiative and to support the further uptake of the Living Lab concept andmethodology in the Danube Region.“The Danube Region as the Living Lab for economic and socialinnovation.” 11
  • 12. Thank you very much for your attention!Dr. Christian Kittlevolaris Center of Excellence & Mobile Living LabChristian.Kittl@evolaris.net
  • 13. Open Innovation to Improve the Competitive Position of the RegionA transition from closed to open innovation models is needed toimprove cooperation and collaboration in the region.In a world of growing complexity and need for cooperation, the competitive positionsof both organisations in the region’s countries and the region as a whole areincreasingly determined by their competencies and skills at learning anddeveloping in a continuous process.In order to increase the competitiveness of the Danube Region, cooperationand collaboration capacity especially of SMEs has to be improved. From aregional strategy point of view, cross-border collaboration is a must, hence cross-border innovation is a significant enabler.More flexible innovation approaches are needed than the traditional closed innovationmodels, where a company generates, develops and commercialises its own ideas in afully-integrated model.A transformation to open innovation, characterised by the use of purposive inflows andoutflows of knowledge to accelerate internal innovation, and expand the markets forexternal use of innovation, respectively, is needed.Open innovation practices have been promoted by economic trends such as theincreased cost of R&D, escalating technological complexity, the increased tendency forvaluable inventive steps to occur at the interface between fields of knowledge (such asbio-informatics or materials-electronics) and enhanced communication via ICT. 13
  • 14. ALADIN Aim and BackgroundThe ALADIN (ALpe Adria Danube universities INiative) networkALADIN was created in Ljubljana on 23rd October 2002 by Karl-FranzensUniversity Graz (Austria), University of Rijeka (Croatia), University of Trieste(Italy) and University of Maribor (Slovenia) as an international network workingat regional level> to share common ideas and knowledge in teaching and research activities in the fieldof e-Commerce> and to cooperate creating mobility of students and professors, offering commonlectures, creating virtual teams of students from different universities and professorslecturing at different universities,> in order to harmonize with global and international activities of e-Commerce,From 2002 on the ALADIN network has constantly grown, reflecting the need forcooperation in the ICT fields which are crucial for the development of theEnlarged Europe and promoting research cooperation with SMEs andGovernments, in order to harmonize with global and international activities of ICT inthe Enlarged Europe.Today, universities, associated centers of excellence and Living Labs located in 12European countries, namely Austria, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia,Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia andSlovenia are represented. 14
  • 15. ALADIN in the EU Strategy Process for the Danube RegionThe ALADIN network actively contributed to the strategyformation process and will continue to play an active role.> In February 2010: Letter to the Members of the European Parliament representingthe countries in the Danube Region, stressing the key role of ICT and interest to beinvolved in the preparatory process of the European Strategy for the Danube Region.> Result of Meeting held at Corvinus University of Budapest, March 21-23, a Position Paper1was formulated & submitted to the EC as input to the public consultation process.> Key messages of the Position Paper:> Regarding the main pillars of the Danube Region Strategy (to improve connectivity andcommunication systems; preserve the environment and prevent against natural risks;reinforce the potential for socio-economical development) we suggest to includeeducation, training, RTD, ICT & innovation areas as enablers.> Support an open innovation approach, especially the Living Lab concept, to developthe Danube Region’s innovation system and thus increase the competitiveness of theregion.> Presentation of the Position Paper at the Stakeholder Conference on the EU Strategy forthe Danube Region, Vienna/Bratislava, 19.-21.04.2010> Intervention at the Meeting in the European Parliament regarding the “EuropeanInitiative: Danube Region on the eSilk & eAmber Roads” on 01.06.2010> Intervention at the Meeting in the European Parliament regarding the “Second EuropeanInitiative: Danube Region on the eSilk & eAmber Roads” on 30.09.20101http://elivinglab.org/CrossBordereRegion/EUDanubeRegionStrategy/ALADINPositionPaper.pdf 15