Two-day project meeting of FORESDA consortium was held in Bucharest, Romania from 21-22 November 2017 and hosted by the project partner Pro Wood. It was the fourth time partners physically gathered to discuss the current state of the project and further tasks to be done.
Internal management procedures towards monitoring at project level were presented by the Lead partner Cyberforum and Work package leaders reported on the activities in the first 10 months focused on the preparation of outputs and activities within other WPs started during period 2.
In the last months of the period 2, the WP3 activities will be concluded, which aimed towards the development of a joint transnational strategy, mirrored by local (regional) innovation action plans.
Activities performed included mapping of the participating countries, with a particular focus on the state of development of the regional clusters and their regional innovation systems. On the basis of a Joint Methodology, data have been collected in each region through a combination of desktop research and interviews of stakeholders. Professional associations, clusters, sectoral chambers, educational systems companies and public administration have been addressed.
On the basis of the regional mapping, a comparative SWOT analysis has been prepared to address needs and synergies among the regions involved. By using these results, together with the summary of existing support environments at the regional and European level, the Joint Action Plan has been delivered. It describes the activities to be implemented within the FORESDA framework towards the fostering of trans-national and cross-sectoral innovation activities.
Specific regional workshops are scheduled. The workshops will guarantee the involvement of the relevant regional stakeholders, their commitment and motivation towards the implementation of further activities, i.e. WP4 - Pilot Innovation Environments and WP5 - fostering cross-sectoral, innovative, collaborative projects.
More in detail, in the frame of WP4, all PPs, together with regional stakeholders, are developing in detail concepts of the Pilot Designs and their comprehensive Roadmaps. The following thematic focus will be addressed: (i) Smart and sustainable construction and furniture (three PIEs); (ii) Non-conventional uses of wood-based materials (three PIEs); (iii) Energy efficiency (four PIEs). Based on the created Pilot Designs and Roadmaps, the implementation of Pilots will start in January 2018.
In parallel, the WP5, by using the set PIEs, is going to support innovative actions with the establishment of collaborative networks, by connecting sectorial SMEs to innovation actors at (inter-) national level. The first step implemented towards the objective is raising the awareness within the region. In order to have a structured and broad approach, the project established a database of relevant SMEs and innovation actors, accessible by the partnership, that will be the target for the dissemination actions.
WP6 - Capacity Building intends to improve the impact and efficiency of support organizations in the project regions – and beyond, by improving their internal skills and structure and strengthening their intermediary role between the productive sector and the knowledge poles on regional, national but also transnational and cross-sectoral level. This will be achieved by mutual learning/mentoring workshops and study visits. Lessons learned will be documented and made available for innovation policy makers in their regional S3 processes.
In the framework of the consortium meeting, the FORESDA First Year Review (01.01.2017 - 30.06.2019) was presented and discussed with JS Project Officer Mr. Marius V. Nicolae, who supported partners related to achieved results in the first project period.
Next consortium meeting will be held in Salzburg on March 2018.