The presentations given at the UNICREDS conference Achieving Excellence on 12 June 2012 in Seinäjoki are now available. Please follow the links below to download a pdf copy of each presentation.
WP5 Conference: Achieving Excellence
Tuesday 12th June 2012, Seinäjoki, Finland
Venue: Frami B – Seinäjoki Center for Technology and Innovation, Kampusranta 9 C, Seinäjoki
Chair Dr. Juha Alarinta, Research Director UCS
Welcome to Seinäjoki, one of the most appealing cities in Finland
How do we manage to accomplish growth?
Dr. Jorma Rasinmäki, Mayor of Seinäjoki
Welcome to WP 5 Conference
Nicolas Wallet, UNICREDS Project manager
Research & Innovation and Structural Funds: Strategies for Smart Specialisation
Mr Marc Botman, Head of Unit, European Commission, Directorate General for Regional Policy
Comments from the Region: Regional Competitiveness and South Ostrobothnia
Dr. Asko Peltola, Regional Mayor, Regional Council of South Ostrobothnia
Achieving Excellence through regional leadership
Professor Markku Sotarauta, Dean, University of Tampere School of Management
The role of Enterprises
Mr Pertti Kinnunen, Managing Director, South Ostrobothnia Chamber of Commerce
The role of Technology Centres
Mr Hannu Kantonen, Managing Director, Frami Ltd
The role of the university
Professor Sami Kurki, Director, University of Helsinki, Ruralia Institute
Dr Juha Alarinta, Research Director, UCS
WP5 Case Study: Regional competitiveness and development network
Chair: Ms Satu Alapiha, Frami Ltd
Frami Ltd, Seinäjoki
Representatives from seven European regions met in Finland last week for the final working conference of the UNICREDS (University Collaboration in Regional Development Spaces) project. The findings from this conference, and the rest of the three year programme, will be presented at a closing event in Cornwall, UK, in October 2012.
Taking place in the city of Seinäjoki in Finland on Tuesday 12 June, the conference focussed on how to achieve excellence in regional research and innovation, in order to drive long-term economic growth. As well as presentations from the various Finnish hosts regarding their experience, there was also a keynote speech from Marc Botman, Head of Unit at the European Commission’s Directorate General for Regional Policy, addressing the issue of ‘smart specialisation’.
Marc Botman explains: "Smart specialisation means identifying the unique characteristics and assets of each country and region, highlighting each region’s competitive advantages, and rallying regional stakeholders and resources around an excellence-driven vision of their future. These strategies are so important that they are a pre-condition for ERDF (European Regional Development Fund) funding for the period 2014-2020.”
Nicolas Wallet, Project Manager for UNICREDS, concludes: “This is our final working conference for the project. Each of the events has looked at a different element under the overarching theme of developing high value, knowledge-based economies in peripheral regions, through universities, business and the public sector working together. The findings and case studies presented at the event will feed into ‘best practice’ recommendations that will be submitted to the European Commission later this year, with the aim of helping other regions facing similar issues.”
The UNICREDS project aims to develop a transferable model for future education and regional development programmes that can be adopted by the European Commission. The €2million project is majority funded by the EU in addition to co- financing from each of the 15 European partners and made possible by the INTERREG IVC programme. All the regions involved with UNICREDS share similar characteristics relative to the rest of their countries, such as distance from major cities, population demographics, and reliance on declining traditional industries.