UNICREDS took its experience and expertise to the Czech Republic last week, where the seven partner regions met to discuss how best to nurture an innovative business culture. The conference was part of the UNICREDS (University Collaboration in Regional Development Spaces) project.
Taking place at České Budějovice in the Czech Republic on Tuesday 17 January 2012, the conference, hosted by the University of South Bohemia and run by the University of the Highlands and Islands in Scotland, brought together delegates from across Europe. As well as looking at how education establishments can help nurture an innovative business culture, delegates also debated how to reach isolated groups.
A focal point of the event were the keynote speeches from Christian Saublens, Executive Manager of EURADA (European Association of Development Agencies), and Frank Rennie, Professor of Sustainable Development and Head of Research and Post-Graduate Development at Lews Castle College, part of the University of the Highlands and Islands.
Christian Saublens commented: "At this time more than ever, businesses need to innovate to keep their competitive edge. To do this, they have either to create and exploit their own new ideas or absorb and apply ideas created elsewhere and integrate them into their business. This conference is an ideal opportunity to try to identify and understand those activities and initiatives that are helping to nurture an innovative business culture.”
Nicolas Wallet, Project Manager for UNICREDS, commented: “This is our fourth conference. 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 partnerships between universities, business and the public sector. 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 event is part of the €2million UNICREDS project which aims to develop a transferable model for future education and regional development programmes that can be adopted by the European Commission. The UNICREDS 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.
More information is available at www.unicreds.eu.
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Notes to editors:
- UNICREDS stands for University Collaboration in Regional Development Spaces.
- UNICREDS is co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund and made possible by the INTERREG IVC programme.
- UNICREDS is a partnership of 15 partners from 7 EU regions who share the belief that decentralized universities can help transform deprived regional economies into centres of excellence in research and innovation.
- The ‘triple helix’ model is based on a multi-sited university and its integration with the private and public sectors.
- The aim of the UNICREDS programme is to share knowledge between the member partners, to further develop the triple helix model, and to ultimately lobby EU policy makers to adopt the model across Europe.
- Images from the event are available in the photo gallery.
- Cornwall Council, UK www.cornwall.gov.uk
- Combined Universities in Cornwall, UK www.cuc.ac.uk
- Municipality of Skellefteå, Sweden www.skelleftea.se
- Regional Council of Västerbotten, Sweden www.regionvasterbotten.se
- Akademi Norr, Sweden www.akademinorr.se
- City of Seinäjoki, Finland www.seinajoki.fi
- University Consortium Seinäjoki/Tampere, Finland www.ucs.fi
- Seinäjoki Technology Centre Ltd, Finland www.stoy.fi/en
- University of South Bohemia, Czech Republic www.jcu.cz
- South Bohemia Regional Authority, Czech Republic www.kraj-jihocesky.cz
- Ministry of Regional Development and Public Works, Bulgaria www.mrrb.government.bg
- Sofia University, Bulgaria www.uni-sofia.bg
- University of Debrecen, Hungary www.envm.unideb.hu
- Hajdú-Bihar County Council, Hungary www.hbmo.hu
- UHI, University of the Highlands and Islands www.uhi.ac.uk