A three-year programme that brings leading European policy makers together concluded with a best practice and benchmarking event at Birmingham Science Park Aston on Tuesday 23rd April 2013.
The European-funded INTERREG IVC District+ project brings together partners from Science Parks, Universities and Public Authorities in the West Midlands, Tuscany (Italy), Vastra Gotalands (Sweden), Saxony Anhalt (Germany), Brasov (Romania) and Lower Silesia (Poland). The local partners include Birmingham City Council, the University of Birmingham, Coventry University, Staffordshire University and Birmingham Science Park Aston. The Park’s European projects team is the appointed regional co-ordinator for all District+ activity.
David Bailey, Professor of International Business Strategy and Economics at Coventry University, headlined the event, delivering a presentation about how different European regions have dealt with the impact of the recession. Over 50 senior representatives from the six regions were in attendance.
Dr David Hardman MBE, CEO of Birmingham Science Park Aston introduced the event. Commenting about the conclusion of the three-year programme, he said: “It is important that we engage with likeminded partners across Europe to develop the Science Park community and boost opportunities for Greater Birmingham. By transcending borders, we can enhance competitiveness for our local companies and support economic growth.
“Having been the regional coordinator for District+ activity over the past three years, we have been able to engage at a high level with senior policy makers across Europe. The experiences gained and the outcomes from a number of partnership projects, such as ‘Science Parks Without Walls’ and ‘Next Generation Science Parks’, have been invaluable to the strategic direction of Birmingham Science Park Aston.”
Six sub-projects form part of the District+ programme. They consist of Science Parks Without Walls; Next Generation Science Parks; Improved Definition and Profiling for Sustainable Technology Parks; Networks for the Internationalisation of Cluster Excellence in Regions; Enhancing Knowledge Collaboration in Eco-Innovation; and Supporting Innovation and Fostering Knowledge Transfer in the New EU Member States.
The ongoing European-funded projects being delivered by Birmingham Science Park Aston include; the Low Carbon Incubator Programme 2013, which is designed to make low carbon ideas into commercial successes; Pioneers into Practice – a European-wide exchange programme for low carbon practitioners; and Entrepreneurs for the Future – a flagship business incubation programme for tech start-ups.