In the past years, Countries have understood the importance to bet on innovative entrepreneurship, promoting the launch of companies based on the research activities of youngs, researchers, startuppers. However, in the territories involved in this Programme, the lack of funding and networking opportunities are hampering these enterprises to grow. Moreover, research centers often do not know how to turn successful ideas into concrete products and services.
This project aims at creating an innovative ecosystem, inter-linked with research and entrepreneurial actors in public-private logic, able to foster dialogue between different territories, enhance collaborative research actions, supporting talents mobility and strengthen the capacity of attracting private capitals.
To realize this, it will implement the following main operative steps:
Supporting the creation of an interregional network among the main stakeholders: research and technological centers,companies and public administrations; Defining a model for the technology centre, exportable in Albania and Montenegro and based on the Italian 20 years’ experience; Facilitating knowledge sharing & talents mobility.
The Main outputs of the project will be:
The Interregional Ecosystem, networking businesses, research centers, technological districts and Public Administrations, aninternational cluster for the promotion of Spin-offs, Start-ups, and innovative organizations operating, in the mid-long term, as an international Hub able to catalyze experiences, knowledge and expertise;
the Albanian Technological Center, set in Tirana;
International liveshows across project partners’ territories, to promote the project cluster, attract private investment funds, and look for new creative talents and potential innovative SMEs; continuous training Fund.
The regions involved are struggling to build-up their research and innovation agendas, aiming at bridging the performance gap with other regions, by valorising their excellences and taking into account their strategic territorial positioning, with respect to the global economic framework. The innovation deficit lead to serious restraints, in terms of competitiveness and readiness of local companies cutting-edge technologies available to innovate products.
Most of all Montenegro is in an early and immature stage. Start-ups ecosystem in Albania is developing rapidly. (Law no.7764-94, ‘On Foreign Investment’). Italy launched Industry
4.0 Plan with the aim of involve SMEs across the country and intensificate their relationship with universities and research. Globally, all companies are required to take on the “4th industrial revolution” and its economic, industrial and social challenges. The response to the 4th Industrial Revolution must be integrated and comprehensive, involving all stakeholders of the global policy, from the public-private sectors to academia and civil society. In several EU countries, the Industry 4.0 concept involves the need to define a new framework (technological, economic, financial, legal and cultural), to promote and lead industrial transition to a new enterprise model. Competitiveness cannot exclude digital transformation through new technologies, such as Cloud Computing, Big Data, Artificial Intelligence, Virtual and Augmented Reality, 3D Printing, Robotics, Internet of Things.
The most important challenge for countries is developing common policies, able to defend and enhance competitiveness and investment capability. Common challenges tackled by the project are related to the improvement of international competitiveness, by developing systemic cooperation schemes between institutions, businesses, universities, research centers and territorial actors.
To face the common territorial challenges, INERRAnT takes inspiration from the concept of “Glocalization”, creating innovation for the global market, but customized to suit the local cultures and needs. (Menon, 2014), by proposing a model based on extended entrepreneurial ecosystem approach, in which the presence of institutions representing both companies and research allows knowledge sharing, basic for innovation and competitiveness. These reciprocal exchanges require an institutional structure, flexible enough to foster interactions among several actors coming from the academic, social, cultural, government and business field, according to the “quintuple helix model”(Carayannis,2012).
The entrepreneurial ecosystem development will follow a methodology including:
1) Business Model as a tool for expressing and clarifying the ecosystem’s logic of earning money
(Osterwalder, 2012) and of guaranteeing economical sustainability.
2) Value Network as web of relationships that generates economic value through complex dynamic exchanges between two or more individuals, groups or organizations. (Verna
3) Business Processes analysis, as a way to generate self-awareness in the ecosystem actors about its operational processes and about its key performance indicators.
Within INERRAnT, Digital Innovation Hub can function as a technology and knowledge broker, suggesting more option/offer able to meet enterprise needs. The main IDIH purpose will be helping companies to rethink the business model in a digital key,redesign the production system and re-engineer business processes. IDIH will foster skills access helping them in evaluating and planning digital transformation; promote best practices dissemination to innovation network; provide a valuable support for access to founding programmes.
There are worrying disparities among regions, also inside the same Country (for example Italy). This problem requires a place-based policy approach.
National policies often are not able to face internal differences. Instead, some EU zones, not formally bounded, like Southern European regions, are linked by common issues and express similar needs. By addressing the problems affecting the regions involved in the project, it will be possible to give greater strength to their common concerns and create concrete opportunities for convergence.
The goal of the project is to create an innovative ecosystem, inter-linked with research and entrepreneurial actors and institutions, in public-private logic, able to: foster dialogue between different territories, strengthen the promotion of collaborative research; enhance the capacity of attracting private capitals. In this view, transnational cooperation will increase the effectiveness of integration and understanding of the various contexts in order to overcome internal disparities.
Furthermore, this kind of cooperation will make the partners aware of regional needs and will
build formal and informal cooperation networks. Transnational cooperation will exploit the potentialities of the Mediterranean regions, in order to strengthen the cohesion and establish smart network for sharing innovation and technology transfer among the countries, to increase the attractiveness of the region, and to facilitate better promotion of innovative activities and transfer of project results into policies and best practice. Cooperation in transnational network can provide markets with new ideas and foster the development of new products. The creation of a cluster among regions with similar challenges to comply would facilitate the growth of all the enterprises, through the knowledge transfer and a transnational cooperation, and will achieve economies of scale and greater qualification and specialization in the provided services.