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7 · Feb 13 | Patras, Greece

The second meeting of the Western Greece Regional Implementation Group of the InCompass project took place on the 7th of February 2013, at the premises of Chamber of Achaia in Patras. The meeting’s main target has focused on ways to increase the entrepreneurial activity in the Region of Western Greece through further strengthening Research and Innovation. Towards this direction the Region of WGR has publicly presented its intentions to form a regional plan for incubator units giving particular emphasis towards the creation of a second incubator within the Region.
Image - PictureEleven regional stakeholders participated, each representing a different but crucial role within the Regional Innovation System. In this context, and from a policy implementation point of view, each of them contributed with their experience and know-how in order for the Region of Western Greece (i) to prioritize the support for the creation of new high-tech innovative enterprises in its policy agenda and (ii) to design and implement corresponding policies. In detail, the following stakeholders participated in the 2nd RIG meeting:
  • Regional Development Fund of the Region of Western Greece
  • Patras Municipality
  • Western Greece Region (WGR)
  • University of Patras (UoP)
  • Technology Business Association of Western Greece
  • Development Enterprise of Western Greece Region
  • Chamber of Achaia
  • National Bank of Greece
  • Intermediate Managing Authority of Western Greece
  • PCM Medical
  • GLP Values
In sum, the outcomes of the discussion, which all participants agreed upon, are threefold: a) The Region of Western Greece should accept the key role of coordinating the players of the Regional Innovation System, b) the policy initiatives regarding Western Greece Region incubators should be placed within the Region's Innovation System, and c) the identification of best practices regarding Hubs and Incubators from InCompass project will constitute a valuable input for the 'transfer-adjustment-development' of equivalent initiatives.

At the beginning of the meeting, which was chaired by Mr. S. Papaspirou, the members of WGR and UoP stressed the importance of the fact that the InCompass project is being implemented in a period where the Region of Western Greece forms its proposal for the next programming period, giving particular emphasis in the requirements of the Regional Smart Specialization Strategy 2014-2020 (Horizon 2020) for the existence of a strategic plan and thematic research priorities. In addition, the University of Patras team distributed 40 project brochures (Greek and English versions) and 20 study visit reports from Rotterdam.

During his speech, the Deputy Head of the Western Greece Region, Mr. G. Angelopoulos, argued that "the designing plans for the Region in relation to our active involvement and the support in research and innovation is in this direction, and programs such as InCompass, provide us with the opportunity to identify good practices and to assimilate new information. This material helps us make the planning for the next programming period 2014-2020 ".

He added that: "The intention of the WGR is to combine the power of research structures, such as the University of Patras and the Technological Educational Institutes of the Region, so that together with the WGR authorities to provide the environment to attract such initiatives. The positive attitude of the Head of the Western Greece Region, Mr. A. Katsifaras towards the direction of research and innovation posing as one of the priorities for the next programming period, especially after taking into account the endowment of human resources in the region, gives us the opportunity to see the future with optimism, especially if we have the support of the Ministry".

During his presentation, the former rector of UoP and member of the Research, Innovation and Regional Development, Professor S. Koubias, revealed that several innovative proposals have already been submitted to the Commission, four out of which would be presented on Monday 11/2/2013. He added that the fact that these proposals will be presented upon the Regional Council is also very important.
Image - Picture During the meeting, Mr. S. Papaspirou argued that "main target of the Region of Western Greece, is to stimulate and strengthen entrepreneurship with new business models and innovative ideas".
Image - Picture Professor K. Tsekouras and Professor C. Bouras analyzed the findings of the Study Visits in the framework of the InCompass project (Rotterdam, Milan and Malmoe, Lund, Copenhagen) and how the best practices identified could be applied in the case of the Western Greece Region. Special attention was given to the Rotterdam Study Visit report, which was also distributed to the RIG members.
Image - Picture Mr. G. Lytsas, representative of GLP Values - business incubators design company, presented a plan for the creation of a modern technology center in the city center of Patras.
Image - Picture Last but not least, an open discussion took place where all participants had the opportunity to express their thoughts and their point of view. At the end of the meeting, the attending participants agreed to proceed towards bridging the gaps among the scattered dots in the Regional Innovation System. For that reason, a new meeting has been discussed to take place sometime in the Spring of 2013.
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InCompass Project is funded by the EU’s European Regional Development fund through the INTERREG IVC programme