MINI EUROPE in the “Forum for Regional Development 2010 – 13th Money Show Patras” on 16 October 2010 The development and the innovation of SMEs within the Region of Western Greece constituted the central theme of the session “Innovation and Small-Medium Enterprises: European Best Practices” held on Saturday, October 16th, in the framework of the […]
MINI EUROPE in the “Forum for Regional Development 2010 – 13th Money Show Patras” on 16 October 2010
The development and the innovation of SMEs within the Region of Western Greece constituted the central theme of the session “Innovation and Small-Medium Enterprises: European Best Practices” held on Saturday, October 16th, in the framework of the Forum of Regional Development 2010 – 13th Money Show Patras”. The session was organized by Patras Science Park (PSP) S.A. under the auspices of the transnational and interregional project MINI EUROPE.
During the session, the invited speakers presented successful European Best Practices suitable for the development of the SMEs within the Region of Western Greece, with special focus on the results and experiences of the best practices successfully implemented in other european regions as selected for exchange and implementation within the framework of the MINI EUROPE project.
Εnterpreneurs of the Region of Western Greece, young researchers and professors from local Universities and research institutions, as well as representatives of the local and regional authorities attended the session.
Chairman of the session was Dr. Chrysostomos Stylios, Regional Content Manager of the Project MINI EUROPE and Research & Development Consultant of Patras Science Park, who made a short introduction to the project Mini Europe, its scope and its achievements so far.
Then Mr. Gerasimos Mentzelopoulos, PSP General Director, presented Patras Science Park activities and its goals that could be summarized in the “promotion of innovative ideas and solutions that will help SMEs to be developed and become more competitive”.
Mr. Evaggelos Papadakis, Assist. Prof. at the University of Western Greece, analyzed the terms “social enterprise network” and “cluster”. As he explained, the social enterprise network stands somewhere in the middle of public and private enterprise, reminding what we used to call “association”. Referring to the clusters, he said that are groups of enterprises interconnected thematically and geographically in order to serve the same goals. As he mentioned during his presentation, clusters have been already established in Western Greece, such as the Watertech cluster -which resulted from the implementation of the project Regional Innovation Pole of Western Greece-, and the local community (companies, researchers, authorities and public) has been greatly benefited from them.
Ms. Eleni Arvaniti, PSP associate, presented i-creo, a programme successfully implemented since 2006 in Spain, in the Region of Valencia. The philosophy of i-creo is to create a flexible body of experts hired by the associations of every productive sector within a region in order to propose and promote innovation as a means of their upgrade. Ms Arvaniti highlighted that the tranfer and implementation of this best practice in the Region of Western Greece will boost local SMEs that have no other way to access innovation. Bodies that can participate and support the transfer of this best practice are the productive sectors, Chambers of Commerce, Regional Authorities, Research Institutions etc. and, as she explained, there is already a plan for the adoption of the i-creo practice in the area of Etoloakarnania with the collaboration of the local Chamber of Commerce.
Mr. Nikolaos Thomopoulos, from the Managing Authority of the Region of Western Greece, made a presentation about the opportunities for funding SMEs through European projects and he referred to the experience gained by the implementation of another project LEAD ERA, explaining and proving that projects based on transnational collaborations can really function as driving forces for the development of local SMEs.
Afterwards, Mr. Aris Mamasioulas, from the Managing Authority of the Region of Western Greece as well, presented the prospects of enhancing innovation in the SMEs of the manufacturing sector within the Region of Western Greece.
The concluding speech was made by Mr. Georgios Tzovolos, PSP associate, who spoke about the project Mini Europe and about the best practices implemented in Europe for the transfer of Innovation to enterprises. During his speech he underlined that “the most crucial thing for an enterprise is to understand the importance of innovation and that without innovation enterprises cannot become competitive”.
Before the conclusion of the session, the speakers and the audience had a constructive discussion on the basis of questions concerning the adoption by the enterprises of the suggested for the Region of Western Greece best practices and the expression of reservations contribution the contribution of the regional authorities and institutions to this effort. The speakers ensured the entrepreneurs that local authorities have already expressed their interest in contributing to the efforts undertaken within the framework of Mini Europe leaning on the european experience with a view to increase the competitiveness of local SMEs.
Pictures 3 & 4:The stand of Patras Science Park in the Forum for Regional Development 2010
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