CAPTURE: The Knowledge Network
Start date: Aug 31, 2004,
End date: Dec 30, 2007
The idea for CAPTURE came from a group of medium-sized towns and cities which had been working together since 1991 through a network known as Eurotowns. In 2003, Eurotowns conducted detailed research into its members and found that the vast majority shared four main characteristics: first, a manufacturing sector that was restructuring or in decline; second, jobs that were of low value and low pay; third, the presence of a large number of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs); and lastly, high out-migration, particularly of young people seeking opportunities in larger neighbouring cities. CAPTURE aims to address these problems by stimulating business innovation, growth and regional economic development through technology transfer and the stimulation of knowledge-based companies within network member towns. It also hopes to promote pan-European dialogue and exchange, enabling small and medium-sized towns to strengthen their ability to contribute to regional development and social cohesion. The pre-existing network of Eurotowns will help this dialogue and exchange to be maintained on a long term basis. Achievements: Achievements so far The CAPTURE partnership has delivered a succsseful European wide network focusing on the knowledge economy from the perspective of smaller towns and cities. 19 towns from 11 EU countries came together to explore how to drive their own local and regional policies to compete in the knowledge based economy of the future, and rise to the challenge of the Lisbon agenda. At the heart of CAPTURE has been exchange activity to promote inter regional dialogue. This exchange was based on an initial baseline survey which identified the most important themes for towns to work on. Over a two year period almost 250 participants attended 6 Study Visits, 3 Network meetings, 6 staff exchanges, 7 Management Groups, a Forward Strategy workshop, an Incubation masterclass and a Final Parliamentary Reception. The CAPTURE website served as an information tool with pages for all activities and a project archive with all meeting documents and presentations In the final stages CAPTURE focussed on analysing impact and disseminating results. The External Evaluation and Follow Up reports formed the basis for the CAPTURE Final Report and Presentations, which communicate the results and learning about the knowledge economy in a concise way. A Reception was held in the European Parliament in Brussels on 17 October hosted by Dan Hannan MEP, and attended by the Interreg IIIC JTS Director and DG REGIO representatives, as well as many senior political representatives from the CAPTURE towns. CAPTURE partners have developed ideas to capitalise on the network's success and have submitted two new projects to Interreg IVC.
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