Future Laboratory for the Diffusion and Applicatio.. (FLAME)
Future Laboratory for the Diffusion and Application of Innovation in Materials Science and Engineering
Start date: Feb 28, 2010,
End date: Aug 30, 2012
Materials sciences and engineering (MS&E) are significant innovation drivers within the Central European area and thus crucial for competitiveness and economic growth. The MS&E sector has its particularities like: frequent introduction of new material technologies, existing requirements and specifications frequently do not fit the unique features of advanced material and the sectors complexity requires wider range of high-quality resources and financial means. Joint activities that are answering sector-specific challenges are needed. The project FLAME reacts on these challenges by testing the innovative co-operation modules that facilitate the information flows and interactions among the regions.The project partnership involves on one hand regions, which are hot spots in the field of materials sciences and innovation as well as regions that suffer from a lack of competitiveness and stagnant economy. However, in all participating regions companies, especially SMEs, are facing the barriers when working together across national borders and also lack market transparency regarding active players in the broad field of materials science.Within the FLAME project the partners aim at unlock the full potential of all types of enterprises ranging from start-ups, spin-offs and high-growth "gazelles" to traditional enterprises, micro-enterprises and family SMEs and enabling them to bring MS&E knowledge and technologies to the market, to internationalize their value & supply chains and thereby improve their growth potential. By building bridges for MS&E know-how, research results become commercialized and transferred into actions and money and in the long run to an enhanced competitiveness of all involved regions. Achievements: The Central Europe (CE) project FLAME is the network that brings together 9 different regions of CE. It aims at strengthening the competiveness of European regions, small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and scientific entities by promoting new forms of co-operation for the diffusion and application of innovation in Material Sciences and Engineering (MS&E). The FLAME project brought some notable results: During the 4 training sessions held across Europe, a team of 16 Facilitation Coaches (FCs) from 8 different regions where trained on how to guide and implement joint research or business projects connecting research and industries. FCs will be trained to act as intermediaries, able to ease and strengthen relationships amongst SMEs, research centres and universities in MS&E. The aim of the trainings was in fact of providing knowledge, tools and methodologies for helping the research developed in industries and in research institutes to reach the industries and the market. This is a strongdriver for innovation and a major strategy, encouraged by the European Union,in order to rech the goal of being a "knowledge intensive economy" and to breaking down barriers to create a genuine single market for knowledge, research and innovation. This is even more true for the CE region, where innovation is a key driver for strengthening competiveness and it is a top policy priority for the EU, whose main engagement in this area is to promote innovation and knowledge management and reach out to new stakeholders in the fields of innovation and economic development. The FLAME project, both for actors involved and for the kind of activity implemented till now, is successfully addressing those priorities and contributing to reaching the above mentioned goals. For this reason we decided to prolong the period of founding for 6 months, in order to allow the partnership to further develop what has been done till today, and to finalize the start up and launching of the 3 European based Future Labs. In the remaining project period the partners will further exploite potential of the FLAME network, by making it even more connected and known within the MS&E sector. FCs will have some more months to apply skills and knowledge aquired during the trainings, thus connecting research to business and helping operators in concluding contracts and agreements. Till now, a t otal number of 9 new projects has started in Poland, Czech Republic, Slovenia and Italy, ranging research funded project, to collaborations between research centres and SMEs or big companies. In the remaining months of the FLAME project, FCs will going on working in enhancing European collaboration among MS&E actors. Matchmaking events across Europe make a major part in the project work. During the matchmaking event in Milan (May 2012) for example, 88 bilateral meetings were held. Many of the participnats were able to find interesting contacts and discussed some specific opportunities for collaboration.
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