The development of urban regions can benefit significantly from scaling up innovations. But how can this be achieved? How can European regions strengthen each other? And what are known obstacles and best practices? In an interactive EU Upscaling Event in Brussels on October 18, experts from the Amsterdam Metropolitan Area and abroad shared their knowledge and experiences with professionals from all over Europe.
The speakers all underline the importance of regions for Europe. First speaker of the afternoon is Ronald van Roeden, Dutch EU ambassador. He says in his welcome that regions play a key role in the opportunities for Europe. Europe needs strong regions. “The region is where our citizens directly experience the consequences of European policy”
Maybe you are acquainted with Ruggedised (http://www.ruggedised.eu), an EU supported project. In this project Rotterdam and 5 other European towns work together at 'smart' solutions for problems that all cities feel to have. Although I don't know the details, this approach has a larger potential for scaling up, that one-city projects that try to share their findings afterwards. Nevertheless, here too upscaling could be improved. Not by another way of reporting, but (1) by actively look for cities with comparable problems during the project; (2) organising an active exchange of information during the project with these cities and (3) Invite representatives from the cities concerned after the project to share and discuss the outcomes. Do not forget to make a reservation in the project budget for this goal. EU will accept this because they know the problem of failing upscaling;-)
I totally agree with you. Therefore we should also think better before we start who will use the solution (and pay for it, or earn money with it) and integrate them in the project. And to reach other regions for replication, we could report in a different way then we do now in EU-projects. Do you think such a change of mindset is possible?
Hi Audrie. I recognise the absence of any significant upscaling of project outcomes very well. You mention one of the reasons yourself: Many projects result in solutions which are applicable only within very specific conditions. This spoiling of money can be prevented if the EU requires that a grant application has to be preceded by an inquiry after the relevance of the intended research among at least four other potential users. But there is a second problem. It happens that even the institution that received the grant does not applicate the solution it found. The reason is that the initial implementation of a solution was enabled by project money. As soon as external sources are not available any more, the implementation of the solution stagnates.