We consider our S3 not just as a document, but a constantly evolving process. It enables us to activate and facilitate cooperation among key partners, supported by constant monitoring and analysis of the innovation system. Its vision draws from the region's strong industrial tradition and points the way forward to new directions for development. Focusing on high-potential strategic areas, the Regional Development Agency (RDA) has created Innovation Platforms based on the strategy's priority areas.
The RDA identified 10-15 members from the region for each Platform, including representatives of companies (some with R&D programmes), universities and research institutions that are open and willing to cooperate. The RDA acts as facilitator and mediator, but discussion topics are proposed by members themselves to ensure a bottom up process. In the past, companies and other key players operated largely in isolation from each other, often with a strong rivalry. This has changed entirely with S3, and the Platforms have already given rise to a number of joint projects, including on the reuse of waste heat from large production facilities for households (Modern Energy Production and Waste Processing Platform), and on surface processing of materials ( Advanced Materials Platform).Besides meetings within the Platforms, the RDA also organizes events on the latest trends in research, development and innovation. For example, we recently took part in an exchange visit with the Fraunhofer IMWS research institute in Linz, Austria which specializes in the intelligent use of materials. This external dimension is very useful, because it allows us to benchmark internationally and facilitate joint projects.