Topic of the practice
Research Technology Development and Innovation. Support to SMEs.
Good Practice Information
The competence centres initiative pursues the approach to initiate and support effective cooperation and networking on a triple helix basis between business, research, education as well as politics. Focused on the region’s main technologies, Competence Centres in the Stuttgart Region have a particular topic-driven approach (in contrast to cluster initiatives showing a rather branch-oriented networking approach).
Since the regional initiative was launched in 1999, different technology-based competence and innovation centres have been established in the Stuttgart Region. The concept is firmly based on the idea of companies investing in order to reap tangible business benefits. In early 2010, the members of the legally independent centres included almost 500 (mostly small or mid-size) enterprises, 50 university or private research establishments, several local-government partners within the Stuttgart Region, various chambers of commerce and trade as well as associations.
The Competence Centres have a key role facilitating cross-sectoral activities. Main aim of this initiative is the set-up and the management support of regional networks, integrating possibly all regional companies, universities, research institutions working in a particular technology area. Main working areas are the promotion of cooperation between relevant stakeholders in order to foster technological development, a strong competitiveness of regional enterprises (and especially SMEs), the exchange of know-how among participating institutions, and the initiation of innovative cooperation projects.
Competence Centres make available the technological and business expertise for local firms, especially SMEs with limited R&D resources on their own, which helps them to increase the effectiveness of projects.
Evidence of success
• 12 Competence Centres established in the Stuttgart Region. New networks under preparation.
• Nearly 500 companies (global players and SME), ca. 50 university and research institutes as well as several chambers, NGOs and public players involved.
• With the help of the project-based support programme, more than 100 innovative cooperation projects were initiated and supported by the Stuttgart Region.
• Organisation and conduction of several big international events and congresses by the Competence Centres.
• Several Competence Centres involved in the federal initiative “Kompetenznetze Deutschland”.
Contact details to obtain further information on the practice
Stuttgart Region Economic Development Corporation
Annex completed on: 03-07-2011