Project Details

Title: Innovation Policy in University City Regions
Priority: 1: Innovation and the knowledge economy
Theme: Innovation, research and technology development

Type of intervention

Type of intervention: 1: Regional Initiative Project
Mini-programme: No
Duration: 1st Jan 2010 - 31st Dec 2012


Total budget: €1,579,135.46
ERDF contribution: €1,249,465.57

Lead partner

The University of Salford
43, The Crescent
M5 4WT, Salford

  • Click for contact details
    • Contact Person: Mr Carl Abbott
      Phone: 0044 161 295 5184
      Fax: 0044 161 295 5494

Project summary

INNOPOLIS aims to identify regional best policy practice in the field of knowledge exchange between universities & enterprises. Having done so, INNOPOLIS will develop a simulation & a user-friendly electronic repository of the project's key outputs that can be used by regional authorities in transfering best policy practice, and thus actively supporting knowledge co-creation between universities & enterprises. The activities of INNOPOLIS focus on university city-regions, defined here as localities with at least three multi-departmental universities and at least 60,000 students (students used as a proxy of university knowledge endowments). This choice is on account of the profound diversity in the current ability of regional authorities to exploit the innovative potential of universities in such regions. Celebrated success regions are included in this project alongside regions where regional policy did not drive knowledge exchange.

The activties of the project will take place in four, diverse university city-regions: Helsinki, Lodz, Manchester & Thessaloniki. These provide a broad geographical focus and capture significant differences in success of existing regional policy. The project partnership includes two partners in each of these regions: a regional/local authority & a university. This is viewed as the best possible combination for realising best policy transfer - as the former are central for developing policy whilst participation of the latter is important for effective implementation.

INNOPOLIS uses a broad range of networking activities for the achievement of its main aim. These include: study visits, workshops, seminars, audits of best practice in knowledge exchange & best policy transfer, etc. Some of these activities are not confined to the regions included in the project but aspire to learn from success across the EU & beyond (and particularly the US).

The results of INNOPOLIS will be disseminated to two types of audiences, using a comprehensive dissemination strategy. The first type includes key stakeholders within the regions of the project, the second type includes regional/authorities, universities & other stakeholders in other regions. Dissemination will be achieved through a website, a brochure, EU wide & regional public relations releases, a newsletter, regional launch events for the learning outputs, the launch of a professional journal & a disseminations conference.

The main outputs & results of the project are: the identification of best polciy practice, the development of new skills for policy-makers, the development of learning outputs: (collection of Case Studies- part (a), Best Policy Practice guide - part (b) & policy simulation & manual - part (c) ) that enable policy transfer, and the widesrpread dissemination of results of INNOPOLIS - so as to achieve maximum impact on university city-regions across the EU.

Project achievements

INNOPOLIS aims to identify & disseminate best practice in innovation policy (BPP) in 4 European city regions: Manchester, Helsinki, Thessaloniki & Lodz, through a variety of activities. Key activities have been workshops & seminars, study visits & BPP seminars & policy simulation framework events. The project started with an audit of Knowledge Exchange (KE) practices to identify instances of best practice. Ten multimedia cases were produced. Partners researched BPP practices in participating regions & worldwide. Each region audited their BPPs & cases were selected on the basis of their effectiveness in enhancing KE; a collection of 4 cases was produced to form the basis of the BPP guide. In Lodz & Thessaloniki barriers & enablers in achieving successful cooperation between universities & industries in post socialist & Southern Europe respectively were discussed & examined. In Helsinki the partners learnt about the Helsinki innovation system & the different means of cooperation

between enterprises, universities & cities in the region. As a result, funding was obtained to create an ‘Innovation Manager’ at Lodz University. During the study visit partners identified 2 notable KE practices: Tekes& Biomedicum Centre, Helsinki. During Manchester visit participants were introduced to the key actors in the innovation ecosystem in Greater Manchester. The seminar was held to test the framework for BP simulation. 3 best practices were identified: Knowledge Transfer Partnerships; Innovation Vouchers & the Higher Education (HE) Innovation Fund. The Prague study visit incorporated briefings on national & regional innovation policy from the Government Council & the Ministry of Industry & Trade. A discussion on the role of Prague as a centre of innovation was hosted by the City Development Authority. Many notable example of good practice were visited. In Prague partners identified 1 good practice Aerospace Research & Test Establishment (VZLU) which is a national centre for

research, development & testing in aeronautics. The important activities of the project were the launch events for Learning Outputs in each of the partner countries & the running of the BP transfer experiment events (2) occurring concurrently in Lodz & Thessaloniki & linked through video-conferencing. Policy makers & other stakeholders used the policy-transfer simulation to explore the process, implications & potential success of policy transfer. Data from these events informed the development of Policy Simulation Guide (PSG) which was launched at the final dissemination conference. In addition to the Final conference the main activities in final semester were the US Study Visit & the completion of PSG. The US study visit provided an intensive & deep insight into US innovation practices, in a context that provided alternative policies to the European practices. Many lessons were learnt with 2 notable practices being the open & inclusive approach to innovation at the San Francisco

Civic Centre & Epicentre:Stanford Technology Ventures Program. PSG now presents a comprehensive synthesis of the projects existing findings & provides a tool that can be used by policy makers. All of these outputs were shared in the final dissemination conference which was held in Thessaloniki, Greece. Held over 2 days the conference was attended by 120 delegates. Care has been taken to ensure the maximum dissemination of the project findings. Activities have included development of the website, the brochure capturing the project's aims & objectives, 6 newsletters describing the project’s achievements, workshops, seminars & study visits. Five EU wide PR & a number of regional PRs were published to communicate & disseminate the project’s aims & achievements to an EU wide audience. The final conference built on this to ensure a strong impact from the project, this will be continued through the LinkedIn community of practice to ensure INNOPILS sustainability.


Institution, Town Country Region Contact details
The University of Salford, Salford UNITED KINGDOM Greater Manchester 0044 161 295 5184
Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (URENIO Research Unit), Thessaloniki GREECE Kentriki Makedonia 0030 2310 489304
Decentralised Administration of Macedonia - Thrace, Thessaloniki GREECE Kentriki Makedonia (+30) 2313 309 169
Aalto University Foundation, Espoo FINLAND Etelä-Suomi 00358 9451 5379
City of Helsinki, Urban Facts Department, City of Helsinki FINLAND Etelä-Suomi 358-9-31036297
University of Lodz, Management Faculty, Lodz POLAND Lodzkie 48 42 635 51 97
Lodz Region, Lodz POLAND Lodzkie 48 42 663 31 02
North West Development Agency, Warrington UNITED KINGDOM Cheshire 44 1925 400457
Manchester Knowledge Capital, Manchester UNITED KINGDOM Greater Manchester 0044 161 237 4630
Manchester City Council, Manchester UNITED KINGDOM Greater Manchester +44(0)161 255 8111


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