The EU-DRIVERS project, funded by the European Commission under the Lifelong Learning Programme for a period of three years (2010-2012), is designed to improve regional cooperation between universities, private sector companies and local governments in order to enhance the innovation capacities of European universities.
Universities are increasingly recognized as being drivers of the economic and social infrastructure in their region. There is growing awareness on how universities can contribute to regional innovation through collaboration with business, local and regional governments and other local actors.The Lisbon Strategy for Growth and Jobs, as well as the Modernisation agenda for Universities, has focused attention on the need to strengthen the ‘knowledge triangle’ of research, innovation and education. The recently announced EU 2020 Strategy by the European Commission highlights regional development and reinforces the focus on the need for innovation: “Knowledge is the engine for sustainable growth. In a fast-changing world, what makes the difference is education and research, innovation and creativity”.
The EU-DRIVERS project seeks to:
- create a regional innovation virtual community for exchanging good practices among all stakeholders
- find solutions for improved regional cooperation between universities, public authorities (local/regional government) and business or community organizations
- disseminate cutting-edge information on good practices for effective regional partnerships.
EU-DRIVERS has produced:
- A central place for information (literature, examples, etc.)
- New models for strategic partnerships
- Annual reports on regional innovation issues with case studies and concrete examples of implementation of the knowledge triangle at the discipline level
- Annual conferences for exchange of good practices and networking
This was achieved through:
A Regional Innovation Virtual Community - A Community of Practice
Pilot Regional Innovation Partnership Projects – Universities, public authorities (local/regional government) and business or community organizations.
Four Two-day leadership workshops
Three Annual Reports on the latest knowledge on regional innovation issues, based on desk research, relevant literature review and example of good practices.
THE EU Smart Specialization Strategy (S3) Initiative
MODERN report, University Engagement and Regional Innovation 2011
The Third Annual Conference on Building Capacity for Collaborative Partnerships took place in Brussels on
20 September 2012