An example for Europe
The Innovation Loop has been awarded the OSIRIS project
Region Västerbotten has, together with seven international partners, been awarded the Osiris project – an investment in open and social innovation (OSI). The project is worth almost 2.2 million euros and is based on the innovation process created by Region Västerbotten through the Innovation Loop and Meeting Place Lycksele.
“This is a really exciting announcement,” says Thomas Hartman, Head of Communication at Region Västerbotten. “There’s tough competition for projects from European regional development funds, and we’re really pleased that the Innovation Loop and Meeting Place Lycksele have earned the attention and active support of the EU. This is the first time that Region Västerbotten will be in charge of a project of this size covering the whole of Europe. This will see Meeting Place Lycksele being highlighted as a European example.”
Of 261 applications submitted to Interreg’s European monitoring committee, 64 projects were awarded funds at the decision-making meeting in Utrecht. These included the Osiris project. The main purpose of the project, which will run until July 2020, is to create a more effective breeding ground for innovations and to disseminate them. The project stimulates regional development and what is known as smart specialisation through the development of innovation in the private and public sectors. All parties will be visiting one another during the project and working together in result-oriented workshops. The results will be shared between the parties and the work will be documented digitally in accordance with the model for digital reports that has been developed within Meeting Place Lycksele.
In Västerbotten, the open innovation process known as the Innovation Loop featuring Meeting Place Lycksele has been running for three years. People from different backgrounds meet in a series of workshops dealing with ideas and development in order to work together on concrete challenges. The objective is to make Västerbotten a better place in which to live. Working together, the parties build an ecosystem of creative meeting places between civil society, academia, private sector and public sector. The aim is to develop new products, services or innovations.
The Innovation Loop has worked, for example, to improve the reception of new arrivals, the collaborative journalism of the future, how medical records in the healthcare system can be developed through the visualisation of the human body, how Västerbotten can become an even stronger sporting region and how the same level of care can be delivered to all despite long distances.
“The common denominator between the various regions involved in the project is that they are all looking for new ways to promote innovation based on the challenges they are facing,” says Thomas Hartman. “In Västerbotten, for example, we face challenges relating to long distance and sparsely populated areas, while Slovakia, for example, needs new ways to make its creative and cultural industries grow more quickly. We want to develop common methods of working to develop our regions based on each other’s experiences,” he says. “The project will be launched in connection with Meeting Place Lycksele in June 2016, when all international parties will gather in Lycksele.”
Region Västerbotten is coordinating the project in the role of senior partner.
Other parties in the project are Region Österbotten, the province of Trento in Italy, the province of Drenthe in the Netherlands, the Diophantus Institute of Information Technology and Communication in Greece, Åbo Akademi University in Finland, the municipality of Fundão in Portugal and Region Prešov in Slovakia.
The project is financed by Interreg through the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).
The project is worth 2.2 million euros over three years.