A delegation from Malta Enterprise and the Malta Life Sciences Park recently visited the city of Tartu in Estonia for a study visit focusing on Smart Specialisation and its application to traditional sectors, particularly the wood and food industries.
The visit, which was held within the framework of the RELOS3 project, included meetings with Tartu’s Science Park; Digital Innovation Hub; Wood Processing and Furniture Manufacturing Centre of Competence; Centre for Entrepreneurship and Innovation; Biotechnology Park; the Estonian Genome Centre; as well as various SMEs, local government entities and other Estonian stakeholders.
All highlighted the importance of their cooperation with local and foreign universities and research-based organisations. Furthermore, the involvement of SMEs in Smart Specialisation was considered to be an important factor in the region’s success, as well as the importance of the University of Tartu connecting the latest ICT-technology to traditional manufacturing processes, as part of the city’s strong drive towards Industry 4.0.
One of the project partners commented: “Everywhere you breathe the air of innovation, the desire to succeed, the space given to ideas of especially young people. The innovation process benefits from the close collaboration between stakeholders and the lean structure of the institutions”.
As one of the project partners, Malta Enterprise will now set out to complete a Local Action Plan that embodies three years of intensive learning and which will be presented at a Working Conference in Groningen, the Netherlands, in November this year. The Action Plan will include recommendations for local policy makers to improve Malta’s deployment of research and innovation strategies for smart specialisation (RIS3) and will be presented by the end of this year.
More information about the RELOS3 project, which is funded by the Interreg Europe programme and brings together six project partners from six different European countries, may be obtained from their website.