The lack of trust between industry and academia, the low BERD (Business Expenditure on Research and Development), the high percentage of micro-businesses and the low-tech structure of regional entrepreneurship, the inadequate performance of Technology Transfer Offices, the fact that nationwide policies cannot be easily adapted to regional characteristics and the limited motivation of academic research - which is mainly funding oriented – were cited as the main blockers for the application of the Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTP) programme in the region of Central Macedonia, Greece.
The KTP is a policy which have been successfully implemented in the UK for the last 38 years. In the UK the KTP policy helps businesses improve their competitiveness, productivity and performance through better use of the knowledge, technology and skills available within the UK knowledge base. It involves the formation of a partnership between a business, an academic institution and a recently qualified person (Associate) to facilitate the transfer of knowledge and the embedding of new capability within the business organisation.
Through the comparison of the socioeconomic, business and higher education context of the region of Central Macedonia with that of the region of Greater Manchester in the UK, several key points were highlighted with regard to KTPs, as the knowledge exchange policy under consideration. Compared to the Greater Manchester region, the region of Central Macedonia is at 50% of its performance in S&T and Macroeconomic Indicators. Another blocker is identified in the fact that the implementation of the policy under examination may face several problems due to the limited degree of freedom of regional authorities in designing programmes.
On the other hand, certain enablers were identified. The main enablers identified were: the existence of a significant amount of new, strongly motivated graduates, the absolute alignment of the KTPs with the regional developmental policy and the fact that specific sectors, such as ICT, chemicals, biotechnology could benefit substantially from the application of KTPs. Finally, the high percentage of unemployment among new graduates can assist the applicability of KTPs from the supply-side.
The above conclusions were drawn during the INNOPOLIS Simulation Event, held on 29th February 2012 and organized by the Decentralized Administration of Macedonia- Thrace. The participants of the event were representatives of the local authorities, of universities/research institutions, companies, business associations and more. Two video links enabled the contact with another simulation event in Lodz, Poland that took place simultaneously so as to present, compare and contrast the findings.
In the context of the INNOPOLIS project, the Conference entitled “IN SEARCH OF INNOVATION” will take place on 11th and 12th October 2012,in Thessaloniki (GR). The Conference will be organized by the Decentralized Administration of Macedonia-Thrace and will conceptually evolve around the discussion of how the continuous advance in the process of knowledge exchange is an effective way of achieving a sustained innovation performance
INNOPOLIS aims to enhance the capabilities of local & regional authorities to create better framework conditions for innovation in large & smaller enterprises by identifying regional best policy practice in the field of knowledge exchange between universities & enterprises.
The project is co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and made possible by the INTERREG IVC programme.