Danube Region on the eSilk & eAmber Roads
2nd Meeting in the European Parliament on Thursday,
September 30, 2010 from 10:00 to 13:00
Room JAN 6Q 1 (entrance from Rue Wiertz 60, 1047 Brussels)
with the participation of
Directorates-General of the European Commission,
National Government Organizations,
The European Network of Living Labs – ENoLL,
Alpe Adria Danube universities INitiative – ALADIN
Steering Committee of the European Initiative Danube Region on the eSilk & eAmber Roads
From a universities point of view fostering the 5th freedom – knowledge sharing – in the region is a major objective. Removal of bureaucratic barriers to student mobility, like different – and complicated – rules and procedures, national legislation on the use of foreign languages in class, incompatible study programmes, etc. need to be removed.
The major focus should be put on quality of education, enhancing students mobility especially within the region, including them in the business - academia projects (especially PhD students), and supporting them in exploring innovative business ideas. To this end it is important to connect bilateral partnerships to larger networks of academia – students – businesses – government cooperation. Efforts should also be made to develop a common inter-university platform that would foster eLearning, knowledge sharing, and support researchers in project proposal preparing. Joint degrees with lectures offered in English should be promoted, supporting cross-border mobility of students.
ALADIN, the ALpe Adria Danube universities‘ INitiative, can play a major role here. It is a bottom-up, dynamic, user-centric organisation, where collaboration and not competition among the participating universities is sought. But it is not limited to universities only: Rather than just having professors from abroad teaching in classrooms, involving students and teachers from different countries in Living Lab methodology based activities, involving academia, students, businesses, and government, is key. Models of successful cross-border collaboration of Living Labs already exist and have been presented at the ICT Conference in Brussels. To further concretise such activities in the region a meeting of interested stakeholders during the 24th Bled eConference was suggested.
Also from a regional perspective concrete projects are needed in key areas, which in many cases have already been identified, e.g. in the West Balkan Initiative. They should view the „e“ in eGovernment, eBusiness, eHealth, etc. as enabler and not as purpose per se. eSecurity was given as a concrete example: Cybercrime is not only a problem of one country, but has to be solved through cross-border cooperation, starting on regional level and clustering initiatives. To this end a meeting will take place on Nov. 3rd and 4th with participants from several countries in the region.
A best practice model for supporting cross-border cooperation of initiatives was presented by the Nordic Board of Research Cooperation, NordForsk. A joint call for projects aiming at innovations in cross-border Living Lab cooperation was open in the Nordic-Baltic region in 2009. With a budget of 2.5 M Euros consortia with partners from at least 3 different countries are supported in developing innovative products, services and concepts with practical impact on society.
In order to be able to involve also Living Labs from the Eastern part of the Danube region in such cooperation projects, it is however necessary to establish more of these instruments there. Up to now only very few Living Labs in this part of the Danube region exist, so for the next call, which will be launched on Dec. 14th in Ghent, applications from these geographic areas are especially welcome.
Better inclusion of SMEs is important, and Chambers of Commerce can play a decisive role in addressing. Favourable conditions for SMEs and businesses in general must be created through more simple procedures, highly skilled workers are needed as the region cannot compete on labour costs with for example the Far East in this respect, but must focus on competitive advantages from innovation, and the necessary resources (especially energy) must be provided.
In order to leverage networking effects it is important to coordinate and orchestrate local chamber networks and activities. To this end a Business Forum will be organised annually or twice a year, starting with an event in Fall 2011 hosted by the Austrian Chamber of Commerce and focussing on the ICT topics.
In his closing remarks Mr Peterle, MEP, stressed that in the course of the meeting many promising ideas and initiatives were presented, which clearly also require political support. He announced the formation of a Steering Committee of the European Initiative -Danube Region on the eSilk & eAmber Roads and that he is willing to chair it. It shall ensure that in a follow-up meeting in Spring 2011 the presented ideas and initiatives will be taken one step forward in order to be implemented in concrete projects.
The meeting is an executive level brainstorming with no PPT presentations. Time allocated per person in the presentation part would be 3-4 minutes.
It is suggested to focus on proposals and ideas for concrete measures regarding the major areas of potential cooperation stated in Meeting's Outline, which were identified in the first meeting.
The Baltic eRegion and the Danube eRegion may be seen as the macro e-regions on the ancient Amber and Silk Roads. In the first Meeting in the European Parliament on Tuesday, June 1, 2010 titled European Initiative - Danube Region on the eSilk & eAmber Roads, stakeholders from various groups representing the views of DGs of the European Commission, governmental organizations, large enterprises, SMEs, cross-border regions, The European Network of Living Labs – ENoLL, and universities (through Rectors’ Conferences, and the Alpe Adria Danube universities INitiative – ALADIN) discussed possibilities and ways of improved inter-regional cooperation and collaboration from the Nordic countries to the Mediterranean, and from Central Europe to Eastern Europe and Central Asia. The meeting's "Conclusions and suggestions" underpin the need to tackle the challenges arising in a world of growing complexity, where the competitive positions of both organizations in the region’s countries and the region as a whole are increasingly determined by their competencies and skills at learning and developing in a continuous process of open innovation, in a multi-disciplinary and orchestrated form.
The format of the first meeting involving central/local government, business, universities, and other research organizations successfully identified major areas of potential cooperation. In this follow-up event concrete measures and steps to the following ends shall be presented and discussed:
transformation to an open innovation system in the eRegion,
new business-administration-academia partnerships with special focus on cross-border partnerships in the macro regions,
creation of innovative eServices for SMEs and inter-organisational eServices in a cross-border context,
increasing cooperation and collaboration capacity of SMEs,
developing a universal, utility-like software service infrastructure to enable value-added innovation at the application level, taking into account new business models as well as new forms of businesses enabled by the Internet,
fostering of the 5th freedom – knowledge sharing – through new eTechnologies that can assist in expanded eLearning and eCollaboration
improving connectivity of cross-border eRegions, with border cities as cases stimulating Living Labs creation in the Danube Region and their involvement in the European Network of Living Labs,
preparation of related events before the background of the Hungarian Presidency in the first half of 2011.
Ms Birgit Arens
Advisor European Affairs and Coordinator EWN
EuroChambres -Association of European Chambers of Commerce and Industry
Ms Maruša Babnik
Faculty of Organizational Sciences, University of Maribor, Slovenia
Mr Bogdan Barbulescu, General Manager
Digital Bit, Romania
Ms Szonja Bender, Representative
EU Representative Office, Hungarian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Brussels
Dr Takis Damaskopoulos, Executive Director and Principal Researcher
European Institute of Interdisciplinary Research (EIIR)
Dr Nadja Damij, Associate Professor and Vice Dean for Education,
Faculty of Information Studies in Novo mesto, Slovenia
Dr András Gábor, Associate Professor
Department of Information Systems, Corvinus University of Budapest, Hungary
& Managing Director, Corvinno Technology Transfer Center Nonprofit Company Ltd.
Corvinno Technology Transfer Center, Budapest
Mr Blaž Golob, Director
Centre for eGovernance Development for South East Europe (CeGD), Ljubljana, Slovenia
Dr Jože Gričar, Professor Emeritus of the University of Maribor, Slovenia
Marko Hölbl, Assistant Professor
Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, University of Maribor, Slovenia
Dr Borislav Jošanov, Associate Professor and Head
Department for Informatics, Novi Sad Business School, Serbia
Mr Rudolf Kaniški, JAI Counsellor
Permanent Representative of the Republic of Slovenia to the EU
Dr Christian Kittl, Managing Director
evolaris Center of Excellence and Mobile Living Lab
& Teaching Assistant, Karl-Franzens-University, Graz, Austria
Dr Mirjana Kljajić-Borštnar, Assistant Professor & Vice-Dean for Research Activities
Faculty of Organizational Sciences, University of Maribor, Slovenia
Mr Jan Komarek, Project Officer
European Commission, Information Society Directorate General
Mr Ľudovít Korotnoky, Director
Slovak Chamber of Commerce and Industry
Košice Regional Chamber
Mr Georg Krauchenberg, MSc, Regional Director Danube Region
Austrian Federal Economic Chamber
Mr Miloš Kuret, MSc, Political science expert on US Technology and Innovation Policy
American Studies in Ljubljana, Slovenia
Dr Anton Lavrin, Associate Professor & Head
Department of Projects Management, Technical University of Košice, Slovak Republic
Ms Man-Sze Li, Director
IC Focus, United Kingdom & Lead Caretaker of the Enterprise topic, The Future Internet Assembly
Ms Jasmina Paunovic Markovic
Serbian Chamber of Commerce, Representation Office in Belgium
Ms Dragica Martinović, Director
Representative Office in Brussels, Croatian Chamber of Economy
Dr Maria Nilsson, Senior Adviser
NordForsk, Oslo, Norway
Ms Eva Nussmüller
European Commission Directorate General for Regional Policy
Mr Alojz Peterle, Member of the European Parliament
Member, Committee on Foreign Affairs & Vice-Chair, Delegation to the EU-Russia Parliamentary Cooperation Committee
Mr Zoltán Précsényi, MBA, Government Relations Manager
European Government Relations Team, Symantec Corporation, Brussels
Dr Andreja Pucihar, Assistant professor & Vice-Dean for International Cooperation
Faculty of Organizational Sciences, University of Maribor, Slovenia
Dr Borut Rončević, Associate Professor and Director,
University and Research Centre of Novo mesto, Slovenia
Dr Bror Salmelin, Adviser to the Director
European Commission, Information Society and Media Directorate-General,
Directorate H: ICT addressing Societal Challenges
& European Commission Coordinator, Open Innovation Strategy and Policy Group – OISPG
Dr Aurelian Mihail Stănescu, Professor & Head
Lifelong Learning Department – DECID@, University Politehnica of Bucharest, Romania
& Representative, A.R.C.H.E.S. Living Lab
Ms Gordana Zrnić, Director
Serbian Chamber of Commerce, Representative Office in Brussels
- ALADIN Position Paper on the European Strategy for the Danube Region. April 2010.
The Role of ICT in the European Strategy for the Danube Region.
The Letter of ALADIN – ALpe Adria Danube universities INitiative to the Members of the European Parliament representing the country in the Danube Region, February 9, 2010.
Novi Sad Declaration on the Role of Universities in Creating the EU
Strategy for the Danube Region
- European Parliament resolution of 21 January 2010 on a European Strategy for the Danube Region.
- Final Declaration of the IVth European Conference of the Danube Cities and Regions in Budapest on 11th June 2009.
- European Initiative Danube Region on the eSilk & eAmber Roads
Meeting's Conclusions & Suggestions, 1st Meeting in the European Parliament, June 1, 2010
- Region in Europe
EU Strategy for the Danube Region.
- A New Strategy for the Single Market At the Service of Europe's Economy and Society. Report to the President of the European Commission José Manuel Barroso by Mario Monti, 9 May 2010
- Third Conference on the EU Strategy for the Danube Region on Transport, Energy and Environmental Issues, Vienna (Austria) - Bratislava (Slovakia), 19/21 April 2010
- Cross-border eRegion related components of the Bled
eConference, Executive Meetings, and Workshops since 2002
- The eSilk & eAmber Roads Innovative Regions Think Tank Meeting: Business and Government Executives & Professors’ Commitment to Making a Difference;
- Business, Government, Municipality and Diplomacy Executive Meeting on the Innovative Cross-border eRegions: Baltic, Central Europe, Mediterranean, Nordic, South East Europe;
- Workshop on the Cross-border Disaster eResponse in the eRegion: Interoperability of Information Systems of the Organizations Involved;
- Workshop on the Living Labs in the Innovative Cross-border eRegion;
- Open Innovation in the Living Labs for the Cross-border eRegions Development. Meeting with the President of the Committee of the Regions & Members of the Bureau of the Committee of the Regions, March 3, 2008;
- Nordic - Slovene Meeting on Innovative Cross-Border eRegion Development, Résumé. Ljubljana, February the 3rd 2009;
- Meeting of the ALADIN - ALpe Adria Danube universities INitiative network.
Corvinus University of Budapest, Hungary, 21-23 March 2010;
- Danube Region Development: Meeting with the Ambassador of the Republic of Hungary, UM Faculty of Organizational Sciences, Slovenia, April 21, 2010.